Machiya is what I call a hidden gem in the city. You may think it’s just another matcha cafe or Japanese establishment – at least I had such thoughts initially. However, it proved me wrong.
First of all, Machiya is a Japanese restaurant opened by the team behind ramen group Kanada-Ya. They took inspiration from traditional Japanese food halls and aimed to serve Londoners home-style Japanese food. It is tucked away at Panton Street near Piccadilly Circus, and you’d be surprised that there is no queue outside the restaurant. In fact, this makes it the ideal spot to get away from the crowd.
We popped in on a Saturday afternoon for a snack/tea. The place isn’t particularly huge, though they do have a downstairs seating area. The wooden furnishings offers a very cosy feel to the place. We had desserts for this occasion but Machiya also serves an all-day food menu offering a range of classic Japanese dishes such as the likes of Tonkatsu, Japanese curry, Teriyaki rice bowls, etc. Please note that Machiya does not offer halal meats.
Matcha Latte (£3.50 – hot/cold)
Me and my friend, we both ordered Matcha Latte but I had the iced one while my friend went with a hot one. First and foremost, did you notice a dent on the glass?! I must admit it made me jump when I wrapped my fingers around it and thought I’ve gone crazy or something. Thank goodness, it’s nothing about me. It’s just the design of the glass! Apart from a fun factor, the little finger dents actually offered a strong grip for the glass as well.
Anyway, the matcha latte was fairly rich. It’s quite filling but it tasted really irresistibly nice. There’s a beautiful balance of matcha flavour in the drink and was blended to an extremely silky and velvety texture. The flavour was distinct but not overpowering. All in all, it’s been a perfect cup of matcha latte, both hot and cold.
Mille Crepe (£6.40)
The first dessert we ordered is the Vanille Mille Crepe. It was delightfully light and exactly what I was looking for. All these thin layers of crepe sandwiching a fresh and quality vanilla cream – it’s a really simple flavour combo but it’s no short of sensational flavours. The menu offers either vanilla or matcha flavour, but it depends on availability. On the day we went, there’s only vanilla.
Matcha Fondant (£6.40)
This one’s made for matcha lovers. A matcha fondant freshly baked and delicately topped with sweet red beans – if you’re a matcha fanatic, it’s bound to steal your heart. As we dug in for a bite, there’s matcha came gushing out of the cake. I did worry before ordering that this dessert would come out too rich. But it wasn’t. The matcha fondant was extremely well executed in terms of both the texture and flavours. It’s genuinely a winning dish.
…I’m thoroughly and pleasantly surprised by the quality of food Machiya has to offer! What I loved most about the place is how it dodges away from the mainstream crowd around the area and offers a serene environment for customers. It’s a humble establishment that I hope it continues to maintain its authenticity. It’s a true gem in the city and I would really recommend this place!
Meats are not halal, alcohol available at premises
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus
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