Inamo St James Reviews; London, UK
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Inamo St James, London

4-12 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4PE, UK
Inamo St James Review
5 Star Rating
14 October 2013Inamo St James
Tags: London, UK, Japanese reviewsThe Bill: £73 per head

Inamo St James restaurant in Lower Regent Street, London continues the trend of “fusion” food, where dishes of different cultures clash in a cacophony of taste, and hopefully produce something edible for us to eat. There are a couple of Inamo’s in the city, there is also one in Wardour Street, Soho.

Inamo St James, is a modern eatery opened in December 2010. It combines a bar and restaurant and has a lot to live up to. Mayfair has its fair share of places to eat and drink, so this has to be truly good to survive for very long here.

The building is modern, has a bar on one side, two private dining rooms, a sushi bar and a dining room. The décor is modern, the furniture wooden, stark but comfortable. The most notable thing about this restaurant is the way you order the food.

"Inamo delivers on all its promises."

Inamo uses a so-called “E-table” system which is projected from the ceiling onto the table. You move a mouse cursor with your finger on the table surface to make a selection. You can also select from a range or tablecloth patterns which can be projected onto the table while you eat.

The neatest thing about these tables is the “chef cam.” This accesses a webcam in the kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work cooking your meal. This is a version of the chefs table, only it makes it available to all. This is a nice gimmick, it keeps the kitchen on their toes, and gives diners confidence that their food is going to be high quality.

The menu is a combination of Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Thai. It seems to combine the best of each into a wide range of dishes. There is a lot of menu to go through, so it’s just as well you can take your time without a waiter hovering around.

We began with a seafood gyoza and dragon roll. The gyoza are dumplings, served with a yuzu dressing. They are light and tasty and a great way to start a meal. The dragon roll is tiger prawns and crab salad wrapped in mango and avocado with teriyaki dressing. This was simple delicious. There is no other word for it.

Still on starters, we then ordered a tomato and avocado salad and some pork ribs. The salad consisted of cherry tomatoes with ginger, chilli and shallot dressing, with an avocado flower on top. It was light, tasty and the ginger was perfect for it.

The pork ribs were baby ones, braised in an “XO sauce” with pea sauce. These were juicy, and a bit of decadence in an otherwise light but flavoursome meal.

Main course was seafood curry and duck pancakes. We also had sides of rice and spicy aubergine. The seafood curry was something new to me, I must admit to being a little hesitant, but I needn’t have worried. It was a coconut based curry cause with shrimp, salmon, mussels, clams, tiger prawn okra, and potato. It was light, sweet, with enough spice to make it interesting. Lovely.

The duck pancakes were perfect too. The duck was crispy with just the right amount of fat, and spice. The pancakes were light, and see-through, and the hoi-sin was delightful. It also came with a side-salad, which was dwarfed by the dish.

For dessert, we had macaroon mousse with chocolate and vanilla crème brulee. The macaroon was fresh and had a lovely taste of almond. The white chocolate mousse was light and very moorish. Crème brulee wasn’t something we expected to see on an Asian menu, but it was light, with a perfectly crisped top. An ideal way to end an excellent meal.

Inamo delivers on all its promises. The place is great, the smart tables are cool, but most importantly, the food was excellent.

Photos courtesy of Inamo St James

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