LEON | Budget-Friendly Airport Cuisine With A Twist

Extras soon rack up the price of a holiday, and having to spend all that extra cash can be frustrating. It’s easy to end up spending way more than you want to in the airport when it comes to food, but that’s where budget-friendly restaurant Leon at Stansted Airport comes in.

LEON Stansted Airport title image

Given that our holiday to Fuerteventura was a budget one, we wanted our airport breakfast to be budget too. I’d almost lost faith after seeing another certain restaurant at Stansted Airport serving club sandwiches for £12.99 each… Until we came across LEON, with its brightly-lit logo and decorative charm.

LEON promises fast-food with bold flavours and natural goodness. As we were eating at the wonderful time of 5am we went for products on the breakfast menu, however they also serve hot lunch boxes, wraps, salads, and burgers from 11am, all with a Mediterranean twist. The breakfast menu is fairly varied and you can choose between muffins, poached eggs, porridge, and Greek yoghurt, or simply a dose of caffeine if you’re not all that hungry.

LEON, Stansted Airport - breakfast pot with egg, sausage, bacon, and beans
The humble breakfast pot – small, but filling

I was completely swayed by the poached eggs so had to go for this option, opting for the English breakfast poached egg. It contained the egg at the bottom plus sausage, bacon, and haricot beans, which were much more like the homemade variety than what you might get in a can of Heinz. The breakfast was served in a cute little pot – it was a small serving but I was expecting that at just £3.95 – and it really blended the flavours together well.

My partner decided to try out one of the breakfast muffins, and was able to have a special request of bacon and sausage together (the menu allows for either one meat, or combined with an egg). Again the portion was small, but it was again only £3.95 which is very good value compared to other restaurants within Stansted Airport! Like the breakfast pot, the muffin was full of flavour, and contained a beautiful Mediterranean sauce that I would never have considered to mix with breakfast items, yet it worked even better than your standard ketchup and added a slight zing.

LEON breakfast tray with breakfast pot, bacon and sausage muffin, and flat white coffee
Our full order costing just £10.50 (complete with brightly coloured tray)

As well as the food I really appreciated the decor of LEON, which was warmly lit and featured lots of vintage photographs on the wall. It was colourful but tasteful – not too vibrant for 5.30am but enough to make you feel excited about eating there. Generally it was quite spacious and the seating was very suitable for a fast-food location. Ordering the food was easy and the whole process from ordering to sitting down and eating took minutes.

Flat white coffee with LEON restaurant decor in background
A well-lit and positive atmosphere, great for enjoying a coffee pre-flight

I was impressed by the focus on eco-friendly products with LEON – all of the packaging used within our food was recyclable which is rare in the food world. They claim that their food is all natural and, while I can’t confirm that, it tasted a lot healthier than other fast food I’ve had before and I didn’t come away feeling bloated and over-full like I might do at McDonald’s or KFC, for instance.

I’d be happy to eat at LEON next time I’m at Stansted Airport as it didn’t break the bank yet served food that tasted great and kept me full for my flight. While it might not be best-suited for those who want a full sit-down meal, LEON is perfect for travellers that need something fast, budget, and above all full of flavour.

If you liked this review then don’t forget to like, pin, and leave a comment! You can also check out my other recent eatery reviews here:

Hare & Hounds | Wagamama | Odell’s Coffee Shop

LEON, Stansted Airport, Pinterest image

Wagamama – Colchester

Most of us in the UK have probably either heard of Wagamama or visited, and Colchester has finally got on board and introduced a Wagamama to their ever-expanding range of restaurants and eateries. Situated at the top of the High Street, this is a great place to go for Asian cuisine.

(Image from Food Service Equipment Journal)

I’m usually more of a fan of small business local restaurants, however Wagamama is one chain restaurant I’m always happy to go back to. I’ve never had a bad experience so far, and Colchester’s new restaurant proved to be the best experience yet. Although I wouldn’t class their food as completely authentic Japanese (as many Westernised chain restaurants aren’t) they still have a wonderful variety of food and a signature style to the dishes they make.

I’m one of those awkward people who has an allergy – I’m allergic to real chillies (most likely the seeds). It’s not life-threatening but eating chillies causes me a lot of stomach pain and nausea and my throat starts to close up, so I try to avoid them where possible. I was really worried about this particular Wagamama visit as I actually haven’t been to the restaurant since my allergy developed, and being Japanese cuisine I imagined chillies would be quite a feature, which I certainly wasn’t wrong about.

Teriyaki soba noodles with salmon at Wagamama in Colchester
Teriyaki soba noodles with salmon and a variety of Asian vegetables

As soon as I’d announced my allergy I was put in the capable hands of the store manager, who took the time to go through the entire menu with me and tell me what I would be able to eat. She allowed adjustments to my food and I was able to eat exactly what I wanted, just without the chilli-based sauce added to it, which was the teriyaki soba with salmon. I try to eat as much fish as possible when out as the man isn’t into it, and this particular dish was lovely and quite an unusual way for me to eat fish. Even without the sauce it tasted great!

Before this of course we had starters, and I was recommended the chilli-free duck wraps in lettuce rather than pancake. I thought it wouldn’t be too filling but it really was, yet felt so healthy at the same time! The duck was cooked to perfection and the lettuce swap made them so fresh and easy to eat (for my stomach – not so much for my hands).

As for the types of food served there I found there was quite a variation of different dishes to be had. There are plenty of different types of noodle and rice dishes and you can also get curries, salands, and ramen with various ingredients and toppings. I was quite fascinated with the tea-stained egg which my partner had as part of his steak bulgogi, also featuring soba noodles and fried aubergine. Wagamama has menus for both vegetarians and vegans as well as children and are happy to accommodate all guests, as proven by my experience there.

Jinzu fever gin from Wagamama in Colchester
Such a pretty gin, but it didn’t last long

The drink selection is really good with a wide variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They have a really good range of juices which you won’t find in many other restaurants so these are worth ordering. Being a gin lover I had to go for their signature Japanese-inspired gin known as Jinzu Fever, which is infused with cherry blossom, yuzu, and sake. It’s decorated with lemon and pink peppercorns and looks super pretty, but don’t accidentally drink them or you’ll be in for a mouthful of flavour you perhaps weren’t looking for!

We couldn’t fit in desserts afterwards because we were absolutely stuffed, but their dessert menu looks divine and I’ll certainly be going back again to try it out. Instead we finished off our meal with green tea to cleanse the palate, which came in a beautiful ceramic cup without a handle. This was a lovely way to end the meal and made me feel calm and balanced after such a gorge-fest!

As you can probably guess I wholeheartedly recommend Wagamama as a positive chain restaurant experience, and they are especially welcoming if you suffer from allergies. They have a quality range of food and it’s easy to find something for everyone, so certainly worth a visit to the new store if you’re in Colchester!

Have you visited Wagamama before? How was your experience? If you enjoyed my review then please click like and leave a comment!