Reviews, West


Armed with a rebrand, table service and a new twist on afternoon tea, Tombo in South Kensington may just be your new Japanese chill spot.



The front half of Tombo houses a deli style counter, high end tea leaves for sale and seductively minimal homeware. The back now homes cafe seating forming an intimate dining room. In their previous life Tombo simply served at the counter and patrons took a seat if they wished to dine in – now, however, you are guided to your seat and given table service which is all the more pleasurable; you come, relax, drink hot green tea and relax amongst stylish diners, young families and locals.


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


I think table service suits Japanese food better as you inevitably have questions about the menu. The waiting staff at Tombo were great at answering our questions and guided us through the menu with ease. Their recommendation of the Hijiki seaweed salad was a great choice  that we ordinarily may not have chosen; a mixture of seaweed, edamame beans and other vegetables that, personally, I preferred way more than your typical salty takeaway seaweed. Much healthier too! which runs concurrent with Tombo’s  ‘Healthy 6’



Their afternoon tea, at £12.90 per person, would definitely cover you for a relaxed sunday lunch with friends – accompanied by a choice of sparkling sake or Hot green tea. Kicking off with the sushi; a mix of maki rolls and temari. We couldn’t fault them – we wanted more! So delicious! And the desserts to finish we perfectly light and fluffy, consisting of matcha gateau, azuki + white chocolate gateau and a couple of macaroons.

The Temari set was a delicious piece of minimal gluten free artwork and at £6.85 a complete bargain – you’d pay more for a droopy box grabbed on the go from Yo! Sushi and get half the satisfaction!


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


We also, with very little space left in our stomachs, tackled their Don bowls. The chicken teriyaki is full of flavour and sits in a bowl of fluffy multigrain rice, whilst the miso salmon, marinated in miso for 48 hours, is sooo moist and succulent. The dishes were full of flavour – which can so often be lacking in many asian cafes where you’re paying so little and getting such a prompt service. The dining room isn’t too big so we were definitely aware of how quickly other diners received their dishes and no one seemed to have to wait very long, even when they were near capacity (note that this was a rainy sunday afternoon and certainly not a quiet time for Tombo!)


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


The Teas followed suit and were full of flavours. So much so we had to buy some on our way out to take home! The Bonsai tea had a rich nutty flavour that, for my partner who doesn’t like anything nut related, went down a treat! The Sakura tea was milder but sweeter.

For those that dare not venture westward, we were told that Tombo are looking at a pop up or some kind of placement to test the waters in East London – which i really hope they do! It’s a family run establishment that could roll out to several more venues with ease. 


You Might Also Like