Food20th June 2015

Touch Screen Restaurant Looks Ideal for Deaf Diners

Able to reserve on line and make choices through a touch screen pad, Inamo looks very deaf friendly

by Sarah Lawrence, Editor

In this technological era, every now and again something is introduced for hearing people that is particularly useful to the Deaf. One such bit of technology has been introduced at the inamo Restaurants in Soho and St James in London. Their unique dining experience has not been designed with Deaf in mind, but I can’t wait to go there to try it out because it looks incredibly deaf friendly.

What they have at their restaurants are e-tables, a concept that seems to meet the communication needs of deaf people by putting the whole dining experience at the diner’s finger tips. 

The restaurants offer a mixed Asian menu, which have been influenced from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Korean cuisine. Their Pan-Asian flavours are used to create dishes that are both original but capture the full flavour of the area. Their mission is to provide delicious cuisine with charming and timely service in a warm and vibrant atmosphere, and from the comments from food critics, it seems they are achieving those ambitions.

But what of the technology. Well, let me deal with some old technology first. At inamo, you can book on-line, but not just through a general email enquiry, but by booking an actual table at a time and on a date that you want. Brilliant! And then the new stuff. At inamo, diners place orders from an illustrated food and drinks menu that is projected on to their table surface.

With each table having a touch screen pad, diners can scroll through everything on the menu and make their food and drink choices. The interactive table shows pictures of the dishes as well as the price so you know exactly what to expect when your food arrives. The interactive tables allow you to ask for the waiter/waitress to come to your table and you can also ask for the bill so that you are not keep waiting as you try to make eye contact in a busy environment. Power really is at your fingertips.

If it’s important to you, you can also project different pictures on your table, in effect tailoring your virtual tablecloth to your personal preference.

In case you’re getting bored or worried about the quality of the cooking, you can also link to cameras in the restaurant , so can watch your food being prepared in the kitchen. Through this approach you can set the mood, discover the local neighbourhood, and even order a taxi home. However, this is not about cutting costs or reducing staff, their dedicated staff are always on hand to help with whatever you need.

One of the things I like most, is that if you were celebrating a birthday or other special occasion, you can send photos to the restaurant beforehand, and they will programme the table to allow you display the imagery you want, making it a truly memorable occasion for your loved ones. It just sounds like great fun and all built around me, as the diner. As Jay Rayner from The Observer wrote about the restaurant, “without a doubt the most technologically advanced restaurant in the capital”.

It doesn’t stop there. If, like me, you have taken young children to a nice restaurant and wondered how to keep them entertained whilst you are ordering or waiting for food, the interactive tables provide games and other options to keep children entertained for hours. The problem I foresee, is the fight to have control over the touch pad!! 

But don’t just listen to me. This is what others think about inamo:

“What a brilliant idea. a fun, innovative concept in a new hi-tech dining experience” - this is london

“Great with children, the E-Tables will serve as hours of entertainment and your little one will never want to leave the table.” Stylenest

“This is possibly the best first date spot in London.”

“inamo is out of this world...The pan-asian food is top quality.” London Lite

“inamo boasts a completely unique and state of the art dining experience. After dinner further indulgement is to be had at the downstairs bar where an impressive array of mouth watering cocktails are to be found.” Sur la terre

“What a brilliant idea. A fun, innovative concept in a new hi-tech dining experience.” This is London

“The restaurant itself is terribly pretty, made even more so by the fact that you can customise the lights over the table, which is also how you order your food. And by golly the food is excellent!” Hermione Barnett - London Planner

Me, I can’t wait to find an excuse to visit London and to give it a try.

Article by Sarah Lawrence, Editor

posted in Deaf Lifestyle / Food

20th June 2015