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Leon West End

Restaurants, Fast food outlets Shaftesbury Avenue
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A branch of Leon staffed entirely by West End hopefuls.

Walk into Leon on Shaftesbury Avenue and someone will sing at you. Seriously. It’s a special West End branch, staffed entirely by West End hopefuls who take it in turns to grab the mic in the centre of the spacious, wide-windowed shop and do a show-tune. One minute you’re nibbling on your halloumi wrap, sitting among your shy British compatriots; the next, the person who made that wrap will be belting out a big tune from ‘Wicked’. That may sound excruciating, but you know what? It’s great. Because these hopefuls, on the whole, are pretty talented. Listening to a rendition of ‘Summertime’, I almost cried into my squeaky cheese. 

The food here – if you can keep your eyes on it – is Leon’s standard healthy, Mediterranean fare. The best dishes are, interestingly, the healthiest: try the earthy, warmly spiced sweet potato and okra stew, served with grainy brown rice and chunky slaw. It’s vegan, and it tastes vegan, but don’t let that put you off. Also lovely was the fresh, zingy superfood salad. On the less virtuous end of the spectrum, the fish finger wrap was perfection – but stray no further towards comfort road: a portion of chips was a limp, lukewarm let-down. Still, the healthy fare on Leon’s menu is very good and besides, everything goes down easier to the sweet, sweet sound of a show tune.



Address: 62 Shaftsbury Avenue
Price: Lunch for two (without drinks or service): around £20.
Opening hours: Mon-Tue 8am-10pm, Wed-Thu 8am - 11pm, Fri 8am -12am, Sat 9am 12am, Sun 11am-8pm
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