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Pan de Vie

Restaurants, Cafés Covent Garden
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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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Users say (7)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

As a French person, when you tell me “new bakery in town”, you got all my attention. Pan de vie is an Asian/French fusion one, and this is as surprising as it is good. Some pastries can be a bit too sweet for some people but most of them deserve a try. Especially the Sesa-matcha Mousse, which is amazing! The matcha is not too strong and the sesame has a taste of “reviens-y” as we say in French!

It can be a bit expensive for a casual tea time, but this is a pleasure you can allow yourself time to time.

I don't usually leave reviews but I absolutely loved this place! I'm not a huge fan of overly sweet flavours which I think is common amongst american/english cakes but my friend recommended me this place as I love matcha. My favourite was the sesa- matcha mousse I loved the light texture and flavour as well as the crunchy base! The mini cheesecakes were also amazing they were the perfect gift to give my friend for her birthday as they come in the most adorable packaging! Glad I was recommended this, cant wait to go back

What a wonderful & enjoyable place serving great cakes. Especially the delicate Matcha Fresh Cream Cake which makes me mouth watering.

Matcha Lychee Mousse is really good for today weather.  VERY REFRESHING ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Unexpected combination but the taste is really beautiful.

It was AMAZING & YUMMYLICIOUS!!!  I must visit again soon.

We had Baby Panda, Sesa-Matcha Mousse, Matcha-Lychee Mousse, Pink Passion. We didn't really enjoy our experience at Pan de Vie. The cakes looked amazing but really failed to deliver on taste. 

Baby Panda- neither did we taste the black sesame that we were so looking forward to. Although the cake was soft and fluffy, the taste itself was pretty bland. The only good part was the black sesame brittle. So the blackberry was probably there to add some acidity to balance out the flavours, but it was pointless really.

Sesa-Matcha Mousse- The layers in this were made up of cake, mousse, panna cotta and a sesame brittle. The combination of flavours and textures sounded exciting, but again it was disappointingly bland. You could barely taste either the sesame or the matcha

Matcha Lychee Mousse - there were 7 layers in this little cake, 6 of which were supposed to be matcha flavoured. It was a really big let down as we couldn't taste any matcha. It could have been that the middle layer of lychee jelly was just too overpowering - but even that wasn't too tasty. 

Pink Passion - the outside glaze was orange more than pink and didn't have any taste. Inside were layers of coconut mousse, coconut cake and a tropical fruits flavoured mousse. But yet again, the flavours were so bland that we really couldn't taste the passion at all. The white chocolate piece was nice though and the desiccated coconut pieces added texture and flavour to the cake.

Despite the cakes looked amazing, we would not go back again. Not recommended. Sorry.

Having seen posts on Instagram from people I follow, we were close by for us to make a quick pit stop.  The cakes were too lovely to risk taking away, so we decided to sit down by the window and try a few cakes.  It was quite difficult to choose which cake to try! They have both classic flavours (such as raspberry and chocolate) as well as fusion (Japanese and European, e.g. yuzu cheesecake). We ended up trying three cakes, all of which are quintessentially Japanese/Asian flavours - azuki and matcha, lychee and matcha and lastly the black sesame with charcoal sponge. The last one, from white layers through to black, ombre layered mousse was pretty bang on! The two matcha ones needed just a touch more matcha for my taste. All three were the right level of sugaryness, i.e. not too sweet as it would completely mask the underlying flavours.  These were washed down with their yuzu tea which is probably yuzu cordial heated up 😐 if it were to lose cool down; it would probably be too sweet. I'm looking forward to tasting the other cakes/desserts and their matcha latte next time! 😋😋😋  


An Asian / French fusion bakery cafe with an airy room to sit down and do people watch in Covent Garden.. Matcha desserts were underwhelming as they tasted rather bland

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