Matcha specialist cakery ‘Pan de Vie’
now open in Covent Garden

Pan de Vie’s unique concept combines classic European baking and patisserie methods with exotic flavours of the Far East to bring a brand new eating experience to Londoners. Peter Morrell goes to the launch.

Pan de Vie is situated inn New Row, Covent Garden, an atmospheric little street that runs from St Martin’s Lane up towards the Piazza. It’s a quiet haven of specialist foodie shops and Pan de Vie is a worthy addition.

Arranged over two floors the store, which occupies the ground level, delivers a visual treat of brilliantly-coloured sweet patisseries, savoury bakes and an exciting selection of savoury goodies, all baked daily to go.

On the lower-ground floor a charming eat-in space, where the oriental fusion concept is reflected in the contemporary interiors, providing a peaceful oasis from the bustle of busy Covent Garden.

Matcha Masters

Pan de Vie have made matcha their hero ingredient of the moment. Health benefits aside (it’s loaded with antioxidants, enhances calmness, boosts memory…) matcha lends a superior flavour to that of regular green tea, not to mention a vibrant burst of colour to Pan de Vie’s vast patisserie selection. Choose from matcha castella loaf, a light and delicately-flavoured sponge perfect with an afternoon cuppa. Matcha and azuki bean mousse is an elegantly presented low-sugar option. Matcha and white chocolate tart is a match made in heaven while matcha muffins, studded with white chocolate chunks, are tea and a bun all in one bite. An intriguing matcha and melon bun delivers that on-trend swavoury hit that Pan de Vie have down to a fine art.

Lunch in a Loaf

A constantly evolving repertoire of baked goods includes an exciting selection of stuffed buns that are literally ‘lunch in a loaf’. Choose from Japanese beef curry stuffed buns, chicken teriyaki stuffed buns and store specialty, matcha custard charcoal buns. Meanwhile, mini Japanese sausage brioche buns are the perfect ‘swavoury’ mid-morning or afternoon hunger buster.

Patisseries & Occasion Cakes

Japanese cheesecake, Pan de Vie’s light and golden signature creation, is available in individual bites or as a larger version for sharing. Black sesame mousse cake is striking with its layered monochrome stripes and extraordinary texture. Sesame biscuits, macaroons, madeleines, in authentic oriental flavours, all complete a menu of indulgences with a decided difference.

The Cafe

The oriental fusion concept continues in the downstairs interiors where visual storytelling is featured in graphic wall illustrations of icons such as Asian pagodas and the Arc De Triomphe. Whimsical tree symbols, representing vitality and good fortune in Asian culture, are given a witty twist with illustrative French baguettes blooming amongst their branches. Comfy banquettes in striking turquoise leather studded with shocking pink buttons make for a fun experience.

Peter Morrell, Food and Drink editor of AboutMyGeneration commented: “Sampling a range of both the sweet and savoury buns at the launch of Pan de Vie recently I was impressed about how light and delicate they were. My particular favourite was the bun stuffed with Japanese Beef Curry, it was deliciously moreish. Shot through many of the things I sampled was the subtle flavour of matcha tea which, with its health giving properties, not only tastes good but also does you good.

The Brains behind Pan de Vie

Founder, Paul Cheung, is a serial entrepreneur and restaurateur. Born in Hong Kong, Cheung moved to the UK at the age of 16 to further his studies. After graduating from The London School of Economics Cheung embarked on a career in hospitality that has spanned more than three decades and seen him launch, and continue to operate, more than seven Thai and sushi restaurants across the capital. Cheung plans a roll-out of Pan de Vie stores across London with Covent Garden being the first; the second will open ‘as soon as a suitable site becomes available.’ Pan de Vie also supplies bespoke products wholesale to the trade.

Pan de Vie Asian-fusion bakery & patisserie
5 New Row
Covent Garden
T: 0207 836 4909