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“Oh dear”
Review of Inaho - CLOSED

Inaho
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: Notting Hill
Reviewed 14 February 2013

So after another trip to Inaho, I begin to see why others rage.

We arrived at 7:30. Ordering was fine, food arrived and was delicious. Then came the mistake. One more portion of Tempura. 50 minutes later, with no tempura, no bill and an increasingly clientele around me, the atmosphere began to sour.

It amazes me how few restaurants understand that no matter how good their food is, bad service will always deter people from coming back. One couple next to us waited 35 minutes for the bill alone. In the 50 minutes I waited for my bill another couple didn't get a single item they'd ordered. When it finally arrived, it was wrong.

The chef is excellent and charming, but the waitress simply does not speak enough English to wait tables. This is further compounded by the fact that she does not clarify things she doesn't understand and seems to have no system regarding the delivery of food.

I was also particularly peeved at an always-included 10% service charge. Whilst not much, it is completely undeserved for the service offered. They rely on people not wanting to go through the rigmarole of trying to explain anything to the waitress by challenging it - neither the table next to me nor I could be bothered given how long everything else had taken.

To further compound things, I was left raging as a REGULAR CUSTOMER when the waitress counted out the money I had left (which more than covered the raggedly written out bill which was barely legible) and had the nerve to challenge me saying I hadn't paid enough. It utterly and completely ruined what could otherwise have been a pleasant evening.

Never again, Inaho. Sorry, but along with the chap on the table next to me and almost certainly the others in the room, I'm another lost customer.

Food: 5/5
Service: 0/5

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1  Thank toastbongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (41)
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29 - 33 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2012

I fully understand and appreciate the opinions of other reviewers below, but much of the enjoyment I get from Inaho comes from its quaintness and unpretentious atmosphere.

While service is occasionally slow I have always found it to be charming - the last time I went (last week) the waitress was heavily pregnant but cheerfully manoeuvring through the tiny gaps between the tables (discussed below) and smiling very happily. I particularly like that you get to chose your sake cup!

Atmosphere - there really isn't much atmosphere but it's like a classic Japanese sushi place. If you are fortunate enough to have made it to Sukibiyashi Jiro (the 3 star sushi Mecca in a Tokyo subway) you will know all about understated décor. As with Jiro, Inaho is very simple and very cramped (the tables are about 8 inches apart - sometimes less) but has a sort of dated quaint charm to it. I like it - others don't. I suppose it's a matter of opinion.

Food - I always have the nigiri selection (which is fabulous) and the selection of sashimi, which is also delicious. I must admit I haven't tried one of the California rolls - I was a little put off by the price and have always thought that the real stars at Inaho are the nigiri and sashimi. Nasuden-Gako (aubergine with miso on top) is utterly delicious and their hamachi is some of the tastiest in London. Oh, tempura is excellent from my experience (I go as often as I can afford) but i have heard from others that it has been soggy at times. Fortunately this hasn't happened to me, so I can only say it's excellent!

Overall - Inaho is a funny place. Quirky decor (or lack thereof) and slowish service mean that many people knock it - especially at the price - but the quality of the fish shines through every time. For 2 with sake and enough to fill us up it hits about £40 a head - which is eminently reasonable in comparison with other sushi places serving vastly inferior sushi. A winner everytime for me (and it's round the corner, so exceptionally convenient!)

[I've given service 4 star to take in the speed, but if the place isn't full it's 5 for me. Oh, book in advance - even if it's just 30 mins before as this place can fill up in a second!]

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2  Thank toastbongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Yellow tail sashimi was almost as good as it gets (something between £20 and £30 for 8 pieces)

Wine options are better than I expected (Chablis was once of them, and quality was good and at a good price - £14 half a bottle)

Spicy tuna hand roll tasty and tuna good quality. Same for tempura

If close by, I recommend!

Service, pretty good: place is very small and staff nice

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Thank Varinia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2012

Food very good quality, just no sense that we were wanted in the restaurant. Mackerel was amazing as was the aubergine in miso. Agree with other reviews here that it is quite expensive. Equally though, the price with a few beers worked out at around £40 per head which is going rate in London I suppose.

Wouldn't go back in a hurry unless the reviews here improved.

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Thank Tim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2011

The fish was definitely fresh but there is no ambiance whatsoever and prices exorbitantly expensive (17 for one sushi roll) and pretty basic options.

We wouldn't go back here.

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Thank TMR111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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