Matcha, to most people, is just green tea. Over the past couple of month’s it has been one of those ingredients which has just exploded over the London food and drink scene – who doesn’t love a matcha latte? Their sweet, creamy and healthy, and they’re the perfect alternative to my morning coffee. In my bid to move away from the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes from Starbucks I’ve found some of the best matcha lattes in London.
EC1 Coffee House
I’ve been known to take a detour on my way to work and get off the tube a stop early to get my matcha fix from here. It’s a tiny space with a few seats but it’s the perfect spot to grab a coffee to go from.
Look Mum, No Hands
I love the concept of this cafe – it’s basically a cycling shop with amazing coffee and a great selection of beers. I love coming here in my lunch hour, loosing myself in a good book and sipping on a creamy matcha latte.
If you’ve never had matcha before, Notes should be the first place to try it. Their lattes are fairly sweet – which is why it’s the perfect place for your first taste.
If you can’t already tell, I seriously love Grind. They’ve only just started doing matcha lattes and they’re nailing it. I can’t wait for them to open up their Clerkenwell branch as it’s literally just up the road from where I work.
Now no London matcha post can be written without mentioning Tombo. They have both a Japanese Cafe and Deli in Chelsea, and a Poké Bar in SoHo. It’s not only matcha lattes you can get here – try their matcha soft serve, matcha brownies and matcha cheesecake!
A while ago I visited Tombo in South Kensington (and you can read my review here). I’ve been eagerly awaiting for their second branch in Soho to open.
It’s a Poké and Matcha Bar – they’ve combined two of my favourite things so stepping into their cafe last week was like stepping into a little piece of paradise.
To get you up to speed, poké is a raw fish salad from Hawaii and it’s being described like sushi in a bowl. The bar serves a range of poké made from salmon, tuna, prawn, chicken, avocado, and edamame, served over black and white rice or courgette noodles. You can order straight from the menu or customise it.
I opted for their Salmon Avo Lux bowl with rice, and Scott went for Chicken Teriyaki with Courgette Noodles – both delicious! It’s the perfect place to grab a healthy lunch.
If you want to add a hint of naughtiness they also offer matcha brownies, matcha soft serve, and other matcha themed desserts.
Tombo, 28 D’Arblay St, London W1F 8EW
Japanese food is definitely one of my favourite cuisines, so when Serena presented me with the opportunity presented to visit Tombo, I jumped at the chance.
It’s situated in South Kensington and tucked away from the hustle and bustle from the tube station. It labels itself as ‘London’s first authentic Japanese cafe and delicatessen’ and offers a Japanese twist on traditional European delicatessen dishes (and the majority have the addition of Matcha). Tombo is incredibility sleek and welcoming, and you can choose to either sit by the large front window and watch the world go by, or dine in the more relaxed restaurant at the rear of the cafe.
They pride themselves on creating healthy dishes using top quality ingredients. They do this through their healthy six which comprises of seaweed, miso, tofu, multigrain rice, seasame seeds and matcha. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t want to feel guilty for over-indulging in this food paradise.
You can’t really go wrong with what you order. Serena ordered a eclectic mix of salmon avocado maki, prawn tempura temaki, and a hijiki seaweed salad, whereas I went for the salmon sashimi don. My dish was served in a bowl and at the bottom was a combined of rice and mixed black rice, and then it was topped with salmon sashimi, salmon tartare, salmon roe and avocado. We washed our dishes down with a iced matcha latte.
Now you can’t go to Tombo and not get desert – their menu is an incredible, and it’s the sort of the menu which makes it hard to decide what to have. We ended up going to the Matcha soft-serve and the flavours were perfect with an earthy-sweetness. If you ever visit Tombo, make sure you leave room for pudding because it’s definitely a highlight.
I was overjoyed when I discovered a second Tombo is opening in Soho this summer as I no longer have to trek to the other side of London to get my matcha fix.
Tombo, 29 Thurloe Pl, London SW7 2HQ, nearest tube South Kensington