Inamo Wardour Street – Published on Blue Tomato Reviews
Wardour Street is a food lover’s equivalent of a kid in a sweet shop; perfectly located just away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street shoppers and dozens of dingy Soho drinking dens, it is lined with a multitude of great eateries. Inamo sits proudly, smack bang in the middle.
I’d heard only good things about the place and had been longing to go for a while, but it just hadn’t meant to be…until now, and boy was I excited!
The interactive ordering system is the restaurant’s core feature and allows diners to take control. Literally. Starting from deciding which ‘tablecloth’ to have, to more importantly, ordering your food and drink before ordering a taxi home!
Whilst soaking in the atmosphere, we enjoyed a bottle of Spanish white Rioja: Terrassa Viura Carinena (£16.95), which was dry but refreshing thanks to the citrus notes running through it and it very much seemed to complement the majority of our dishes well. The other diners, like us, were probably far too excited about this seemingly space-age concept, all of us ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the various things we found at the press of a button and resorted to giggling like school children. Unfortunately the chef cam wasn’t working on this occasion, so we couldn’t see our food being made, but we did make the most of the games section whilst waiting for our food to arrive, and of course I won at Battleships!
The place is more than just a novelty however, offering a wide selection of fabulous Pan-Asian flavours. We opted for three small plates to share, starting off with Soft Shell Crab Maki Rolls (£7.65) – five pieces of crispy soft shell crab, chilli mayonnaise and avocado. Baby Crispy Prawns (£6.95) arrived soon after in a cute little cone, almost resembling fish and chips but so much tastier when served with the tangy Thai mango relish. Our last small plate was Chicken Satay (£6.75). I was ever-so slightly disappointed with only two chicken skewers and it was hard to get any peanut satay sauce on the chicken. But by and large, a great start.
Our larger plates were more satisfying and although the Duck with Pancakes (£15.50) might have, on the surface, seemed a tad pricey for the one duck leg we received, the classic dish was served with an Inamo twist of herbs to add to the traditional hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion, so it was well worth it in the end.
Next up we tried the baked Rainbow Trout with Yuzu ceviche dressing (£12.50), with gorgeously crispy skin and soft flesh. The star of the show though had to be the Hot Stone Rib Eye (£18.50), slices of rib-eye beef served on a sizzling hot black stone, again leaving the diner in control as to how well done they wished to eat it and combined with three ultra flavoursome sauces: zingy nam jim, teriyaki & Korean BBQ this was definitely the Pièce de résistance.
Inamo combined my favourite cuisines with a wholly new dining experience; it’s a pioneering concept, although its niche lies in the fact that no other restaurants have the interactive element, something I hope stays strictly with Inamo as I’m not ready to enter into such a futuristic world just yet!