Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Inagiku at Marriott Hotel City Centre

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Inagiku 稻菊

Add: Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre, 2/F, 555 Xizang Zhong Lu, near Fengyang Lu / 西藏中路555号2楼, 近凤阳路
Tel: 2312 9888
Hours: [lunch] 11:30am-2:30pm [dinner] 5:30pm-10:30pm
Website: www.shanghaimarriott.com/dining
Price: [lunch] 130~580 RMB [dinner] 600 RMB+
Visited: Nov 2012

Please note that this is an arranged tasting.

The recently opened Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre houses a few high potential restaurants, one of them being Inagiku. The restaurant originally began as a small tempura joint in Hamamachi back in 1866, and as its popularity grew, Inagiku opened its first international branch at the Wardorf Astoria in New York, and it can now be found some very fine hotels like Four Seasons Hong Kong, Shangri-la Manila, and Park Hyatt Beijing. Overseeing the Shanghai branch is veteran Inagiku chef Shinji Morihara, who puts together an extensive offering of premium sushi, teppanyaki, and the famous Inagiku tempura.

The interior is fresh and contemporary with navy blue and blonde wood. The main dining room, featuring separate sushi and tenppanyaki bar, overlooks the Winter Garden. The space also includes five private dining suites, seating up to 10 guests.

Inagiku serves 19 Business and Premier Lunch Sets, all starting with a refreshing appetizer and a baby green salad. Simple and clean.

Before the rest of our sets arrived, came an a la carte order of Australian Premier Wagyu Strip Loin Steak (80g 190 RMB). Minimally but perfectly seasoned, and very juicy.

Here is my Premier Sashimi Set (480 RMB), an absolute abundance of food. What it involved in addition to the appetizer and baby green salad: assorted sashimi, tempura, foie gras egg custard, rice, pickles, side dish, miso soup, and ice-cream.

One of Inagiku’s most celebrated dishes is its tempura. The secret is the type of frying oil they use, which is made from top grade Nagano White Sesame refined through a traditional process called “tamashibori”.

The tempura is served with three types of dipping salt: matcha, curry, and ginger. We were told by the restaurant that Japanese people actually prefer dipping tempura in salt instead of dashi sauce, since this way the tempura can retain its crispness.

But if you so desire, you can also dip your tempura in the dashi-mirin-soy sauce mixture.

Then there is a fresh and quality plate of assorted sashimi – uni (sea urchin), ika (squid), akami (tuna), toro (tuna belly), sake (salmon), hotate (scallop), Botan ebi (Botan shrimp), with freshly grated wasabi.

Here’s a snapshot of the Premier Chirashi Sushi Set (460 RMB) my lunch date ordered. Good looking.

Both sets came with foie gras egg custard.

Miso soup, and pickles for the rice. I quite liked the crown daisy leaves that were added to the miso soup, which gave the bowl an appetizing aroma. Wish I had room for the rice and pickles, but by this point I just had to let them go.

The meal ended with a small cup of black sesame ice-cream (green tea and vanilla flavors also available). A simple but satisfying finish.

Inagiku is quite expensive and I’m not so sure if I would come here on my own, but it certainly is a nice spot for business gatherings. Call ahead to book one of its private dining rooms should you be looking to entertain some important guests.

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Written by sugarednspiced

February 11th, 2012 at 8:33 pm