Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Tue Nov 30 1999
For the most unsociable of diners, Inamo is the ultimate experience whipped straight out of cyberspace. Interaction between diner and waiting staff is virtually eliminated by way of individualised computer screens set into the tables and projected by giant, silkworm-like monstrosities looming above diners’ heads; staff cruise about, stopping only to plonk down the desired dishes, quickly retreating into the shadows.
Not a word was uttered at our table as my usually babble-mouthed companions became engrossed in a computer game of ‘Battleships’, while others vicariously spied upon the kitchen staff via the ‘chef cam’.
We hoped the hi-tech hijinks wouldn’t detract from the food – and chef Anthony Sousa Tam’s interesting menu of pan-Asian dishes manages to keep things inspiring while not being too ‘out there’. Marbled beef in a truffle oil vinaigrette consisted of meltingly tender slices, but were drowning in a pool of grease (we had to lift the meat and let the excess drain away, slowly).
Better was chicken wrapped in shiso leaves, a delightful interpretation of Vietnamese bo la lot (grilled beef in ‘betel leaves’), served with plenty of mint, coriander and lettuce and a side of chilli sauce.
Mains, however, suffered from inflated prices and miniature portions. The hot stone rib eye was laughable – a munchkin-sized sponge of beef atop a soap-sized ‘hot’ plate that didn’t actually manage to ‘cook the beef to [our] liking’ – fortunately, we do like our steak still mooing, and the kitchen has since admitted to the stone not working as well as they’d hoped. Marinated quail (singular) was finger-licking good, though poorly matched with plum wine-poached nashi pear that managed to emulate the sickly taste of cotton candy.
An evening that had started on a high note with amusement and accomplished starters ended up leaving us unsated and unsatisfied, pining for some more substantial grub in a nearby Soho greasy spoon.
In December 2010 Inamo opened a second branch at the former site of St Alban restaurant, ie 4-12 Lower Regent Street, St James, SW1Y 4PE (7104 2040).
Inamo 134-136 Wardour St
- Venue phone:
020 7851 7051
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served noon-3.30pm, 6pm-midnight Mon-Sat
Tube: Tottenham Court Road tube
Meal for two with wine and service: around £70.
- 134-136 Wardour St
- 020 7851 7051
- 134-136 Wardour St