The Handbook
The Handbook

What? A Japanese inspired patisserie with a penchant for matcha – it’s the work of owners and friends, Ben Zhang and Jon Cai, who have brought their love of Asian bakeries to London.

New? Yes, brand new – Kova only opened last month.

Where? Unit 5, 9-12 St Anne’s Court, Soho, W1F 0BB,

On the Menu: Focusing on Japanese and Asian cakes, the menu focuses on Mille crepes, strawberry shortcake and roll cake as well as the likes of matcha tiramisu, soufflé cheesecake and tarts. On the drinks side there are matcha lattes, coffee and Japanese teas.

First Impressions: We knew Kova was popular – when they first opened they were selling out of all their cakes within a couple of hours and whilst we when we visited they still had cakes, they were just as busy – there was a never ending stream of guests. Word has got out about Kova and they’ve already got a loyal following.

Kova Patisserie

The Look: With just 12 covers and a space to reflect this, the patisserie is minimalistic; plain white walls and simple wooden furniture stop it feeling cramped and overwhelmed. The large shop front window floods it with natural light and the main pops of colour come from the vibrant matcha cakes.

What We Ate: Not knowing whether to go for vanilla, matcha or a chocolate Mille Crepe, we naturally went for all three. Made up layer upon layer of wafer thin French crepes sandwiched with custard cream the result is a beautifully light cake that is still indulgent and packed with cream. The vanilla isn’t too sweet and the chocolate is rich and dark – for something so light, it certainly packs a cocoa hit, our favourite had to be the matcha. Less nutty than a latte (likely to be because there isn’t the almond milk that the latte is served with) it was still sweet and with that vibrant  matcha green colour. We thought three slices might have been overdoing it, but they’re addictive, every time you’ll say ‘this will be my last bite’ and then the next thing you know you’ll be scraping the cream off the plate in a bid to get every last piece.

What We Drank: We went for a matcha latte. It had that distinctive earthy, sweet flavour that matcha has, the fact that they use high-quality, organic matcha is evident, the flavour is full but also subtle, less superficial. We also chose a Genmaicha latte, similar to a matcha latte, it’s made with brown rice kernels and the rice flavour really does come through. An accquired taste, it has a sweet, nuttiness to it and is certainly a new favourite.

Kova Patisserie

Go With: If you’re into matcha in all its forms then this is a matcha made in heaven… Take your friends who like cake but also want a hit of antioxidants – it is all about balance after all.

Final Word: You can’t drop in in the morning as it isn’t open until 12pm but it is open later on Friday and Saturdays – so swap after work drinks for after work cake.

Like This? Try These: Pan de Vie, Wa Café, Yauatcha