The name Robatayaki is derived from the Japanese word translated as “fireside cooking” (炉端焼き). The first Robata restaurant opened in Miyagi but the process was originally from Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan. The name is apt as preparing “Robata” involves a slow barbeque method cooking various skewered vegetables or seafood over a slow charcoal fire known as a irori. This was adapted by fishermen to cook on a boat by encasing traditional charcoal`s in a stone box presumably so the fishermen didn`t end up with great food but no where to eat it.
Just to give you an idea, when you walk in the first thing you will probably see are lots of people sitting around and a smorgasbord of colorful and rustic looking ingredients.
The waiters (or servers) pass food on the large paddles and are amazingly able to sit on their knees, perhaps there is a certain amount of cross over within the traditions – here I am referring to the tea ceremony kneeling position (seiza).
Everything is served to you on a full size paddle, adding to the authentic feel.
I never thought I would have said this but damn, these squidlings were really good! I don’t know if they were stuffed or if somehow they just made the brain goo taste really good.
Inakaya Robatayaki has no menu here, you just pick what you want to eat from the selection of ingredients infront of you.
I would never order asparagus but they do such a good job of it in Japan it’s worth ordering.
Mmm Wagyu on a stick.
I don’t understand the concept of picking apart your own food. I love shrimp but they’re always so hard to unpick, kind of like a tasty origami puzzle except you’re on a date and it’s hot, and you’re burning your fingers, and there’s nothing you can do about it or else you can’t eat.
He looks sad but he was delicious! This guy took over forty minutes to cook. Ripping the head off was a little messy and kind of fun (have you ripped off a fish head with chopsticks before?) The meat was really juicy, combine that with crunchy skin and you got some oishi goodness going on ^_^
The restaurant experience was pretty cool. Kind of a fun thing to do on a date. The food quality was good but overpriced at 170 dollars per person. There are so many more delicious meals you can get for under that, however the poker player in me went home happy – my friend lost the flip (We take turns flipping an app coin to see who pays), which meant essentially I got to experience this dining style for free!
My conclusion after the meal is – if you have money to spend then go, the ingredients are “solid” by which I mean decent, staunch, reliable quality and you may never get food served to you on a paddle anywhere else so it may just be worth it for novelty value.