Inamo St James, London – Review

`Sci-fi sushi` – it was only a matter of time before this food trend emerged on the London restaurant scene, and why ever not?

There`s something deliciously odd about nibbling on small squares of raw fish for supper and it`s the perfect cuisine to accompany an experimental dining experience. So last week I shuffled off to sample some exotic edibles in the innovative Inamo St James, a futuristic response to Japanese fine dining just off Regent street.


It`s USP is the furniture`s gadget wizardry, this is the only place I`ve ever accessed a control panel on my table top to order a drink.

Here`s how it works; hidden next to your chopsticks is a touch sensitive screen displaying small, large and side dishes. Scroll along each category and you`ll find not only a description but also a photograph too, very useful when trying to differentiate your sashimi from your endame…

Each confirmed order takes between 10-15 mins to arrive, so you can graze at a leisurely pace without pestering the waiter every five mins for extra rice or find yourself getting dizzy with eyes glued to the usual sushi conveyor belt.

Portions are typically Japanese ( ie small) and the quality is high so keep and eye on your electronic basket, it`s easy to keep notching up more plates and therefore your bill without noticing. For the Sushi novice it`s worth chatting to the staff on stand by, they know their menu inside and out and can help pick dishes to suit your tastes.

If there is a big group of you the process is especially easy, with each person ordering 3-4 dishes you`ll get to sample an array of unusual bites without feeling overwhelmed. Certainly the young trendy crowd nearby me seemed to have the ordering down to a fine art and had a table over loaded with fabulous looking dishes.


Personally I`d recommend the new seared black bean tuna black bean tuna coated in wasabi served on a pinch of pickled mouli with cucumber miso dressing. Incredible.

My dining companion had heartier tastes and is apparently `still dreaming about the spiced pork belly that came served on ginger, spring onions, with a `fuji apple sauce and leek wool.` Impressive stuff. There are lots of healthy options too if you`re watching your diet, I loved the new vegetable temaki, very simple- just steamed broccoli, asparagus and roast peppers wrapped in nori and served with wasabi soy.

Rather charmingly you can also alter your tables` `screen saver` as you dine, so if a wallpaper of whirpools or sun drenched beaches isn`t to your taste you can switch to a bright pink orchid or some tasteful autumn leaves. (This gets especially amusing after several cocktails where the fight for the right to lead the `mood` can get rather serious!).

I confess I loved every minute of my Inamo visit. It`s sexy and swanky in the way that only cocktails and sushi can be- but it`s fun too. The crowd is a hip, smart casual lot hanging out somewhere cool after work where they can guarantee delicious food and drink with some extra factor thrown in for good measure.

I hope Inamo wins repeat business from its visitors after the novelty factor wears off, it really does deserve it. I`ll definitely be returning, there are still several hundred screen saver/sushi combinations I`ve yet to work my way through.

Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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