Tombo’s Japanese Afternoon Tea

Tombo, Japanese for dragonfly, is a small deli and cafe in South Kensington, just a minute’s walk from the tube station. It offers a small menu of modern Japanese food and quality tea. I’m a particular fan of it’s Japanese desserts, which often feature ingredients such as azuki (red bean paste), matcha and sesame.

On my latest visit, I tried the Tombo Afternoon Tea; served from 3 to 5pm, this is a lovely variation on traditional sandwiches, scones and cakes.

The standard afternoon tea (£12.90 per person) includes your choice from Tombo’s selection of teas, or for £19.90 you can upgrade to sparkling sake instead. I went for genmaicha which Tombo unusually combine with matcha. My friend chose peppermint tea, as she was looking for a non-caffeinated option. The teas were excellent and hot water is provided for top ups, automatically – a nice touch.

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For the savoury course, we enjoyed temari sushi (salmon and prawn) and maki sushi rolls (salmon and french beans). Having checked it was possibly before our visit, my friend requested that all seafood items were switched for vegetarian/ chicken ones, she is currently on a restricted diet. I would ask Tombo to take more care with requests such as this – one of the sushi rolls served on the non-seafood plate contained salmon. That aside, in terms of quality and flavour, the sushi was very enjoyable.

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On the lower layer of the slate food stands came a selection of desserts. On my visit these included azuki doriyaki (filled pancake), matcha cream doriyaki, matcha gateau, azuki gateau, a pink macaron and a chocolate. My friend wasn’t as keen on the azuki doriyaki or matcha gateau – she preferred the other desserts in the selection. My favourites were the matcha gateau and the macaron.


Both of us really enjoyed Tombo’s afternoon tea – the sushi alternative to sandwiches is a really novel and welcome approach and the price very reasonable for the quality of food and drink.

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Press images courtesy of Tombo Deli & Cafe

Kavey Eats dined as guests of Tombo Deli & Cafe. Thanks also for the two additional images of cafe exterior and afternoon tea stand.

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22 Comments to "Tombo’s Japanese Afternoon Tea"

  1. Suelle

    It sounds a novel idea for Japanese restaurants in Britain to serve afternoon tea. The desserts look beautiful!

    When we were in Japan we found that the patisserie available was easily up to the highest French standards, with the bonus of Japanese flavours thrown in too!

    Although OH wasn’t too happy on biting into what he thought was a brownie, to find it was a square of red bean paste!


    Yes, the standard of patisserie in Japan is really superb. I really like this afternoon tea idea!

  2. kaveyeats

    I adore sushi, I think if I had to give up sandwiches or sushi, it would be sandwiches and that’s saying something as I do love sandwiches.

  3. Monica

    Never done afternoon tea Japanese style. Looks like, well, my cuppa tea. Yet another reason to get back to london soon….

  4. Mojca

    Japanese PM tea – awesome idea, thanks for sharing this Kavey! We’ll definitely have to try this out, love all things Japanese!

    When we were in Japan – Kanazawa specifically – we had the most amazing Gyokuro ceremony which had incredible looking and even better tasting sweets to go with the tea! The Japanese surely know they confectionery 😉

    Oooh, really looking fwd to sth new in London now!! 🙂


    Oh that sounds lovely, Mojca! Yes i love Japanese patisserie and wagashi.

  5. Solange

    We are seeing more Japanese restaurants opening in East London too but none doing afternoon tea as far as I know. That’s an interesting idea.

  6. kaveyeats

    I’ve not come across such, but if you made it at home, could definitely do the sushi side quite easily. I don’t know enough about vegan baking to know how easy that would be.

  7. Selina

    I went to Tombo last week and loved the desserts, I saw the sign for the afternoon tea so I’m hoping to go and sample that soon


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