DINING: Deliciously decorated dishes at Inaka Asian Fusion

June 26, 2013 Denise Romano
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BY DENISE ROMANO AND MELISA STUMPF

Fresh fish and unique salads decorated exquisitely are on the menu at Inaka Asian Fusion Restaurant.

Although this space has only been open on Third Avenue for a little over a month, its other location in Prospect Heights has already seen success.

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Maggie Li, who helps owner Sunny Wang run the Bay Ridge location, explained that Wang visits the fish market every single morning, picking out the freshest seafood.

“He gets up early and goes to the market, sometimes bringing back fish in his own car,” Li said. “Most people don’t believe it when I tell them, but it’s true.”

Li added that each chef has over a decade of experience, allowing them to come up with the fun dishes on the menu. Although both locations specialize in Japanese cuisine – especially sushi – the Bay Ridge location is more Thai-focused.

“Everything is prepared in small batches; this way everything is fresh,” Li said.

Fresh can only begin to describe what we tasted one hot, humid afternoon.

First we had the Kani Salad ($6), which was savory and refreshing, with finely sliced cucumber and kani, better known as crab. It was tossed with a little bit of mayonnaise and topped with sesame seeds and tobiko, or roe. The sesame gave it added flavor.

Next up was the Rock Shrimp Tempura ($7) which tasted like heaven in the mouth. The flavorful morsels of shrimp were deep fried and then coated with the chef’s special sweet secret sauce. It was tangy, citrusy and sweet. Yum!

We then enjoyed the decadent Seared Salmon and Avocado appetizer ($8) with slices of thinly cut salmon and avocado, covered in a soy-sesame sauce and arranged beautifully on the plate. It tasted extremely fresh, and was tasty and savory without being too salty, served with two al dente asparagus spears.

The Crabcake ($9) was scrumptious and served warm with a bit of lobster salad and avocado. The cake was all sweet crab meat tossed with tartar sauce – no breadcrumb filler here. Need we say more?

The Spicy Tuna Balls ($7) is a spicy tuna lovers’ dream come true. The dish was attractively arranged: a scoop of spicy tuna was put on top of a cucumber slice and wrapped with slices of avocado topped with different varieties of roe.  They were little basketballs of deliciousness.

Up next was the House Special Steamed Dumplings ($7) which are handmade daily. The chewy, not crunchy, dumplings were filled with savory pork, shrimp, mushrooms and assorted vegetables. Even more breathtaking than the dumplings was a butterfly carrot decoration. We totally recommend these!

Chef Ben Chi came out to serve us the Chef’s Special Omakaze ($30 for two), a beautiful bowl filled with pieces of raw, fresh fish, including sweet shrimp, yellow tail tuna, fluke, kampachi, king salmon and Spanish mackerel.

Chi explained that diners can customize their bowl with whatever fish they choose. On weekends, scallops, lobster and sea urchin are available.

Last but not least was the Walnut Salad ($6), which featured chicory greens, deep fried rice noodles, red pepper, mango, watercress and of course walnuts, topped with a citrus dressing. What’s so great about this sweet/tart, crunchy/soft salad is the way the walnuts are prepared. It’s the chef’s secret recipe, but we suspect they are somehow toasted and sweetened, since they fall apart easily in the mouth and taste like sugar. Hats off to the chef!

Expect to see more from Inaka. They have a full bar and are expanding their summer cocktail menu soon. As if you need another reason to go, drinks are always buy one, get one free at Inaka.

Kassai!

Inaka Asian Fusion Restaurant

www.InakaSushi8318.com

 

8318 Third Avenue (Bay Ridge)

718-836-0888/9

Monday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, 12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Sunday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Free delivery

 

597 Vanderbilt Avenue (Prospect Heights)

718-398-8168

Open/Delivery Hours:

Monday to Thursday, 11:15 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Friday, 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, 12 to 11:30 p.m.

Sunday, 12 to 11 p.m.


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