I've really fallen for the Leon brand with their healthy cookbooks and quirky restaurants. Their 'healthy fast food' is a great concept and their restaurants are popping up all over the place. I first went to one on the Strand about a year ago and have only just got round to going again. The problem with all of these delicious restaurant chains (I'm also a huge fan of Yo Sushi, Wahaca, Wagamama, Pizza Express etc) is finding the time to visit them! We have to choose carefully when we go out (most are in London) as to which one to eat in. So anyway, last night my boyfriend, my parents and I went to Leon in Brent Cross. It's only been open for a couple of months and looks really lovely with twinkly lights and a chandelier. Unfortunately, we'd looked at the menu online and wanted the dinner 'grazing dishes' available after 6pm but Brent Cross doesn't serve these. So instead we ordered some flatbread and houmous to start (very good) then 5 lunch hot dishes between the 4 of us, they all come in a box with rice and dressed 'slaw which wasn't ideal as we then had to split the dishes and share out all the rice. I think the concept of the grazing dishes would be better, just ordering a good selection of the meat/veg dishes so you can try the all and getting the rice and salads separately. But anyway, the food was really delicious even if it was all mixed onto one plate. We had a Pork Jambalaya (probably my favourite) - mexican slow cooked tomatoey cajun spiced pork, Grilled chicken with garlic and aioli, chilli chicken - grilled chicken with chilli sauce on the side, sweet potato falafel and the Leon Gobi a coconut based cauliflower curry - all with so many yummy flavours. And it was a definite winner for me serving brown rice and giving free water (in retro jugs with slices of lemon).
You're probably wondering why, in a blog filled with sweet baking and puddings, that I haven't mentioned any pudding. And that's because like the grazing dishes, they didn't serve puddings with ice cream or anything. On the counter they have brownies or pecan pies but we wanted something proper after our mostly virtuous meal so came home for it instead.
So Leon is a great healthy place to go for breakfast (yes even their breakfasts are healthy and look delicious), lunch or dinner, just try to pick a branch that serves the grazing dishes and puddings in the evenings. Also, an added bonus is that if you sign up to their 'Leon love club', you get 40% off! So all of our food came to £26.
The boxed chicken aioli, rice and slaw.
Our plate with a bit of each lunchtime dish.
P.S I've only tried one thing out of the Leon cookbook so far (pancakes) but as I go through and try the rest out, I'll be blogging them :)