A healthy, feel good foodie haunt.
Just off the well-beaten Oxford Street track Abokado is a hub for the media types working around the area. Slightly beyond the shopping and tourist swarms of Topshop, Newman Street (closer to Tottenham Court Road) is always buzzing at lunchtime. Small but with space to sit both inside and out, you don’t have to go for a speedy takeaway, although it seems this is what the place is set up for.
Those who do sit in scoff with the intent of taking a brave decision to eat away from their desk, although it’s not a bad place to meet friends for lunch if you’ve got a window free. Service is always swift and staff are efficient, even if the queue gets close to snaking out of the door. Your time will be taken up deciding which combination of options to go for, the array all displayed in a chilled cabinet which is constantly re-filled.
Top marks for freshness and flavour. Abokado offers an interesting range of Asian inspired options. Sushi is abundant and goes by inspired names of Goddess Goodness, River Run, Deep Blue, and Crabby Duck, as well as the more obvious Simply Salmon. The fish is meaty, the rice light but sticky and all good-sized portions come with glass noodles and edamame bean salad, chopsticks and a miniature squeezy fish of soy sauce. Presentation is clean and neat too.
Abokado have also invented an option to bridge the gap between sandwich and sushi with their ‘shwraps’ – raw and cooked cores including salmon and avocado sashimi with a nice lift of dill, teriyaki salmon, shredded duck, crayfish and more, all encased in sushi rice and tightly wrapped in a roasted seaweed jacket. Standard tortilla wraps are also available with more western fillings including salt beef, rocket and parmesan or cheddar and red onion chutney. What works are the double or single portions, giving the opportunity to mix and match, or just get one to go with miso soup. More substantial noodle soups with udon and gyoza, stir-fry and laksa also tempt. These come in big cartons and are heated up for you at the counter.
For a non-savoury snack Abokado is still a worthwhile stop, the thick Greek yoghurt and fruit compote pots again a nice size and packed with perfect combinations, topped with granola or drizzled with honey. Cakes and sweetness is supplied by the Honeyrose Bakery, or if you prefer to finish with more of the same – get a wasabi pea tub to munch through.
It’s all about the smoothies. From pure juice squeezed to order, to different bunches of fruit with the added extras of breakfast muesli, virtually fat-free yoghurt, maple syrup and ginger - blitzed up while you wait. Coffee, tea and cold fridge drinks as standard - Abokado standard that is, which means organic milk, fair-trade coffee, loose leaf tea, and bottles of juice and smoothies blended that day.
The Last Word
Pop out of the office to Abokado if you want an alternative that’s above and beyond the standard sandwich.