Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of popping into Soho after work for dinner with Michelle. We headed to a new spot that’s not long opened on D’Arblay Street, called Tombo. With a sister restaurant in South Kensington, specialising in sushi and Japanese style tapas, this new venture concentrates on Poke and matcha.
Inspired by trips to New York and Tokyo, Tombo is Soho’s first Poke bar. A Poke bowl is essentially a sushi bowl – a fuss free way of eating. Layered with either rice or courgetti plus a range of different meats, fish and vegetables, the menu is small but perfectly formed. There are 6 signature flavours available including Spicy Mayo Prawn, which Michelle tried, and Teriyaki Chicken Poke, which I opted for. We thoroughly enjoyed both of these, tasting a little of each, but there are also salmon, tuna and vegetarian options available. Plus, if you’re feel adventurous, you can also make your own! I have a tendency to go a little wild if left to my own devices, as I just want to try everything, so instead I opted for a signature bowl, as I figure they have mastered the best mix of ingredients.
Each Poke bowl comes in a small or regular size. For lunch I would suggest a small as I found the regular very filling. Although that could’ve been down to the delicious matcha latte that we both chose. Tombo specialise in matcha and all of the staff are more than willing to help you with your choices. Only having had traditional hot matcha tea in China before, I was keen to learn more about matcha and David, the general manager of Tombo, was more than happy to give us a brief history. After much consideration we decided on our hot matcha lattes and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my choice. The warm matcha mixed with whole milk was deliciously creamy but not too sweet. Michelle, who is more experienced in the matcha department than myself, said this was one of (if not the) best she’d ever tried!
After a little break, catching up and letting our food go down, there was no way we could leave without trying a matcha soft serve! I had seen these all over their Instagram account prior to dining and I really wanted to try one. I chose the classic matcha soft serve in a cone, whilst Michelle opted for something more dignified (and fitting considering the mountain we had just ate and drank). She chose the ‘Monako’ which is basically a small scoop of matcha with red bean paste, brownie and biscuit.
As full as I was, I got that winning Instagram snap, and enjoyed my matcha soft serve. It’s hard to explain the taste, it’s creamy and kind of sweet but not too sweet. It has a sort of savoury tinge to it and although it’s indulgent it’s not too heavy. It’s very hard to describe. Basically you have to try one for yourself! But from speaking to friends who have had matcha ice-cream before they’ve often said it was too sweet for them, whereas I didn’t find Tombo’s particularly sweet so it wasn’t sickly and was more manageable. Another good sign perhaps that Tombo know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to matcha.