JC Eats: Asian Tapas at Tootoomoo, Islington

November 11, 2016

photo-31-10-2016-20-38-28I think Asian tapas is becoming a thing. And it’s a thing that I like. You see, I’m always a fan of being able to try so many different things. And I always get jealous of everyone else’s food, so if we all get to share then perfect! So really, Asian tapas is more lots of delicious small plates which you can share amongst friends. Tootoomoo which has a few locations in North London is championing pan-Asian tapas and when I got the chance to go and give it a try, I was very excited.

We jumped on the tube from South West to North and shortly arrived in Highbury and Islington. This isn’t a part of town I often come to, and it was lovely to wander down the high street past lots of independent restaurants. Tootoomoo has a small restaurant tucked away with a few tables and a rustic vibe. I really liked the interior with big basket lamps hanging from the ceiling, brightly painted chairs and tiled tables. Tootoomoo is pan-Asian this means they have a whole heap to choose from! I started with a cocktail which came delivered to the table in a cute mason jar cup. It was a good one – the tootoomojito was full of zingly lime and cool mint.

The best thing about Tootoomoo is that they offer tasting menus, where for £30 you can pick 6 small plates to share between the two of you (or only £50 for 10 dishes to split between 4). This is such a good deal! A huge amount of fresh, amazing Asian food for £15 each? I am so down for that. The menu is split into plates, wok, sushi, salads and tempura – so really something for everyone.

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Let’s start with the plates – we went for a couple of options. Firstly starting with the shichimi squid with Japanese pepper and sweet chilli sauce. The squid was lovely and soft, not at all chewy with a light batter on top. We also went for the crispy smoked chicken with chilli salt and spicy mayo. I am obsessed with that mayo, it was SO good. Just the right amount of kick and I pretty much just spent the whole time dipping everything into it. The chicken was yummy too, little strips and all too easy to nibble on.

Next we had to go for sushi – the yuzu salmon yaki. The sushi itself was really good, but you only get 2 pieces which was the only downside! I could have happily put away at least two of these myself. The salmon was really fresh and I love it when they pair it with avocado rather than cucumber (the worst of the vegetables!). Now, let’s get into the wok section. These are the curries, noodles and tempura that you can split out and share. We went for the Singapore noodles with chicken – have to say I am not skilled at eating noodles with chop sticks. But when I did manage to get it, it was nice – not as filled with flavour as some of the other dishes but still yummy. My only downside of all the dishes we had was the popcorn shrimp, deep fried shrimp covered in a tempura. I found them to be too much batter and as shrimp is such a delicate flavour, it was just overwhelmed by it.

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My fave however, was the Szechuan chilli beef which was SO good. I love those dishes which are just packed full of flavour and heat and this was the one. It also had big chunks of courgette which I really enjoyed as it soaked up all of the sauce. We had some egg fried rice on the side which was perfect to go alongside all of our dishes.

Now, by this point, we were pretty full. But of course, we had to try the froyo! Frozen yoghurt is actually a really genius dessert here, as after all the hot and spicy food, I was so craving something cold and creamy. I went for the oreo flavour and Paul went for the chocolate. Both were really good, though of course, my choice was better. Yummy chunks of oreo in a creamy swirl. I could just eat that again right now.

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Overall, a really great option for a budget Asian in North London. The service was quick and friendly and were always happy to provide a recommendation. They also do take out and there was quite the line of delivery drivers coming to pick up food, so it’s obvious the surrounding area have figured out how good it is! Now, I just need to convince them to start opening some South West London branches…

What are your thoughts on Asian tapas?

*My meal was complimentary, but all opinions are my own! 

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