The Asian fusion restaurant group that first launched in Soho in 2008 is still going strong with the latest branch of Inamo in Covent Garden with their groundbreaking interactive table ordering technology. At their recent launch event, it was clear that their technology was still as breathtakingly exciting as it was back in 2008. A little known fact is they launched this a good 2 years before the iPad was launched in 2010. I did make a tongue in cheek comment to the founder at the launch night, imagine what life would be like if they invested the time in creating a tablet instead of a restaurant ordering system.
The new location is very centrally located in Covent Garden, although it might struggle with walk-ins being on a quiet side street behind the Royal Opera House. The decor is suitably modern looking with added touches of bamboo posts and oriental partitions to reflect the nature of the cuisine.
For once I have to say the main highlight of a restaurant is not the food but their tables. It is a beautiful blank canvas for their projection system to show exotic, intricate design patterns. However, there are also a vast array of other uses, most importantly to display and order your food. There’s Chefcam for you to see your food being made and when the date is running out of conversation, you can always start playing a game of pong to liven things up.
The menu is considerably more varied than when they first started out in 2008. The seared salmon maki we made at the sushi masterclass were superbly fresh and the combination of cucumber, soft avocado and cream cheese made for a heavenly bite. Booking a sushi masterclass for your private event at Inamo is highly recommended, especially when they can make bespoke displays on the dining tables.
For main courses, we tried the miso salmon and the black cod in spicy miso; the fish were well marinated with the miso taste and flavoursome and went ideally with a bowl of hot steaming rice. The fish did however have a slight mushy texture, perhaps they have been sitting on acidic ingredients for more than 30 minutes? It is understandable for a busy launch night event filled with demanding food critics.
They have improved their dessert selections considerably. Of particular interest was their baked alasparkla: a classic baked Alaska with a clever oriental twist using Asian strawberry and lemongrass soup. The sparkler on top makes it a must order for any birthday party celebrations.
They have a well chosen selection of sakes and shochus as well as bespoke cocktails with an oriental touch that really complements their food well.
It might be the founders lost that they didn’t invest their time on tablet technology but it is definitely the London restaurant scene’s gain having Inamo in our city. I am quite certain many great relationships have blossomed from having their first date at Inamo.