Posted on Monday, 8th June 2015
L’Eto Caffe is a chain of café-restaurants with six branches across central London that offers an all day dining service. The café is most notable for their dazzling display of cakes and pastries in their front window, all of which are so tempting it’s almost impossible not to do a double take every time you walk past a branch of L’Eto. But L’Eto offer more than just cakes. They also have a counter laid out with vibrant salads and cooked mains. The King’s Road, Belgravia and Brompton branches also serve breakfast and an a la carte menu for both lunch and dinner.
I recently visited the Brompton branch of L’Eto which is located within close proximity to the wonderful V&A and Natural History Museums. It is a very inviting venue with a lovely décor that is peppered with a smart and arty European charm. The wonderful display of great salads and tempting cakes also do much to add spark to the setting.
We tried a variety of salads from the counter and we thoroughly enjoyed all of them. They sang with a perky and lively freshness, were well seasoned and nicely dressed. Our particular favourites were the Georgian aubergines with pomegranate, walnuts and coriander; and brown rice with mixed cranberries and vegetables. But it was the grilled aubergine with yoghurt sauce that deserves a special mention. The aubergine was soft and sweet, and the garlic-y overtones in the yoghurt sauce topped with a sprinking of some beautifully fresh dill resulted in a wonderful harmony of flavours. The salads are charged by weight and range in price from £2.80 to £3.80 for 100gm. Alternatively you can set priced deals such as a pre-cooked main and two salads for £14.90.
From the a la carte menu, a crab avocado salad with soy and lime dressing (£16.50) had lots of deliciously fresh crab. The avocado was ripe and creamy and this would have been a really good dish but for the fact that the dressing was too salty.
To another crab dish – the crab linguine (£14.95) showed huge potential with al dente pasta and a tasty crab flavour. It was a really well made dish with the only detraction being that this dish was also a touch salty.
Garlic prawns served with freshly grilled flat bread and avocado salad (£18.95) had a nice appeal as the prawns were big, fat and juicy. But another main of wild seabass filet with quinoa, cherry tomatoes (£16.95) was a disappointment. The fish was moist, but the quinoa was bland and there was no sauce or fresh herbs to liven up what was an otherwise boring plate of food.
We had an impossible time trying to decide on what dessert to have. They all looked so good! I adore passionfruit and I am glad to report that the passionfruit meringue (£4.80) proved to be a winner. The pastry was good and buttery, and the sweet and tangy passionfruit filling topped with a soft gooey meringue proved to be heavenly. Also delicious was the lemon and almond cake (£4.90). The cake was moist with a light hint of lemon flavour running through it. The use of almonds gave the cake a really pleasant, slightly nutty texture.
I adored the salads at L’Eto for their freshness, variety and engaging flavours, and the L’Eto desserts also made for a really good way to finish a meal. The a la carte items were less successful however, and what I would recommend L’Eto for is a casual café experience, either something from the selection of savoury items from the counter or stopping off for a bit of cake. Or you could simply go in and chill with a lovely refreshment, whether this be something fruity such as a smoothies or fresh juices, something hot such as one of their custom teas or flavoured coffees, or something from their delectable range of cocktails.
As for the service, this was friendly on the whole, with the exception of one particular waitress who was somewhat unpleasant.
1) The salad counter.
2) The desserts.
1) The a al carte menu is the weakest link.
Food rating: 3.5/5
Service rating: 3.25/5