Saturday, 29 January 2011

Inamo: A Bit of Food Fun

We were pleased to get to finally try Inamo. And as they had previously advised us that they needed the table back after ninety minutes, we figured that it was a popular spot (despite being tucked away in the streets of Soho).

Seafood Gyoza

With its dark interior, mirror decoration and illuminated tables, it felt a little like walking into a spaceship. The images were projected onto tabletops from ceiling mounted projectors, which resembled ventilators. One of our cursors failed to work, but the waiter rectified this by awkwardly plugging a charger in; it was pretty clear that our dinner experience depended heavily on how well the gadgets were going to function.

The process of ordering food was different to say the least. Without the hassling of waiters, it was laid back and fun; and often sidetracked by the games and other available functions/services. By the time drinks were ordered, we had pretty much gotten the hang of it all.

For a restaurant that emphasised entertainment, the food quality was a pleasant surprise. Our soft shell crab maki rolls were fresh and styled neatly, along with the duck temaki served with hoi sin sauce. The yuzu dressing on the seafood gyoza gave it a nice tangy/spicy kick and the baby pork ribs were soft and tender (although we left the pea sauce alone). The sea scallops and oysters were prettily presented; whilst the scallops melted in the mouth, the oysters were crunchy with sand (which they are capable of spitting out given careful preparation) and I personally found the flavours all too overwhelming (lemon ponzu, fresh kizame wasabi and spicy tobiko).

Dessert at Inamo was most impressive. The pandan macaroon and white chocolate mousse dish was styled with finesse and the lemongrass and coconut flavour combination was sublime. The vanilla crème brûlée and homemade sorbet were also pleasing; I have also heard great comments on their Thai basil pana cotta.

Pandan Macaroon and White
Chocolate Mousse

The restaurant was heaving by 7pm, and the receptionist hastily reminded us of the time on several occasions (we concluded that she was rather rude); speaking of customer service, 10% was charged despite barely being approached by the staff, so I suppose we were contributing towards their electricity bills. You should expect to spend at least £30 per head for three courses and a drink.

I presume that Inamo would be more impressive for younger diners. For me, I personally thought the fun and games distracted me from enjoying the quality of the food and I doubt the interactive experience would guarantee regular customers, but nevertheless, it was an entertaining evening. (Photos up on Flickr)

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