London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Monday, June 25, 2012


St James

We'd heard the rumours now we wanted to find out for ourselves. Interactive menus: was this a gimmick or something we could expect to see more of in the future?

Naturally we entered Inamo with a mixed feeling of excitement and a bit of trepidation.

We visualised touch screen computers embedded into the tables, but in fact the hi-tech element of the restaurant is conducted from lights up above which are projected onto your square white table. In the corner, there then is a circular palette which is used to direct the small 'hand' icon (or mouse as some might refer to it) over the dishes you want to order.

For ease, the menu is divided into simple illustrative icons which pop up a short header when you hover the hand icon over them. Once you click on the icon, this generates a number of larger photographic images and a short description of each of dish. For extra effect, when you click on an item you think you might like to order, the image of the meal is then projected into your plate so you can imagine (and salivate at) the prospect of what it would be like to eat.

'not only must we congratulate Inamo on such an excellent execution of cuisine, but the level of service was second to none'

The waiting staff appropriately advised we order two small dishes and one large dish each, and order we did. We chose chicken satay; thick juicy pieces of flavoured meat served with a large serving of freshly ground peanut sauce, and seafood gyoza with yuzu dressing ; which has to be the most jam packed, meaty and flavoursome gyoza we have ever eaten. There was mixed in a hint of mustard which we were personally not too keen on, but if you are a fan of seafood and mustard, I dare you to find anything more delicious tasting. We also ate deliciously sticky baby pork ribs; small but packed with soft meat with bite in all the right places, and duck temaki which came in a soft wrap with a large spray of green decoration.

For main, we ate sizzling beef with ginger and garlic sauce and steamed rice, and duck pancakes, served with a side of bok choi with oyster sauce. Juicy pieces of meat all perfectly cooked and the rice and pancakes were just as you would expect them to be served. The service was prompt and helpful, and if we still felt hungry afterwards, there was no shame in re-ordering as it was all done at the touch of the button.

We were however, sufficiently full, except for a small bit of room in the sweet pit of our stomach where we knew we could fit a single dessert. We shared a vanilla crème brulée which was perfectly sweetened and enjoyable to eat, with the crème melting away in the mouth. Perhaps a slightly odd inclusion in the menu given that crème brulée is traditionally French, but as it is one our favourite desserts, we were very pleased to see it on the menu.

In between eating, we kept ourselves amused with the multitude of designs and ‘ambiances’ you can project onto your table.

Ironic as it may seem, not only must we congratulate Inamo on such an excellent execution of cuisine, but the level of service was second to none: attentive, polite, and attentive again. We ordered our food in our own time and in whatever order we liked, but the delivery of food and effort to service us well never faltered.

Inamo is by no means a place to go on the spur of the moment if you have a conservative monthly budget, but it is certainly worth a visit for a special night out or a get together with distant friends. And if the varied and high quality execution of the menu is not enough to keep you entertained, then the variety of table themes will.
4-12 Lower Regent Street, SW1Y 4PE
Average price for a main: £14
Average price for a glass of wine: £6.50
Food/Drink: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Vaue: 4/5 


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