From the outside, Monocle Cafe seems to find itself in a relatively quiet and upscale neighbourhood, away from the usual buzz of downtown London streets. The interior, however, is a different story.
Monocle is actually pretty small and every little available space is filled up faster than I can snap my fingers. The barista on duty works non stop to fulfil drink orders by customers dining in and taking away. It is not obvious, but Monocle Cafe serves Japanese dishes!
The staff advised us to secure a seats before placing our orders, and I would advise you to do the same if you’re here for the a meal. If you’re just here for drinks, there are standing spaces around the cafe.
Basement of Monocle which is much more peaceful.
Head on downstairs and you’ll be greeted with a much quieter, Japanese inspired setting. Away from the hustle upstairs, the minimalist furniture and warm paper lights make for a good book reading spot. Great to have a change of vibes in London for once.
Shrimp Katsu Sandwich, £8.50.
The dressing in the sandwich is something that will make me visit Monocle again. It’s not your usual mayo sauce; in fact I can hardly tell what’s in the dressing other than the fact that there’s a strong yet non overpowering hint of wasabi!
The toast itself was really crunchy and of good thickness. It held the shrimps pretty well but at the same time it wasn’t too much of a mouthful.
Chicken Katsu Sandwich, £8.50.
Similar flavours as the shrimp katsu, the chicken katsu sandwich comes with breaded chicken thighs instead. The sandwich is rather massive with two slabs of katsu in one sandwich which made for a very messy but enjoyable experience. Overall it is a nice piece of sandwich, but the thighs could be a little bit more juicy.
The matcha is the most authentic matcha I’ve had in London. Reminds me of my time in Kyoto, Japan where I sipped on matcha and Japanese sweets while looking at the zen garden in the Kyoto palace.
18 Chiltern Street, W1U 7QA
+44 20 7135 2040
Daily: 8am to 10pm
Visit Monocle Cafe’s website here
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