Looking for a cool concept dining experience? The Inamo restaurant chain has opened a new branch in Camden, London and they offer a unique interactive experience for each diner using touch technology. Our food writer, Syeshia Sweeney was invited along to the restaurant, read her review.
We are welcomed by the front of house staff who seats us and explains how to operate the interactive table where you navigate a small arrow-like pointer which allows you to digitally change the tablecloth, draw, play ping pong/memory games/puzzles, take photos and spy on your waiter’s cheffing skills in real time (yes there are literally cameras in the kitchen). In addition, there is a tablet that allows you to flick through the menu and place your order. You can also ask for assistance and request the bill on the tablet, all from the comfort of your dining table.
We are told that the dishes are served as sharing plates and are brought out when they are ready meaning your main could come before your starter, I can definitely think of worse things. My guest ordered a Tropical Tornado (Havana three year-old rum, passionfruit, pineapple, guava juice with a hint of cinnamon) sweet, while I went for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (fresh, fruity, slightly dry).
Our food begins to arrive and we start to tuck in to chicken gyozas (four delicately steamed chicken gyoza, in a soy mirin, chilli oil, and wasabi and yuan dressing) which were soft and fresh, served with a delicious sauce and sprinkled with seeds. Next up was the shrimp and vegetable dim sum (five delicate parcels of sweet shrimp and Chinese cabbage, served with tantalising Thai mango and chilli relish) served in a bamboo basket to keep the freshness; these were hot and fresh inside a light, moist, fluffy dumpling casing with a sweet and tangy sauce which complemented it nicely.
The Singapore noodles (egg and vermicelli noodles infused with an oyster and ginger sauce with pork belly, prawn, chicken, crunchy peppers, bean sprouts and fried shallots) were next to arrive in a bowl and had such a lovely aromatic flavour, very addictive. The following bowl was the baby crispy seafood (baby tiger prawns and squid in tempura served with tangy Thai mango relish) with a light batter and fresh seafood served with another killer sauce – a fairly generous serving which you’ll appreciate as the individual pieces are small so you don’t even notice half of the bowl disappearing into your mouth!
Last to grace the table was the hot stone fillet and rice (rich red slices of English fillet tail with aromatic thyme, served on a sizzling hot black stone with three sauces, Zingy Nam Jim, Teriyaki and Korean BBQ) and boy was it worth it. You cook the thinly sliced beef on the sizzling hot plate to taste, take care as the sizzle could splash you. The beef was full of flavour and it tastes just as good if you don’t put it on the hot plate which is a testament to good quality meat. Our waitress offered to bring us a new hot plate as ours had cooled down so I think the trick is to strike it while it’s hot!
When we ordered this amount of food it surely felt like two much for the two of us but we somehow squeezed it all in and were both asking questions about dessert. This is a sign of the food not being too heavy which is great in my book.
Moving on to desserts, I was very excited by the menu description. “Chocolate Popping Candy Sticks” which consisted of two chocolate covered marshmallows, two chocolate covered strawberries and two chocolate covered brownies on lollipop sticks served with popping candy and sherbet to dip into. This was such a fun and nostalgic dessert. Extremely sweet. For me it was almost an activity (like much of the meal and facilities).
Once we figured out how to use the technology properly, it was a breeze and it could only get easier on return visits. I will definitely be back and for £32.50 between two (drinks not included) it’s great value for money too!
There is also a £20, four course menu (only available at the inamo Soho branch): Guests choose 1 soup, 1 small, 1 large and 1 dessert. Available Monday to Wednesday from 5pm until 7.15pm & Thursday to Sunday from 12pm until 7.15pm.