If you're looking for somewhere unique and different for afternoon tea, be sure to stop by Tombo Poke & Matcha Bar. Tucked away in D'Arblay Street, which is just off Oxford Street, Tombo is easily missed by many passerbys. However, it's definitely worth the visit, especially for the café's delicious selection of cakes and hot drinks. Tombo also offers poke, which can be described as a deconstructed sushi dish that originated in Hawaii and was soon incorporated into Asian dishes.
When you walk into Tombo, you will feel welcome straightaway. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. There are a couple of tables at the front of the café, as well as a more cosy seating area downstairs, so you're split for choice. You order from the counter, which has a range of desserts on display. These include dorayaki, matcha cheesecake and ice cream. The cakes change everyday, but there is one thing that stays the same - they all contain matcha.
On my first visit to Tombo, I decided to keep things simple and have the matcha shortcake. I'd just come from lunch and didn't want anything too heavy. As I'd never had matcha before, I was excited to try this new delicacy that has received so much hype recently. The cake was much better than I'd expected - I'd heard that matcha is quite bitter so I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. The cake was deliciously moist and creamy, with a vibrant green sponge. Although I could taste the matcha, it was very subtle and strawberry was the most powerful flavour.
When I returned to Tombo a month later, I opted for the Matcha Apple and Ginger Juice. Unfortunately, as it was late afternoon on a Saturday, there weren't many cakes available and the café was completely packed - it took a while to find a table and even longer to get my drink. Luckily, the drink was worth the wait. It was very refreshing, and just what I needed after a long day working in Central London. It only had a hint of ginger and matcha, so it wasn't too strong. However, it did come with ice, which is a bit unnecessary at this time of year.