Reviewed by Ruman
After a week full of Parisian treats, we returned to London and back to the office to get through a mountain of work. Making the return to the office bearable was an invite from the Tombo Poke team in Fitzrovia – London’s first poké and matcha bar.
The restaurant seems to be popular with those working nearby and filled up pretty quickly. The waitress explained the menu and concept to us and in case you’re wondering, ‘Poké’ is pronounced ‘Poh-Kay’ – we checked 😉
Zohra ordered one of the Signature Poké bowls – Hawaiian style sushi bowls with sliced raw fish. Tombo Poké serve Japanese inspired bowls which come with mizuna salad, edamame, spring onion, sliced radish and cucumber. Zohra’s Kyoto Kaisen bowl was filled with salmon and tuna sashimi as well as citrus ponzu, avocado and crispy shallots. They have a range of bowls as well as an option to build your own bowl where you choose a base, a main and a sauce. Additionally, you can choose from a range of toppings ranging from 30p to £1 each. Zohra commented that the sashimi in the bowl was very fresh and melted in her mouth. Having tried sashimi here for the first time, I can agree that it was quite a pleasant experience. I’m not a huge sushi eater but I really enjoyed the flavours in the bowl. The bowl itself was good value for money given the portion and quality of the ingredients. Within ten minutes of being served our food, we had four different service staff check on us – sounds like a lot but it was friendly and not intrusive or over the top.
Tombo Poké now serve halal chicken and so I opted for one of the hot donburi rice bowls. According to their menu, donburi is a traditional Japanese dish – a warm bowl of rice topped with a heart portion of fish, meat or vegetables. I chose the Teriyaki Chicken Don (£7.95) with the addition of Japanese Pickles (£0.90). The bowl consisted of a baked chicken thigh in a teriyaki sauce, mizuna salad and sesame seeds served on black and white rice. You can also add a free range poached egg for £1.70 – I chose not to on this occasion. I wasn’t a huge fan of this dish. There was something about the flavour of the chicken itself that I didn’t like. Though I enjoyed the addition of the teriyaki sauce, it’s possible that I didn’t like the chicken because it was baked. I think I prefer grilled or pan-fried chicken. The Japanese pickles were a great addition to the dish, adding a bit of a tang to the dish.
As London’s first matcha bar, Tombo Poké has a variety of matcha infused desserts on offer including sundaes, cakes and brownies. Zohra tried the Matcha Crosstown Doughnut. We’re already fans of Crosstown doughnuts so we knew this would be something that would taste great and we weren’t wrong. The doughnut wasn’t sweet which is great if you prefer savoury tones like Zohra does.
I went for something a bit sweeter with the Purple Potato & Matcha Swiss Roll. This was a really soft swiss roll with good textures and flavour. The purple potato added a sweetness which was balanced out by the savoury flavour from the matcha.
To wash down our desserts we went for the Zen tea and Jasmine tea. The Zen was a classic sencha green tea while the Jasmine was a hand rolled tea. All of the teas at Tombo Poké are available hot or iced – given the weather in London we chose to have ours served hot. These were the perfect accompaniment to the desserts and a great, relaxing way to round off the meal.
Overall, we would recommend Tombo Poké to anyone working in the area if you’re looking for a quick bite. The food is served pretty quick and the service is attentive and friendly. We’d recommend one of the Poké bowls! They also have a similar site in Soho as well as a restaurant in South Kensington which you can check out.
Value for money: 7/10 (£30.75 total bill excluding service charge // £15.38pp – we received a complimentary meal)
Halal Status: Chicken served is halal.
Address: 4 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2HZ
Nearest stations: Tottenham Court Road (Central, Northern lines)
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Ruman eats a brownie a day, but only with coffee. She struggles to eat more than 2/3 of an adult size portion of food, but always has room for dessert. When not exploring restaurants, galleries or cities around the world, Ruman is a Marketing Ninja at Halal Gems, where she also holds the title of Chief Chocolate Officer.
Forever consumed by a mixture of wanderlust and FOMO, her interests include all things social media, travel, charity, photography and food.
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Reviewed by Ruman