REVIEW: Tombo, Soho
WHAT? Japanese for dragonfly (denoting renewal and positive force), Tombo was London’s first authentic Japanese café & matcha bar. By that, we mean pretty much everything in here is gloriously healthy – and green.
WHERE? You can find branches in South Kensington, Soho and Fitzrovia. The latter is celebrating its first birthday with an array of great offers, including free Saké, beer or a cocktail with every main bowl ordered (w/c 9th July), free matcha ice cream all day on 18th July and £1 signature poké bowls at lunchtime on Wednesday 25th July (11.30am-3.30pm). There’s a new summer menu, too!
WHY GO? This is modern Japanese food at its best – casual, filling, healthy and delicious. By now you’ll have heard of poké, the buzzword on every foodie’s lips (it’s a bowl of fresh sushi, essentially) and this is the Japanese derivative.
We went straight in with the ‘Build Your Own Poké’ option, choosing a courgette noodle base (there’s black or white rice too) with Scottish salmon (though we *almost* went for Yellow Fin Tuna – yum), with sesame soy sauce and avocado (natch). Sides include Japanese pickles, edamame and miso soup, AKA everything you need to kid yourself you’re a clean-eating goddess (at least for one meal).
This place has its own matcha tea bar, so if you’re sick of coffee and fancy a more natural buzz, try a matcha shot or matcha latte.
Feeling decadent? The matcha dessert bar is a must, with everything from soft serve scoops to ‘Tokio Sundaes’ (infinitely Instagrammable). For us, a matcha Crosstown doughnut did the trick, filled with Tongan vanilla bean glaze, with a layer of matcha & white chocolate ganache.
If you’re winding down, you can choose from the sparkling sake and craft beer selection (though we’re partial to an Asahi) – another reason this is a great place to drop in for lunch or dinner.