It wasn’t the food that drew us to Inamo, it was the gadgetry. Inamo doesn’t have printed menus and the waiters don’t take your order, instead you have a touch-sensitive area on the table and the menu is projected on to your table. You make your selection from that. While you are waiting you can change the pattern that’s projected on to your table and maybe play a game of battleships with your friends (we didn’t).
The menu tells you that they aim to have your selected dishes with you within 15 minutes. In our case it took less than that, but they bring each dish as it is ready, so things will arrive randomly.
We stayed with the small dishes and side dishes rather than go for a main and there is a reasonable selection for the vegetarian.
First to arrive was the vegetarian temaki, two smallish handrolls of lightly steamed veg in rice, wrapped in nori. It tasted fresh and light, especially as the dipping sauce wasn’t the usual soy and wasabi mix. I don’t know what it was but it had a fruitier flavour rather than the salty soy hit and it complemented the rolls perfectly.
Watch when ordering miso soup, as there are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. It was nice, it was miso, there’s not much else you can say about it.
Vegetarian maki rolls were five rolls with peppers and avocado, topped with a drop of mayonnaise. Again, fresh, light flavours.
The cripsy silken tofu was nice. Crispy on the outside and melting inside with a oyster mushrooms and a deeply umami sauce. This, however, was the first menu item where I thought ‘is that it?’ £6.25 for four, small cubes of tofu and one mushroom, is expensive.
Having said that, Imamo is not a cheap-eats place. Dinner for two, including a glass of wine each and service came to £99. Special occasions only, I think.
The best item on the menu, was also the best value for money. The kai lan in black bean sauce was a plateful of steamed leafy vegetable. The black bean sauce add an umami sweetness to the iron-bitterness of the green leaf.
That as a side dish with a main, rice and miso soup as a starter and you might get out of the restaurant without your bank manager complaining.
I enjoyed the meal. The gadgetry was amusing and it worked. The staff were helpful and prompt. The food was of excellent quality, but with a price to match. I’ll go back, but not until after next payday!