Step into Inamo for a meal in the future
Standing out in London’s thriving restaurant scene is not easy but Inamo has certainly caught diners’ attention with its futuristic approach to the dining experience. Waiters are replaced by tablet menus that sends your order straight to the kitchen. Tables are interactive screens that allow you to play games with your mates, spy on your chefs with a ‘chef cam’ or change your screen background to suit your mood. The original Inamo was established in Soho in 2008 and prided itself in being the first restaurant to combine interactive technology and dining. Since then, it has also opened its doors in Covent Garden and you can find its latest addition in Camden.
It’s fitting that this innovative establishment is set within a state-of-the-art building coupled with a cool and slick interior. The restaurant also has a lovely al fresco dining area and a roof terrace which will definitely be a hit during the summer season. Inamo boasts a diverse Pan-Asian menu, including dishes from Japan, China, Thailand and more. The tablet menu is fairly simple and straightforward to navigate. It’s particularly helpful for those with special dietary requirements as you can opt to show items that are free from certain ingredients, such as dairy, nuts or gluten. Replicating Asian eating culture, Inamo encourages sharing rather dividing their dishes into starters and mains. All the dishes are served piping hot as they are ready from the kitchen.
We went for the Dragon roll from the generous sushi selection, which involves crispy fried tempura shrimp topped with fresh avocado and a touch of mayonnaise. The crunchiness of the shrimp and the creamy avocado creates a sublime texture in a mouthful. The roll is completed with a dash of dark soya to add a hint of sweetness to the palate. In the Asian tapas section, we chose the Korean style chicken wings and Yum Buns. The miniature wings were glazed in a tangy Korean barbeque sauce and garnished with coconut flakes. Perhaps more suitable for those with a sweet-tooth, I found the sauce a bit over-powering in this dish.
The Yum Buns arrived with three steamed buns and a spread of meats, including beef brisket, duck and pork belly. In addition, crudités and a variety of hoisin sauces were provided so you could create your own bun. Tender and juicy, the duck outshone the beef and pork, which were unsympathetically dry and chewy in comparison. There was no doubt that the true star of this dish were the soft and fluffy buns, which were still warm from the steamer. They likened to Chinese ‘Mantous’, a cloud-like steamed bun particularly popular in the Northern regions of China. The slightly sweetened flavour of the dough and its pillowy texture was enough to fill my appetite without any extra fillings or sauces.
We were tempted by the Seabream in red pepper sauce amongst the seafood options. Crisp and succulent, the pan-fried sea bream struck a perfect balance in terms of texture. The red pepper sauce was packed with flavours and complimented the fish fillets beautifully. To complete our meal, we also ordered a side of spicy aubergine. Sautéed with Chinese black mushrooms ‘yun-er’ in a moreish hot sauce, it’s no surprise that this dish is a favourite amongst customers. Inamo is certainly worth-a-try for those seeking a novelty dining experience. The interactive screens and tablet menus are particularly helpful if you want to impress your 10-year-old or break the ice on a first date. Although some of the dishes left a little more to be desired, Inamo is definitely not just fun and games.