…funky, fresh fast food
36-38 Old Compton Street
I have made an effort on this blog to avoid chains, largely because of personal taste; I like a more individual restaurant which retains character and soul that is so often lost when something is rolled out across cities and countries. The other reason is because of the almost inevitable quality drop that comes when an eaterie becomes mass – look at Costa or Cafe Nero for good examples of how things fall to the dogs when they become super big.
However, I must admit my chain-sensors were completely blinded when I ate at Leon – I was aware that there was more than one of this colourful and delicious quick stop destination, however I did not know that there were over 100 restaurants in London alone! A big high five to their marketing and logistics for maintaining such a sense of originality in what is now a proper chain restaurant. Leon provides healthy fast food, and when I say healthy, I mean they make a concerted effort to make their food as sustainable and good for you as possible – using fruit sugar instead of ordinary suger, ground almonds instead of flour…etc.
I especially LOVE the baked fries and the truffled egg pots, both of which I could eat every day without fail. The delicious raspberry lemonade is a taste sensation, and the healthy super food salad [£4.60 take out] is tasty. Others love the wraps, especially the fish finger one, however I find these a little bit dry so prefer to get a box or a pot of something, like the stew or a chunky soup. There are no prices on the site which is annoying, but if you get a drink, a box and a side you will have spent at least £7 which for a take out lunch is too much in my opinion.
VERDICT – definatley worth a visit, Leon is a bit on the expensive side for what is essentially slightly more fancy pret, but it can be a worthwhile treat if you feel like splurging.
SURROUNDINGS – one of the best things about Leon is its distinctive style. The interior is colourful and bright, with family photos of staff and the founders which helps to lend it a really personal touch. Apparently they do a roaring trade for dinner, however I would probably pick this place as a lunch venue only.