There’s a jewel hidden on this Atlanta restaurant’s extensive menu

Nasu dengaku, or roasted eggplant with miso glaze, is a hidden delight on the menu at Nakato. Henri Hollis/henri.hollis@ajc.com
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Nasu dengaku, or roasted eggplant with miso glaze, is a hidden delight on the menu at Nakato. Henri Hollis/henri.hollis@ajc.com

Credit: Henri Hollis

Dish of the Week: Nasu dengaku from Nakato

With so many choices on Nakato’s extensive menu, it’s easy to overlook a humble appetizer like the nasu dengaku — miso-glaze eggplant.

It’s a relatively common dish on Japanese menus, but Nakato’s preparation is delightful. Even if you order the nasu dengaku for takeout, it is served in five little upright sections of eggplant standing on the plate like miniature towers. The narrow Asian eggplant is tender and custardy, without collapsing into a stringy mess.

The sweet, salty, funky miso glaze coating the top of each bit of eggplant is strong, yet balanced in flavor. A sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds adds a distinct dash of nuttiness.

Nakato is known for the qualities that make this dish great: impeccable execution, beautifully balanced Japanese flavors, and an invitation to order again and again.

Nakato. 1776 Cheshire Bridge Road NE, Atlanta. 404-873-6582, nakatorestaurant.com.

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