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Pan de Vie

Restaurants, Cafés Covent Garden
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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A Japanese-style French patisserie.

The Japanese word for bread – ‘pan’ – may be derived from the Portuguese ‘pão’ (introduced by Jesuit missionaries in the 15th century, don’t-ya-know?), but the baking at this Japanese-style patisserie definitely has more of a French flavour, but it’s achieved via the squishy sweetness of brioche rather than rustic, crusty baguettes.

As one might expect, matcha abounds. It’s in tarts, breads and even a cheesecake – but thankfully the menu extends beyond the green stuff. Black sesame and charcoal mousse made a delicious panda cake, while the yuzu cheesecake was creamy, fresh and great quality. There are a few nice savoury options too. Although the French would doubtless find a frankfurter baked into a roll an affront to gastronomy, it was actually very good, with the bread light and springy.

While there is seating downstairs the stark white space, with its few flashes of orange, smacks of ‘budget airline lounge’ – if such a thing existed. By all means visit for the baking, but get it to go.

Pan de Vie says
Pan de Vie takes French patisserie methods and combines them with Asian flavours to bring a brand new eating experience to Londoners.


Address: 5 New Row
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
Price: Lunch for two with service: around £25.
Opening hours: Daily 11am-10pm
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