Nestled in the heart of South Kensington is a tiny gem of a restaurant, an authentic Japanese café and delicatessen promoting fresh produce and healthy eating named Tombo.
Let’s start with the tea. If you love tea, namely Japanese then the selection at Tombo will turn you into a connoisseur. Specialising in matcha green tea which is traditionally known for being high in antioxidants and with metabolism boosting properties, Tombo’s import is carefully sourced from the foot hills of Mt. Fuji in Shizuoka Japan, famous its unique climate and soil.
Enjoy a pot as part of an afternoon of traditional English-style high tea with a Japanese twist, pair it with a sweet from the delicatessen, or as an accompaniment to a fresh healthy main meal. The quality is instantly recognisable.
From the outside Tombo looks like a tiny café with only a few seats and a deli area serving a selection of sweets, savoury dishes and sushi to eat in or takeaway. However upon entering a set of stairs leads into a sophisticated upper dining area with warming secluded ambience.
Being a huge fan of all things Japanese, especially sushi, what stands out most when ordering the cuisine is freshness of fish. That part is executed perfectly as we discovered when our table was soon filled with chilled, sweet smelling sushi of the freshest kind, served now in a new favourite way for me, in perfect mouth sized round rice balls (as opposed to the well-known rectangular version).
Made with nutritional pink rice, the temari salmon and prawn set will get the taste buds singing when dipped into wasabi and soy, filling you with a feeling of goodness. Next we tried the salmon Bento Box served with a trio of delicious fresh salads, followed by a plate of soy drenched tofu.
Chicken katsu maki sushi roll with pink rice hugging tasty crumbed chicken proved to be a great option for those who enjoy Japanese flavours but are shy of fish. A prawn temaki made with avocado, French beans and pink rice beautifully wrapped in seaweed was delish, but my absolute favourite flavour of the evening was ‘salad of the day’, a mixture of dark seaweed, beans and sesame which could seriously be eaten by the bucket-load.
Every dish was neat and carefully presented, our dining experience made all the more better finished off with a Japanese matcha cocktail and tiramisu, all arriving green, the colour of goodness! Those lucky locals of Kensington have me green-eyed with envy. I wish upon the non-existent stars of the foggy London night sky that there were a branch in the East of town.
29 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2HQ
020 7589 0018
Written by Justina Terese, Food Writer and Recipe Developer www.foodforaking.com