Restaurant review: Tombo poké and matcha bar – London

Tombo Poké & Match Bar green tea Soho
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Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.
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Expanding from their original South Kensington branch, the Tombo team have launched Tombo Poké & Matcha Bar in the heart of Soho, where they focus on fuss-free sushi bowls and matcha green tea.

Tombo Poké

For a mid-week supper we explored the signature and customisable Poké (sushi) bowls. Each has a base of either courgette or rice, and you can choose from tuna, salmon or teriyaki chicken with additions including edamame, nori or avocado, and choose the size. We started with a miso soup and some hot sake to warm us up from the chill of the outside world.

We chose a selection of small bowls to share including the Kaisen Poké (with salmon, tuna, ponzu, edamame, avocado and nori on a bed of rice), Salmon Avo Lux (with salmon, wasabi soy, edamame, avocado, salmon roe and nori on a bed of rice), Teriyaki chicken (chicken in a teriyaki sauce with spring onions and sesame seeds on a bed of rice) and a Veggie Poké (with organic tofu, matcha miso sauce, avocado, edamame and sesame seeds on a bed of courgette). Four small bowls was a comfortable amount to share between 2 people. The quality of the fresh ingredients (e.g. fresh salmon) was evident and all the bowls we tasted were fresh, bright and flavourful.

Tombo Matcha

Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown green tea, using shade-grown leaves from the top of the bush, picked at specific times for harvest, and have the veins removed. Tombo launched the first matcha bar in London, so of course we sampled the matcha menu with a Machiato, a matcha equivalent of a macchiato. Interestingly Tombo use organic almond milk with all their drinks, both for taste and health benefits. The drink was smooth (confirming the quality of the matcha used) and well presented.

If you’re not used to matcha or green tea, it is an unusual and somewhat acquired taste, but a drink that is said to have to considerable health benefits. The bar offers information about the health benefits of drinking matcha, which include:

  • High in antioxidants – 10 times the quantity of antioxidants than a regular cup of green tea;
  • Boosts immune system & fights infection – high levels of Catechin (EGCg);
  • Contains Theanine – for alertness and sustained focus;
  • Metabolism booster – a great addition to a diet, and as part of a pre- or post-workout drink;
  • Detoxifier – high levels of chlorophyll can help increase the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to cells in the body.

A range of loose leaf teas are also available for those who are not a fan of the matcha drink.

Tombo matcha dessert

Tombo offer a range of matcha-themed desserts including ice creams, tarts and cheesecakes. We tried the Matcha Tokio Sundae (£6) and it’s smaller cousin, the Matcha Monika (£4.60) as an additional matcha fix in the form of a sweet treat. The former has a crunchy granola surprise awaiting you at the bottom of the smooth ice cream. We were very pleased to see that the inclusion of red bean paste – one of favourite Asian flavours.

Tombo Poké & Match Bar green tea Soho

Overall

Tombo Poké & Matcha Bar may appear small from the outside but there is additional seating downstairs. The venue was quiet on a Monday evening, so there was no issue in choosing the best seats. Expect to pay about £15 for your Poké, dessert and matcha drink. Service was polite and we didn’t have to wait more than about 10 minutes for our food to arrive. If you’re visiting Soho and in need of a matcha fix (to either have in or take away), we recommend visiting Tombo Poké & Matcha Bar.

Tombo Poké & Matcha Bar is located at 28 D’Arblay Street, London, W1F 8EW.

For more information visit tombopoke.com or call 020 7734 1333.

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