Thursday, 5 March 2015

Style Over Substance Is Exactly What Inamo Is All About

If I had to describe a restaurant that was "style over substance" Inamo would be that place.

A few weeks ago my homies and I went up to Chinatown to check out Chinese New Year and celebrate all good things to do with my culture. Not only that it has been quite a few years since I checked it out. I knew it was going to be mental with tourists wanting to get a piece of the action but I didn't prepare myself for what was in a nutshell just complete chaos.

Therefore myself and the rest of the gang made the wise decision of getting the hell out of there and head for Soho to get away from all the manic and mess. Moreover not only was the weather atrocious but the hunger pains were creeping in on us and most of us were hung-over from the night before.

Alex (yes that famous hipster that I've mentioned on previous blogs and half the time gets me trolleyed and takes me out on man dates) picked out Inamo bar and restaurant. Looking back it wasn't his finest moment picking this restaurant but at the time we were all starving and fed up of the rain.
We were greeted by a stunning waitress who to her credit was polite, welcoming and clearly explained how Inamo worked.
Okay, so I love gadgets and toys (not the ones that Quagmire from Family Guy uses...Giggity) and the idea of ordering from the table using touch screen had its appeal and moments of excitement but it lasted all of ten minutes.

The menu itself is very simple and straightforward. If you only want a light bite they offer smaller dishes such as gyozas and sashimi but obviously if you're wanting a full on meal they offer larger sized dishes like you're meat and fish as well as sides and desserts.
The interactive part is very easy to get to grips with and ordering food from there is plain sailing. I'm all for future trends and obviously being a Japanese restaurant Inamo want to incorporate the technology side of things but in my opinion it takes away valuable skills from the staff. For example giving diners a more personal experience, chatting to them, helping them out with any questions about the food itself or if they have any dietary requirements. I don't think any of those kind of issues were explained on the interactive table. However the staff themselves were quick with service and polite.
Not only does the table offer the menu but it also has other applications to get you hooked like playing old school games as well as having a live webcam of the kitchen. Again the fun lasts about five minutes before you lose interest.
The food itself was average. There's not a lot I can say about it which sounds very silly seeing that this is a FoodPunk blog but it seems to me that they're more interested in the technology side of things. This is what I had:
Miso Soup

Shrimp and vegetable dim sum, squid and spring onion dim sum and a lime and chilli relish

Tempura prawns with lime and chilli relish

Tuna sashimi

Barbeque glazed pig cheeks
As you can see by the pictures, there was the chilli and lime dressing on three dishes. There was nothing wrong with it as it was a nice accompaniment but there's only so many times I want to dip my food in it before getting bored. That to me shows a lack of ideas.  
The pork cheeks were tasty and the glaze had a lovely kick but the meat was a little dry and the stir fry vegetables (which you can't see in the picture) was covered by a forest of coriander.
Looking back I spent a load of money on what was a mediocre meal that I wasn't that much impressed with. I'll give it some credit, it did make me comfortably full and I did eat all of it but hey I'm FoodPunk and I eat for England.
Inamo is the type of place where you're looking for a quick bite to eat and to leave satisfied, which is fine, but like I said earlier to me they seem to care about showing off the interactive part of the dining experience rather than the food itself.
Unfortunately I probably won't be going to Inamo again but if you fancy giving it a go yourselves then click on the link below to check out the restaurant in more detail. Obviously you don't have to take my word for it.