My lovely parents gave Boyfriend vouchers to Inamo for his birthday, and we finally got around to going this week. He’d been once before, years ago, and still got that faraway, food-dreamy look in his eyes whenever it was mentioned. You see, the thing about Inamo is that it combines Boyfriend’s two great loves: food – in this case Oriental fusion – and technology. When you arrive at Inamo (we opted for the one in Soho over the one in St James) you are led to your table, and shown how to use the menu. That might seem unnecessary and slightly patronising (although when we went to Maze it took us half an hour to work out the menu so maybe not) until you realise that the menus aren’t paper; rather they are projected onto your table top via these enormous lights (which look sort of like they’re going to suction you up into them) and you order via a touch screen panel.
As you can imagine, I was totally cool about this and not in the least bit over-excited. I definitely did not spend the whole meal changing the virtual tablecloth.
The waiting staff bring out the food as soon as it’s ready, with the idea that you share everything. I have been sharing (stealing) everyone’s food for years, so it was nice to be in a restaurant where my sharing (stealing) habits were the norm rather than a huge social faux pas. Having said that, I fully expected Boyfriend to only order meaty dishes (sometimes I think he eats so much meat because it’s the only time he gets a reprieve from vegetarian me doing my best impression of puppy-eyes at his plate until he throws me scraps) so was pleasantly surprised when he opted for a mostly vegetarian selection.
First up were Crispy Silky Tofu (I love a good oxymoron) and Tomato and Avocado Salad. I practised my chopsticks skills on the tofu before attempting the avocado, but it was not practise enough. I’m not entirely useless with chopsticks, but neither am I proficient enough to pick up a delicate slice of avocado without inadvertently chopping it in half. I probably would have admitted defeat were I not an avocado addict and had the tomato marinade not been so fantastic: it was a mouth-watering mix of ginger, chilli, and shallots.
It was probably the longest time anyone has ever taken to eat such a small portion of food but I didn’t have to suffer the humiliation of asking for a spoon.
While I was embarrassing myself with my avocado, Boyfriend was enjoying sea bass which even I, looking down from my vegetarian moral high ground, had to admit looked delicious sat on a piece of bamboo skin. Boyfriend isn’t really bothered about appearances (insert the obvious joke here) but I always enjoy food more if the presentation is great.
Then came the main events. Udon noodles with stir fried crunchy greens in a light miso & ginger broth…
… And what I can only describe as heaven in a dish, seasonal mushrooms cooked in sake, soy, yuzu & garlic butter. I think it included shiitake, chanterelle, and enoki among others, but was too busy trying to inhale it to think to ask.
Boyfriend was a happy bunny because Inamo’s version of udon noodles in miso broth didn’t really taste very different to his. (I actually prefer his because he puts sweet potato in it, just for me. I love him.)
And I was a happy bunny because I bloomin’ love ‘shrooms.
These last two dishes were so filling that my little tummy would have been happy to just order one for dinner, so it was quite a challenge finishing everything. But I’m no quitter.
We left with a pair of enormous food babies, feeling very content indeed… until we had to run for our train. Valuable life lesson: never over-eat when public transport is involved. I spent the whole journey home clutching my stomach and whimpering. But for those mushrooms, it was worth it.