I had previously walked past this small restaurant in Soho and curiously watched people meddle around with the tables. Although not fully understanding what was going on, the projection system seemed very beautiful, regardless of functionality. With my mothers birthday coming up, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to go to Inamo, since one of her main passions is technological innovation.
Upon entry the concept of the restaurant is very clearly explained: All menu options are for sharing, and they are divided in larger dishes and smaller dishes. You order from the projection on the table (interaction with waiters being optional), using something similar to a mousepad, and as you skim through the food options, they are projected into your plate, as shown in the first picture.
Past the initial fun of playing around with the changing tablecloth (there are endless options and even a randomiser if you wish to be surprised during your dinner), we opted for one large dish and two small dishes to start with. As you are waiting, you are also able to watch the kitchen from your table, thanks to the “chef cam” option, as well as play games (such as battleship and ping) with the person opposite to you. A great place to take an awkward date, in my opinion, since talking can be made optional.
The first dish to arrive were the Tiger King Prawns, served crispy and whole in a skewer, and accompanied by green nam jim, a fragrant Thai sauce. The prawns were beautifully cooked and clearly fresh, but I found the choice of setting the sauce aside dubious, as it was quite hard to pick it up with the prawns, making the flavours go by under-appreciated.
Following was the large dish, a traditional duck with pancakes and hoi sin, which was nice, but not remarkable or in any way unlike what you’d normally find at your regular Chinese restaurant. The menu mentioned a twist, but if there was any it was almost imperceptible.
Next we received the watermelon salad, which was absolutely delicious and an ideal summery dish, for it’s freshness and variety of flavours. Diced watermelon was piled into a neat stack and seasoned with hoisin dressing, fresh mint, coriander, spring onion and peanuts, creating a flavoursome dish that is definitely worth trying to recreate during the summer months.
We opted for closing the meal with one last dish, the seared salmon maki. It was a pleasant surprise as it was a very light sushi dish, and all the flavours (avocado, cream cheese, salmon and cucumber) shone through and did not overpower each other.
Also worth mentioning was the Sol Levante cocktail, a mix of lychee, lemongrass and pomegranate, topped off with Prosecco. With two layers of contrasting flavours that compliment each other beautifully, it was a great opener for this technological dining experience.
The bill came down to 51£ for two people, including dessert and drinks. Overall, the food in Inamo is good, but the highlight of the dinner are the tables and ordering system, which make for a fun (and practical if you’re going on larger parties) Fifth Element-like dining experience, that remains original and unique to London, so it’s worth checking out.
Rating: 7 out of 10 multipasses