Inaho, Bayswater/Notting Hill's ultimate secret Japanese restaurant, has officially made it to my Top 10 favourite eating places, people. And if Kate Moss is a fan, well so am I. This is why she and I alike, have a thing for this quirky minuscule Klein-blue-walled Japanese eatery.
1. The food is excellent. The rolls are not too perfectly rolled that you pay too much attention to the look of them and less attention to their taste. The fish is fresh and tender. The soups, tempuras and meat dishes are all butter in your mouth. I can't stress it enough. The sushi is some of the best in London.
2. The place is so tiny that it only fits about 5 tables. I like a small cozy place. It makes me feel like I've been nominated to eat there. Sometimes, if I'm in a particularly happy mood, I feel like I could be leaving with an Oscar.
3. The "open" tag on the glass door hardly ever appears. "Closed" is a word I have become more familiar with, when walking past this curious looking blue hut everyday. Actually catching it during an "Open" moment can feel even more gratifying.
4. I've mentioned the quality of the food. Let me re-emphasize how good it is. The salmon skin roll is crunchy, fluffy and just scrumptious. Fluffy. And Crunchy. And scrumptious. Already said that. Yummy.
4. There is one waitress for "all" the tables. She runs around like a little goose with her head cut off trying her best to keep everyone in the mini restaurant as happy and excited as she is. She looks like a Japanese manga cartoon character. Am I stereotyping? She's awesome.
5. Again, it's all too freaking good.
6. The room steams up from the steamers and the cooking in the kitchen. The eating area looks like the set of an old Japanese 1950s movie inside. Weird kitsch objects hanging form the ceiling, Japanese and non-Japanese. Some funky drawings also hang from an eye-squinting Japanese farming landscape wallpaper. It's all very "In the mood for love" really.
7. The poeple-watching is priceless. Neighborhooders with an edge. People like Kate moss. People who come solo. People like you and me.
8. Can't give any more reasons to go. It's too pretty for words. Too good for a long-winded description. Just go. Book a table and go. Well make sure they're open, book a table and go.
Inaho, Hereford Road, Bayswater/Notting Hill