Poké at Tombo, Soho
|Tombe Poke & Matcha Bar, Soho|
It's the newest food craze to hit town... Poké!
What on earth is that, you might ask? Having originated in Hawaii, you can think of poké as a kind of 'deconstructed sushi'. Why? Well, generally it involves raw fish, rice, sauces and toppings, all combined in an easy to eat bowl - apparently bowls are the new plates?!
Light and healthy, yet substantial enough to be consumed as a main meal, it fills that middle ground between the previous 'make your own' options - where your choices were generally limited to salad bowls (think Chop'd or Vital Ingredient), or the more calorie-laden offerings like Chipotle. Poké bowls have found their niche: they're flavourful, high in protein, and don't feel like "rabbit food", but are still a nutritious option!
So you can imagine why it didn't take long for this healthy, easy dining option to spread across the states and make it over to London. And, having just opened a second outlet in Soho, Tombo Poké & Matcha Bar are leading the revolution!
|Tempting us in...|
Visiting one Saturday evening, we were greeted as we entered and shown to our table. Admittedly, it was a tad cramped for two people (especially when our food began to come out), however there is plenty additional seating in the basement floor, which was about to be closed off as we arrived. Not that we minded, being upstairs meant we had full view of the menus, and more time to make our choice!
|Ground floor area|
|Our table upstairs|
So, when it came to placing our order, we had a lot to contemplate! Whilst I love the idea of being able to mix and match exactly how I like it, Andrew wasn't too sure. Typical guy, having so many options makes it too complicated, but no need to worry, as there a menu of 6 already made up 'Signature Poke' bowls to choose from...
Deciding on the Teriyaki Chicken Poke, his pre-decided combination of Teriyaki Chicken and Sauce, topped with Spring Onion and Sesame Seeds, with a base of Black & White Rice (that part he had to choose!), seemed to be a winner!
And of course, with the highly acclaimed Matcha Bar, we couldn't not try out one of the teas. Certainly better than the Green Pigs powder that you add to water (I really do question if it's worth the price tag!), it was drinkable, but had a distinctive taste that I don't know if I'm quite used to yet. Having said that, being so rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants, it's certainly something I'm willing to become accustomed to!
|Daruma doll as our table number <3 So cute!|
Back to the main, I, of course, went for the 'Build Your Own' option. Raw Tuna (always my favorite - you can never go back to tinned), in Wasabi Soy sauce (I checked it wasn't too spicy first), with a 'mix in' of Spring Onion, topped with Crispy Shallots, Nori and a 'Premium Topping' of Salmon Caviar (more out of curiosity than anything else!). With the option to have it served on Black & White rice, or Courgette Noodles, I went for the latter to ensure I left saved some room for the delicious deserts we spotted in front of us!
|My self constructed Poke bowl|
|Dinner is served!|
And I'm so glad I did! Aside from the signature Matcha Soft Scoop (which was a definite on our order!), there was also a range of Matcha Tart, Matcha Brownies, Matcha Tiramisu... it makes it healthy if there's matcha in it, right?!
|Temptation kicks in!|
However, the one we HAD to go for was the Matcha Doughnut, a limited edition collabroation between Tombo and London's Infamous CrossTown Doughnuts. Adding Tombo's matcha powder to their signature Vanilla bean glaze, and smothering it all over a matcha cake dough ring filled with a layer of matcha and white chocolate ganache, how we could say no?!
Ordering one of each and sharing, we had a bit of green matcha explosion going on! Creamy, thick, and not too sweet, it was actually the Matcha Soft Serve that stole the show....no wonder it's their signature desert!
|Desert for 2 :)|
Overall, I would highly recommend giving Tombo a visit - the quintessential poke experience is one everyone should have! Whilst we went for an evening meal, I would recommend it as more of a casual dining establishment than an actual restaurant, however this is reflected in the very reasonable prices. With Poke Bowls beginning at £4.50, when you think of the price of a few rolls of sushi, it's fantastic value!
|W1 or SW7 - take your pick!|
With exciting projects coming over the next couple of months (they're currently experimenting with warming Winter bowls using Japanese tea, as well as a new Matcha Chai for the Autumn Menu), I certainly hope to be back soon!