We tried the out short tasting menu at Inua. I had not read any reviews beforehand and had not eaten at Noma previously so had no expectations of the meal.
The restaurant is located in a quiet area of Chiyoda in a newly renovated two storey space. It is large and spacious. Surprisingly almost all of the staff are foreign. Also most guests were foreign (and appeared to be tourists).
The meal started well. The focus is on using local ingredients (largely vegetables) in new ways including dehydration and pickling. Being largely foreign staff, there are no preconceptions on how the ingredients should be cooked. They have a large testing lab as well.
The highlight dish was a large mushroom which was smoked for a number of days. The “main” was a dish of rice with bee larvae. It was interesting although we wondered about the sustainability of the dish. We also shared a wine pouring.
Service was friendly and we got a tour at the end of the meal.
Our main issue was value for money given the experience - our menu was about Y23,000 before drinks and taxes. Yes it’s Tokyo so the prices are expensive but we actually weren’t full after the short menu (we aren’t big eaters) and found the meal to be expensive given the type of produce (one dish with fish; rest were largely vegetables). I suspect bigger eaters would be hungry after the meal. Also without a menu or to even know how many dishes we would get, we didn’t really understand the story of the meal and how it all fit together. We have eaten at other globally recognized western style restaurants in Tokyo for nearly half the price which were exceptional, as well as other experimental restaurants globally. We unfortunately overall were disappointed with Inua.
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