Ever since Homaro Cantu announced iNG right before Christmas, we have been unsure about what exactly the restaurant would be like. We knew it’d be “an interactive and playful dining experience,” but so is Moto. We also knew there would be origami and miracle berries, but what about the food? Last week Cantu talked about the concept with the New York Times, but that only helped to confuse us even more. No, we knew that the only way this would all begin to make sense was when we could actually walk in the door and see what hit the table. Luckily, the official menu has been released, and we were able to take some pictures last night at a sneak preview event. As we expected, it was unexpected.
The menu straddles the line between incredibly authentic Japanese food, and the mind-bending molecular gastronomy that Cantu has been exploring at Moto. For example, they make all the udon by hand in the front of the restaurant using traditional ingredients. When you walk in, it almost looks like you’ve entered a noodle shop. But there is also a “waffle” dessert made with coconut and mango sorbet.
The prices are surprisingly low, with nothing costing more than $24. Cantu also explained to us that he is setting up a system where customers pay by the hour. It'll cost $50 an hour, or $70 an hour with drinks. He told us that this allows both the customers and the restaurant to get the most out of the experience.
There is much, much more, including miracle berries, computer command centers, shocking speaker systems, and barrel aged beers. The beverage program, in particular, is pretty crazy. But for now, why don’t you take a look at the slideshow of the event and let us know what you think. Below is also the menu.
iNG Menu [PDF]