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Set atop the International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon, Inakaya clearly boasts a spectacular view—even if it’s less focused towards the glittering Central skyscrapers and more towards the industrial side of Tsing Ma Bridge. The restaurant is divided into a number of different dining areas, and if you would like to be at the robatayaki room or various chef’s counters, you must specify when you book. The décor is relatively simple, allowing the view to shine in the daytime and the low lighting in the evening serving to create a more romantic ambience.
A rather daunting menu covers a lot of ground, from the classic sushi and sashimi to teppanyaki, noodles, and tempura. A page or so of seasonal specialties is worth a look for dishes such as sakura snapper and bamboo root in clear soup, or grilled greenlings. Those with deep pockets can also opt for the various kaiseki and teppanyaki courses, which allows diners a tasting of the restaurant’s best signatures. We started with a simple Inakaya sashimi salad, which pepped the palate with its hit of wasabi, and a delicate teapot steamed clear soup with seafood which featured tender scallop, earthy matsutake mushroom and thin, sweet chives. A squeeze of the sudachi lime brought out the soup’s umami base notes. An uni gunkan maki was textbook perfect, and even decorated with a little pink rose for effect. Moving onto robatayaki, the house signature of grilled kinki fish is worth every dollar; the gloriously oily fish is cooked slowly over the fire so that its salted fins and edges are crisp and golden while the flesh just pulls away from the bone. We dig every morsel out, cleansing our palates in between with the accompanying pickled radish and young ginger. Chilled Shirohiki udon noodles are clean and bouncy to the bite, the tsuyu dipping sauce smoky and tempered nicely with the freshly grated wasabi and shredded leeks. For dessert, we’re recommende the housemade green tea warabi mochi which had a lovely texture but had simply too much matcha powder dusted on top to be fully enjoyable.
A rather impressive wine and sake list is worth your time perusing, as a collection of rare and fine bottles as well as what they call ‘fourth generation’ sake sets this list apart from their peers. The general manager is also a seasoned sake expert, who can make well reasoned recommendations based on intuition and expert questioning. A bottle of Ryonin Taisyaku Rihaku Junmai Daiginjo had explicit flavours of toasted buckwheat and grapefruit, providing a mellow base for much of the dishes throughout our meal.
Service is consistently good at Inakaya, from the reservations desk through to front of house. Our waitress made sure the kinki fish was put through to the kitchen as soon as we ordered, and made sure certain dishes were divided and plated separately for us to share. We were also impressed by the sake service, as the GM was able to explain the various flavour profiles of the sake and did not make the common mistake of assuming our taste preferences based on gender.
A meal for two with sake and service will average around HK$3,500—and costing considerably more if you opt for the set courses, which start from HK$1,520 per head.