I may have mentioned it before but I absolutely HATE rain. Especially when it comes with winds that rival that of the kamikaze that blew away the Mongol fleet way back during the Kamakura Shogunate.
So when I make my way to Kawaguchi in the outskirts of the Tokyo Metropolis for sushi, I expect said sushi to be divine-wind-defying good.
Which Sushi Inomata is in all aspects!
Sushi Inomata is a jukusei (aging) focused sushi restaurant which takes much inspiration from another jukusei-focused sushi-ya: Hatsunezushi in Kamata. I have not dined at the latter so I cannot comment on the real comparison accurately but if you were to compare pictures on Tabelog there certainly is some overlap in terms of style.
The sushi at Inomata focuses not only on aging but also on marination- which is truly what makes his sushi special in my opinion. Usually the most expensive sushi toppings are served just with a serving sauce, such as nikiri-joyu or ni-tsume, or with just some salt. This is the typical case for items such as otoro (fatty tuna), but here they are marinated as well as aged to bring out much more flavour! I thought that it worked particularly well for the tuna, which also took well to the aging process.
The rice is seasoned slightly on the strong side with sake lees vinegar (akazu) and is served slightly warm consistently throughout the course of the meal.
Akami-zuke (Marinated Tuna)- Amazing depth like the Mariana Trench
Chutoro-zuke (Marinated Medium Fatty Tuna)- Suprisingly a balanced umami bomb
Otoro-zuke (Marinated Fatty Tuna)- the zuke really did its work here, imparting a much richer and complex quality to the fattiness of the tuna.
The other items that required marination or curing also scored well- Inomata-san seems to have a very keen palate and an innate sense of balance for his sushi.
Buri-zuke (Marinated Amberjack)- This was….so complex!
Shime-saba (Cured Mackerel)- Cured & Salted to perfection, the fish still had lovely texture and was not dried out by the curing which served its purpose of adding more oomph to the overall flavour profile
Kohada (Gizzard Shad)- Ahhh, the classic Edomae piece, and here it does not disappoint. Balanced yet bold!
You may also find refreshing variations of popular items such as kobashira nigiri which is often done in gunkan style.
I usually swap out my tuna roll for kampyo, but this time I could not say no to Inomata-san’s marinated tuna once again….
Throughout the meal, Inomata-san’s lovely wife (I think!) provides attentive but unobtrusive service. By the way, she is also the shop’s sommelier, and gives excellent picks for nihonshu/sake that pair fabulously with the sushi. Watch out if you’re a light drinker because the sake pairings here is simply insanely good (not just your usual Kokuryu BS)
The meal ends with a unique castella-style tamagoyaki which is served with the sushi rice. Here in the photo it looks like its floating….
All in all, I found the meal at Sushi Inomata to be supremely good and innovative. Definitely on the list for an encore, hopefully without shit weather!
Cost Performance: 4/5