Tombo, South Kensington

Posted on August 26, 2010


Japanese deli and café, Food 3/5, Price £5-£10, Tombo website

Tombo serves healthy, traditional lunches – the kind that Japanese grandmothers cook. Such authentic Japanese cooking is rare in London and could be a bit of an acquired taste. The bento box (lunch box divided into compartments) contained teriyaki chicken, rice, hijiki (soft black seaweed and carrot stewed in fish stock and sweet soy sauce), stewed lotus root and radish salad with sesame oil. The salted salmon is also a classic and goes well with rice. The vegetarian option, agedashi dofu (fried tofu in fish broth), was bland and soggy – it’s not usually eaten cold. At £6.50 for a particularly small bento-box, it can’t really be called a bargain. They deliver lunch to offices nearby.

Chicken bento box

Tombo stocks cakes from the Japanese patisserie Lanka in Primrose Hill. These were a bit bland and so sweet, they gave me a headache. I would walk one minute to Hummingbird bakery instead. Tombo means dragonfly in Japanese.

Tombo's trendy exterior attracts Sloane Square types.

Tombo on Urbanspoon