Last Thursday I attended a Sushi master class over at Inamo St James; a traditional Japanese restaurant with a modern twist founded by two Oxford University students. The evening also involved a Sake tasting sessions along with dinner. More after the break
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To kick things off we tried a couple of drinks at the Inamo bar, where we picked through the cocktail menu and I chose to keep it safe with a Sake Mojito. The restaurant has a very innovative vibe, quite a dark atmosphere but the lighting from its tables glow which gives the venue a swanky look.
We went through to the Kitchen, behind the scenes where all the real action is happening. We were given a very extensive master class on how to make grade A renditions of traditional Japanese sushi, Sashimi and Californian Rolls. Have to say it was really interesting watching Sushi being made and it was a lot of fun being in the kitchen and attempting to make our own. I like to think that I created an alternative interpretation of Japanese cuisine!! Here are some photos from the tutorial along with the finished product of my Californian Rolls. I think it’s safe to say I’m feeling confident for a little fine dining at home after this!
We then went back into the restaurant for a Sake tasting. Now I had only ever had one type of Sake before and it had a very harsh base but this tasting consisted of 4 different Sake’s. We drank from a traditional Japanese Masu which would be the square object in the photo. The tasting was led by Akashi Tai and to start with we drank Junmai daiginjo; a medium strength sake with a woody flavour much like sherry. I really enjoyed the first one, however for the second tasting we drank it warm, which I hated! It didn’t agree with my stomach, personally I prefer sake regular temperature.
The next sake: Genmai Akashi-tai 2002, looked like Courvoisier but tasted far from it, with an enticing scent and a very strong taste, I wasn’t feeling this one either. The final sake: Shiraume Ginjo Umeshu was great; quite a sweet one made with plum… my taste buds declared this one a winner. Check out some photos from the sake tasting.
Next we were seated at our table, now in Inamo you are given complete freedom to order your own food and drink at whatever time you like. Above each table is a projector that projects a browser onto the table, the browser is responsive to touch which allows you to look through Inamo’s menu from starters to deserts to cocktails and wines. Whilst browsing the menu, if you hover over each selection it will display an image of the dish/drink onto your plate! It’s just pure genius. In terms of service, I was really impressed also- food is prepared relatively quick quickly and the staff are helpful. The food is amazing to say the least, favourite dishes included the Vegetable Curry (which is rare for me as I am a eat lover), the Duck Pancakes and the Sashimi Platter. I was really impressed with everything but be warned Inamo is quite pricey, however the term “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here. Please have a look at the photos from the dinner and be sure to check out Inamo St James just on Regent Street on pay day :D