Inamo, Camden, London
With the smorgasbord that is Camden Lock market, you'd be forgiven for thinking NW1 was saturated for good food, but there's one restaurant you need on your radar.
Asian restaurant Inamo has migrated north and added a new location at Mornington Crescent to its portfolio already including Soho and Covent Garden. Influenced by the flavours and dishes of Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and beyond, the food is great, but that isn't the best part of it...
The chain is passionate about creating a point of difference delivering an experience for the diner that brings a sense of fun to add to the flavour, and so with the help of sister company Ordamo, they were the first to launch an interactive ordering system.
Trust me, it's fun. Through an overhead projector, diners can set the table ambience by changing the background, see an illustrated food and drink menu on the table, check out what's going on in the kitchen via Chef Cam and play games while they wait. Not just for kids - we were a bit gutted that our food arrived so quickly, to be honest.
About the food; it's tough to choose - it was all delicious. Fresh, sharp flavour pairings, seriously moreish sauces - your eyes WILL be bigger than your stomach.
Though the extensive sushi offering looked pretty divine, we went for a selection of Asian tapas. The chicken satay was succulent and juicy, with a fantastically fresh peanut sauce (sounds obvious but I've tried some really bad ones that tasted like they came from a can). We tried the beef tataki on the waitress' recommendation, a classic Japanese dish of rare British rib-eye steeped in ginger and ponzu sauce - so melt-in-the-mouth delicious we easily could have devoured two!
The pork Char Sui Buns were perfectly fluffy, while the sticky Korean Chicken Wings in a tangy sauce came sprinkled with dessicated coconut - a tasty touch that added an extra layer of flavour. I'm a big fan of the Chicken Karaage, marinated in ginger, garlic, soy fried & served with teriyaki. In fact, the only thing that didn't work for me was the Baby Crispy Seaweed, baby tiger prawns and squids in Japanese tempura that had a little too much batter and not much flavour.
Make sure you hit up the cocktail list as well; I can heartily recommend the Lychee Martini - Absolut vodka shaken with fresh lime juice, lychee liqueur & juice.
There's also a rather lovely looking terrace to enjoy on a lovely summer's day.
For delicious, fuss-free Asian cuisine, Inamo's the one.
Food and drink: ★★★★★
Staff attentiveness/friendliness: ★★★★★
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