Tombo at Liberty London - Great Marlborough Street - Until 30th June
Matcha fever has finally hit London and while this cafe is more of a counter-in-the-handbag-department it does have two tiny tables and a good range of matcha drinks and eats. I had a matcha cold brew - one for matcha purists only but I didn't find Tombo's matcha over-powering and it was whisked to perfection (because green lumps are a huge turn off). For those new to matcha I'd recommend a matcha latte, maybe even with a dash of vanilla or caramel syrup to take the edge off. There's a small range of matcha baked goods and matcha ice cream too. My pictured drink was £3.15 so it's not the cheapest but compared to the damage you could do in the handbag department as you leave...
Veggie Prêt - 35 Broadwick Street - Until 30th June (tbc...?)
As a Londoner Pret is a fixture on every street and while it does already offer a fair few veggie options the idea of a veggie-only Pret was too hard to resist. Even on a Friday at dinner time. I arrived at the store and thought that there was a massive queue but it was actually for Bao across the road. Phew. The shelves were packed with vegan and veggie delights - everything clearly labelled for any conceivable dietary requirement. As well as the familiar wraps, baguettes and salad boxes there are some new menu options - rye bread sandwiches, savoury yogurts and kombucha drinks. I couldn't resist the mushroom and avocado sushi salad box (sushi being the one non-vegan food I find hard to quit) and also picked up a hummus on rye open sandwich. Both were delicious - I'm usually really disappointed in veggie sushi as it lacks the umami-rich flavours (a dry piece of cucumber wrapped in seaweed does not maki me happy) but this salad box had so many textures and flavours - the rich mushroom and creamy avocado contrasting with the vinegary red cabbage meant I didn't miss the fish at all. The rye bread open sandwich was a simpler affair but very tasty nonetheless - the edamame saving it from being flavour clash with the sushi box and being an open sandwich made it lighter and far more visually appealing than your standard sarni.
There are rumours that Veggie Pret could stick around for a little longer - I really hope so because there are so many more menu items I want to sample before they shut up shop.