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Leon

Leon - City of Westminster, London

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35 Great marlborough St, London, W1F 7JE
020 77348057
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I'm going to start by saying; I really wish this chain existed outside of the London area. Leon is basically a healthy fast food chain, I'd first heard about them when researching for a weekend away and the first thing that caught my eye was their dairy free milkshakes, although I can tolerate dairy to some extent, milk is one thing I can't, so the prospect of somewhere selling a dairy free milk shake was music to my ears.

There are a few outlets of Leon around London, but as we were around Northumberland Ave at the time, the Strand outlet was the nearest so that was where we headed.

Dairy and gluten free banana milkshake made with almond milk at Leon, Strand branch, London
Dairy and gluten free banana milkshake made with almond milk at Leon, Strand branch, London
As we walked in and looked at the menu I was actually awestruck for a moment at the board, nearly everything was listed as being GF and in many cases DF too, so looking straight at the board and seeing so many options that were gluten and dairy free was amazing to me.

Don't get me wrong this isn't a fast food outlet like you would expect, it's not a McDonalds, Burger King, Chinese or Indian sort of thing, this healthy chain sells fast food in the forms of Meatballs, Thai Chicken Curry, Chilli, Falafel, Kale and Peanut Salad and Bunless Burgers to name a few, and those are only a handful of the gluten free too. It does what it says on the tin, it's healthy.

I finally decided on the Thai Chicken Curry and a side of fries (which aren't really fries more of a waffle kind of thing) along with a banana dairy free shake. Oh and since 99% of the cakes were gluten free I couldn't say no to a slice of Pecan Pie for dessert! The server said the fries came with a dip, so I asked if the chilli sauce was gluten free, he wasn't sure but didn't hesitate in finding out for me, the chef told me that yes it was and all the other sauces were too.

We only waited about 10 minutes for the food, and I must say the Chicken Curry was amazing. The curry was mixed vegetables with chicken in a sauce and came on a bed of rice with a bit of rocket and lemon on the side, the sort of thing you would expect in a restaurant not in a box to eat in or take away.
Gluten free thai chicken curry at healthy fast food outlet, Leon, Strand branch, London
Gluten free thai chicken curry at healthy fast food outlet, Leon, Strand branch, London
It wasn't until I'd eaten part of my chicken curry I realised we hadn't been given the fries, so I went back to the counter, the server was apologetic and gave me the fries, was no problem or anything, everyone forgets things now and then, but as we were finishing the meal he came over with a free chocolate brownie for us, nice gesture on their part, and the brownie was gluten free so I wasn't complaining!

The dairy free milkshake was not what I was expecting, it was better, in a normal fast food outlet the milkshakes are full of milk, ice cream and falsely flavoured sauce, this one was almond milk fresh banana and naturally sweetened with dates, I've always liked fresh banana milkshakes so when I tried this it was a pleasant surprise, I would presume that that vanilla maybe has vanilla seeds in and the chocolate from what I saw was proper chocolate flakes (dairy free chocolate flakes).

Gluten free chocolate brownie at Leon, Strand branch, London
Gluten free chocolate brownie at Leon, Strand branch, London
Desert was just as gorgeous as the rest, the pastry was nice and flaky and it was a perfect pecan pie, I could easily go back to Leon just for that, my boyfriend had a gluten free chocolate chip cookie and that was just a yummy. We didn't try the brownie until a bit later on sat in Green Park, but even that was absolutely delicious with a hint of orange in it and almonds.

If there was a Leon closer to home I wouldn't hesitate to say I would be in there every week, it's nice to go to a fast food place which isn't only healthy by also offers such a vast variety of gluten free and since its only the burgers and wraps that are gluten containing you don't need to worry much about cross contamination either, though it looked to me that they prep wraps in a different area anyway.

Anyway, if there was Leon in maybe Manchester area I would be a very happy bunny all the time, to me, them only being localised to London is the only thing that lets them down!

Your Comments

Agree!! I just moved from London to Glasgow and Leon's presence is sorely missed. Their food is excellent, well-labelled, and the staff excellent. Also they have almond milk to put into the tea, which is great if you're avoiding dairy and hate soya milk. :)

Emilie - 23rd July 2015

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