Arrival of the Year Winner: Inua

Inua has won the Arrival of the Year category, for new restaurants that opened between Sept 1, 2017 and Sept 30, 2018.

Thomas Inua

Take a skinny, long-haired eastern German boy. See him turn his back on his 24 hour party teen days and take the vows at the kitchen altar. Imagine him working his way through the most prestigious tables in the fine dining Deutschland of the old days, then one day discovering, almost by chance, the frantic young René Redzepi and his Scandic posse turning the world upside down. Home is where the heart is – so Thomas Frebel makes Copenhagen his new Heimat.

Until one day this pivotal scene takes place in Tokyo: It’s the very beginning of the spring of 2015, close to the closing up of the mythical Noma pop-up in Japan, when the German crossfit addict finally speaks his heart to his bearded Danish mentor. “Japan,” he says, “that’s where I want to spend the rest of my life.” And that’s how Inua was born.

Inua, from the Inuit language – the spirits and the life force of the forest running wild. A restaurant where state-of-the-art Nordic techniques meet the very best Japanese products, sourced from the land and from the sea. Like the crossing of two rivers, a new identity finally finds its way in.

Go foraging up north with chef Frebel, sleep his sleepness nights in the cold of a mountain Ryokan, get your soul blessed by the vision of enchanted nature. There’s a form of deep spirituality at play here at Inua, a sense of space and time, a goal in life that goes beyond the four comforting walls and doors of a new restaurant. Take Inua for what it is: a living organism in process. Let him grow, it’s gonna be big.

Brushing Inua
Green Inua