The story so far
Before our family got bigger, going out to a in the evening was almost a weekly activity. Not cheap … but we indulged. Since our lives are just a bit (!) busier, we have become more brunch and lunch goers. Swapping night for day meant that when we do go out, we usually chose our Brussels restaurant carefully.
One such restaurant was Inada.
Inada is the brainchild of Japanese expatriate, Chef Saburo Inada. The restaurant opened over 10 years ago just around the corner from the Pantone Hotel in Saint Gilles, Brussels. Having been headchef at ‘Chez Christopher’ before, greatness was already in the Inada DNA. Add to that that the current owner of our favourite local wine bar, Rubis, was the sommelier when we went … you can imagine what we were in for.
Minimalist Japanese is the first thing that came to mind when we entered. This could be mistaken for cold, but the restaurant has a certain warmth probably brought on by the warm tones of the furniture (all wood), the plates (pastel coloured ceramic) and the overall design. The restaurant is not big, seating only around 40 diners, but laid out in a way that it feels airy and although it was full, we felt very comfortable with our own private (dining) space.
As we went there to celebrate we didn’t mind the price so much. The menu is a mix of French inspired food, with Japanese details all reflective of Chef’s Inada take on Western cuisine. In the end we opted to go for the 5 course set menu as we wanted to try out as many different dishes as possible. In the spirit of celebration we also matched the food with the wines proposed and went all out.
The food was sublime! A mix of different textures and flavours, with the surprise element here and there. The caramelized eel was nothing like … el (of which I am usually not a big fan). The risotto with crab – oh my. The mains were just as stunning. And the dessert was pure heaven. Granted you cannot go wrong with a selection of cheese but we also had the icecream special … and a cafe gourmand (basically a coffee with lots of tiny sweet surprises).
Safe to say here that dining and (blog) photography don’t always go hand in hand. As much as I love photographing the restaurants we try, the food we eat and share our impressions with you after … sometimes it is nice to put the camera down and focus on the company and the food alone. The fact that we went in the evening to Inada was an added reason to give the camera a break, and looking around at the other diners – enjoying their food with no phones or cameras in sight – made me decide that one photo will do. You will just have to trust me that the food looked as good as it tasted.
The service was prompt but not intrusive. I would go as far as to say Michelin star quality. A nice touch was that Chef Inada came towards the end of our meal to say hello to the diners still in the restaurant, chatting a bit about our experience and his influences in cooking.
Go again? Very much so, although unlike our top 5 restaurants, I would save to go back to Inada for another special occasion, to be again surprised and tingled by the food. And let’s not forget the price of close to 200e for two, which also stops us from going there on a regular basis.
Inada – website, Rue de la Source 63, 1060 Brussels