We were a party of five with the majority new to Japanese cuisine, so I ordered for the group to ensure that we were able to try lots of different menu items, indeed we had a veritable feast of Japanese goodies.
We started with some Edamame and two different types of Gyôza (steamed and fried) and moved on to the Ika Kaarage, deep fried baby squid with wasabi mayo and lemon grass. This was followed by lots of lovely dishes with the highlights being the beautiful melt in your mouth Tuna Tataki, a tasty Sea Bass dish, a lovely light Prawn Tempura and much to everyone’s surprise the Scallop Sashimi. We also had a Teriyaki dish and a selection of Sushi, our favorite being the Dragon Rolls. All of this accompanied by lovely hot Saki that went down very smoothly. We also had the opportunity to try some Takara Sierra Cold Saki, an American innovation in sake brewing that is only 12% proof.
I have eaten in several Japanese restaurants over the years in Tokyo, New York, Philadelphia and London so am not a complete novice, but I would recommend that you let your waitress guide you as some items on the menu will only be available if the restaurant has managed to source suitable fresh fish. The restaurant also does set lunches and Bento Boxes which are a good introduction to Japanese food.
For ages one of my foodie friends has been trying to persuade me to join her for lunch at one of her favorite local lunch spots – Tsunami in Charlotte Street. Charlotte Street has always been a good spot for dining, with an interesting mix of restaurants ranging from Michelin starred Pied a Terre to more humble dining establishments like Thai Metro. I had booked our table the day before and it did rather look as though I had got the last one, indeed by 1.00 the place was full and buzzing with conversation. The room is very stylish and beautifully lit, I especially like the etched glass window/door area. The downside though is the room layout, it is a long narrow L shaped room and several of the tables are a bit cramped. If you are sitting near the door there is no way to avoid the draft when customers arrive/leave the restaurant. So this is possibly not the best venue when the weather gets wintry.
We shared a selection of starters and main courses, that included mixed Sashimi, Dragon Roll Sushi (Shrimp tempura wrapped in eel, avocado, cucumber and scallion) which was delicious. Nasu Goma (grilled aubergine with sesame paste). Some refreshing and beautifully presented Tuna Tartare (served in a glass of ice – pictured). Crab Tempura, Sea Bream and Rib-Eye served with exotic mushrooms and fresh truffle sauce. We also managed to find room for desserts, they included a coconut pana cota, a rather spectacular dish titled Chocolate Ball Melts – which did just that when the waitress poured the sauce over it and an Ice Cream Tempura. They also had a fairly decent list of cocktails, which we didn’t indulge in on this visit – perhaps another time. Tsunami is not cheap so it is worth looking out for Top Table deals. They also do a £15.00 set lunch that looked pretty good too.
Inamo is a rather unusual restaurant, that gives you a taste of “Living in the Future.” The main attraction is off course the rather fun interactive tables, where you can select everything you need – food, drink, table cloth! You can also view the Kitchen CAM and order a taxi. It can get expensive as everything looks so good, and there is a very interesting selection of Sake’s.
The food when it arrives (within 15 minutes of ordering) is beautifully presented and prepared.
The dishes are designed for sharing and arrive when ready, just like Wagamama – but Wagamama the Next Generation!.
The food highlights for me, were the Hamachi with soy mirin truffle, the Hot Stone Rib Eye served on a hot stone with 3 sauces, nam jim, soy and truffle, and the desserts – Macaroon and white chocolate mousse (pandan macaroon and yuzu flavoured white chocolate mousse with lemongrass and coconut sorbet, and milk chocolate sauce) and Thai Basil Pana Cotta served with coconut foam, tropical fruits, and coconut tuile.
This place defines Geek Chic. It may be a novelty, but it’s one that’s worth returning too.