Technology influences every aspect of our lives from managing your home’s central heating to Alexa reminding us to put toilet roll on our shopping list. In more recent years’ it has made its way into the hospitality industry with ‘pay at table’ mobile payment and never having to queue at a busy bar again thanks to Weatherspoon’s app launch.
One group that’s taken it a step further and been described as having the ‘most technologically progressive restaurants in London ‘ is Inamo, with sites in Soho, Camden and Covent Garden. Despite the first opening in 2008, foodservice has been slow on the uptake and Inamo remains a unique dining experience of food and tech even today.
Earlier this month I headed to the Covent Garden site with fellow foodie and Eat Out Magazine Editor, Maria Bracken to experience the Asian fusion restaurant for myself. We were shown to our table and taken through how to order our food and drink on an iPad, with the waitress reassuring us that a member of the team is on hand to help if we get stuck.
Low lit, Inamo has an overhead projection system and interactive touch panel on the table where you can choose your table theme – we went for gingham – play games and even watch a live feed from the kitchen. So space-age is the set up, it proved a distraction and after half an hour a member of the team came over to our table to see if we were having problems using the iPad.
On the menu you have a choice of Asian tapas, sushi, soups and classics such as crispy duck and Wagyu burgers, we opted to share a selection of small dishes including Thai Fish cakes, Vegetable Spring Rolls and Char Siu Buns – delicious steamed BBQ pork buns that come with a spicy dip. As well as an incredible menu, Inamo also boasts tempting cocktails with Wasabi Martinis and Asian Mary that complement the food beautifully and were expertly made.
The dishes arrive individually, as and when they’re ready. It’s a leisurely, unstructured way of eating rather than the traditional starter, main and dessert. Diners are able to enjoy some great food, chat and then order again when they’re ready to sample more of the culinary delights Inamo has to offer.
Despite all the technology at the heart of the Inamo is a friendly and engaging team who took their time to explain everything, make sure we were happy but also left us to enjoy what was a really fun experience.
Less than a year ago Inamo opened its Camden restaurant, even more advanced than its sister sites. Gone are the iPads in favour of touch screen tables that you can customise by sending pictures prior to eating, illuminated toilets and even more images projected around the restaurant – it’s definitely on my list!
If you’ve eaten at Inamo or have any recommendations for other food-tech restaurants get in touch by tweeting @jellybeanagency