Last week I went to Iruka for their grand opening. They’ve been in soft opening for a little while and I decided to give it a try. It’s located right on Whyte Avenue and in the space where The Pourhouse used to be. Strangely, it’s right beside Hanaichi, another Japanese restaurant that just recently opened as well.
For food, we opted to get a few grilled items, as that was what was recommended to us, and their specialty.
The first thing that came out was the sake mussels. This comes wrapped in foil, and the bottom is lit on fire. Kind of a bit gimmickey and strictly for show. I found that the mussels lacked seasoning, and because of the long-term fire with no movement, the bottom mussels were overcooked and rubbery. Overall, not a great way to start the meal.
Next, we had the pork belly skewers and their steak. These two were pretty good and much better than our first dish. The meat was tender and came out hot. Overall pleasant to eat.
Lastly, we got the Yokohama roll. The rice was a bit mushy and the roll didn’t hold up. The fish had a bit of a funky taste and didn’t seem too fresh.
Overall, my experience at Iruka had some hits and misses but mostly misses. I would say stick with the teppenyaki and their grilled dishes, as this is what they specialize in. I’ve read some other reviews and it seems like they have some kinks to work out. I’d say give them a little bit of time to work them out and hope it goes for the better.