While I used to be an East Finchley resident, it takes a lot to drag me up north these days, but the sound of Tootoomoo was just too tempting to resist. With four locations in Highgate, Whetstone, Islington and Crouch End, the pan-Asian restaurant fuses Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese influences to create a menu packed with mouthwatering dishes, combining a pinch of the ancient with modern cooking techniques from executive chef Ricky Pang.
Modern, chic, but full of character. The Crouch End branch has red walls scribbled with quirky words, gorgeous tiled sections and plenty of greenery. It was empty when we arrived at 7pm, but within about 15 minutes the place was buzzing - we’d clearly hit their golden hour. with a menu of light bites and tapas-style small dishes, it attracted a crowd of locals popping in for a quick bite, groups on a post-Christmas catch up and even the odd date night couple.
Tootoomoo boasts a very impressive tasting menu, with the Explorer (for 2 people, 6 dishes for £30) and Discovery (for 4,10 dishes for £50) both very cost effective options. We went for the former, choosing three dishes from the small Plates or Sushi sections and three from Sashimi, Salads, Tempura, Grill or Wok.
Sampling the former, we started with some juicy plump chicken gyoza in an incredibly moreish black rice vinaigrette and perfectly crispy shichimi Japanese pepper and sweet chilli squid. The duck and watermelon salad is highly recommended, refreshingly summery and definitely one I shall try and recreate at home. The salmon sashimi was properly melt in the mouth and came with a fresh homemade wasabi, a pleasant - if fiery - change to the green sludge usually accompanying shop bought sushi. The Pad Thai was perfection and their satay chicken hands down some of the best I’ve ever tasted.
Being January we stuck to mocktails, sampling the Virgin Orchid, the delicious combo of cranberry, apple and lychee, though it’s worth noting that if your postcode falls under one of their delivery areas they can deliver cocktails to your door…
For fast, fresh, affordable pan-Asian cuisine - you can’t beat it. I admit, I’m a bit gutted they aren’t south of the river. For the rest of January, you can also satisfy your cravings with a ‘£5 from 5pm menu’, saving up to 50%, available exclusively from 5pm – 6:30pm, Monday – Friday, so now there’s no excuse not to try it.
Restaurants, Bars and food/drink pop ups and reviews
There's nothing more delicious in life than indulging in a sensational meal.