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Leon: Bankside, London

by Chasing a Plate

I’m a huge fan of Leon cookbooks- their Happy Carrot Salad is a family favourite and every recipe I attempt works AND looks just like the photo!  I’m keen on Leon’s ethos that nutritious food should taste good and their effort to bring positive connotations to the word “takeaway”.

We headed to Leon’s Canvey Street restaurant for a bite before hitting the Tate Modern.  We had recently returned from 4 days in Sainte Foy where we had stuffed ourselves silly with cheese, bread, meat and wine.  Vegetables were needed.

The restaurant is at the base of an office block and is quite expansive.  We received a friendly welcome and set about studying the appealing menu.  You order at the counter and it takes only a couple of minutes before your meal is ready on a tray.

I decided on a Leon made lemonade (very tangy and great for my cold), the Thai green chicken curry and a Original Superfood Salad to share.  TBS went for the chilli chicken rice-box and for £2.50 added a coke and some Leon baked fries. 

The Original Superfood salad was exactly what we needed after our gluttonous trip to France.  Consisting of broccoli, peas, cucumber, avocado, quinoa, feta, fresh mint and parsley, toasted seeds and vinaigrette, the salad was an array of textures, clean and fresh tasting.  The creamy avocado and feta contrasted with the crunch of the broccoli and toasted seeds. The peas were sweet and such a vibrant green- I love peas!

My Thai green chicken curry was a very satisfying take on the traditional, using slow roasted chicken thigh, roasted aubergines and bamboo shoots, lemon grass, lime leaves and green chilli. It worked well with the nutty brown rice and I appreciated the fresh rocket and wedge of lemon that accompanied it.  Tasty!

TBS’ chilli chicken rice-box was pleasing to the eye.  Chargrilled chicken thigh, fresh herbs and toasted seeds, served with herb slaw and brown rice.  The chicken was tender and the slaw was a refreshing accompaniment.  The only complaint was that the chilli sauce needed more of a kick.  TBS said there was hardly any heat at all.

Leon’s waffle fries were baked and sprinkled with Leon seasoning.  I found that they lacked crunch and felt they were a little stodgy.  Perhaps this was because they were baked.  Sometimes only hot oil will do the trick unfortunately! 

We couldn’t pass up a sweet treat so I chose a florentine and a Better Brownie for us to sample.  The Better Brownie is made with almond meal and contains dark Valhrona chocolate and a tantalising orange oil.  Completely delicious.

I’m starting to enjoy Florentines more nowadays, Leon’s one was chewy, sticky and sweet.  I loved the sour cherries.  It was however, miniscule.  So small that I could have put the whole thing in my mouth in one go.
  This could definitely be improved upon.

My overall experience at Leon was a positive one.  I love their food, their branding and their vision.  I found their food of decent value and although the restaurant may have lacked atmosphere, the customer they are catering for is an ‘eat and run’ type, so this is probably to be expected.  For a healthy takeaway option, Leon is a winner.

Good to know:

Leon made lemonade £1.90
Original superfood salad £4.75 takeout or £5.75 eat in
Chilli chicken rice box £6.8
Thai green chicken curry £4.45
Leon baked fries £2.30
Better brownie £2.40
Florentine £1.45

7 Canvey Street
The Blue Fin Building
Monday to Wednesday 8:00am to 9:00pm
Thursday to Friday 8:00am to10:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm to 9:00pm
Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm

Leon has a number of restaurants around London.  Check their website for more details.


Images: Thomas Southam

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