Brunch Review: Tootoomoo, Islington in London
An interior with animated splashes of colour across walls that display its very own distinct and playful Asian setting, Tootoomoo in Islington may be on the smaller side and somewhat easy to miss, but dishing up exciting pan-Asian tapas and vibrant street food small plates; this small restaurant cleverly mimics exotic ancient techniques from across Asia, that despite not being radically different, are certainly are worth practising your chop stick stills on.
I visited recently to try out the launch of their new bottomless brunch menu and unlike most brunch or breakfast menus that feed our weekends, Tootoomoo’s brunch menu highlights their tapas style small plates that combine the most delicious details of Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese methods. This Asian fusion is created with a mix of ancient and modern cooking techniques; resulting in a blend of traditional Asian delights, wrapped within a contemporary framework.
Describing themselves as ‘audacious’ and with a variety of Asian dishes to tempt all tastes, the main line up includes shichimi squid, BBQ pork ribs and chicken gyoza followed by larger dishes such as beef rendang and Szechuan chilli with tofu. Ideal to mix and match to whatever you fancy, all combine culinary influences that transport diners to the authentic and exotic Asian ‘shophouses’ and street stalls.
It can often be hard to enjoy and even to claim to find great Asian food in the UK, but Tootoomoo has incorporated all the popular Asian dishes we are so fond of and have, in fact, done a good job of it. These include fresh and colourful cuts of sashimi and sushi, to crisp prawn crackers and spicy and morish coconut based curries that tick every box and are filled with flavour and spice. The brain child of Philip McGuiness and Executive Chef Ricky Pang, where the sharing tapas plates lead the way, Executive Chef Ricky Pang claims to keep the magic alive, (within very English surroundings), with the use of personal and unknown techniques which make each small plate individually shine.
Served in jars that add a fun and novel touch, cocktails are also available for brunch with a distinctive Asian twist, including the flavoured Caipirinha – with the choice of lychee, mango, passion fruit, pineapple or chill. These are as equally fun and refreshing and with an Asian beer or not, are a great companion to the small dishes that fill the small square tables.
Our Asian tapas style brunch fusion included fresh, the cuts of salmon sashimi which I easily could have ordered more of, piles of salty edamame beans and a green curry that matched the one I ate in Bangkok a few months ago. I may have remained in Islington, but these friendly, small round dishes transported us back to Asia with the additional bonus of returning home jetlag free.
The recently launched bottomless brunch offer is available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Address: Tootoomoo Islington, 278 St Paul’s Rd, Islington N1 2LH, 02077046687, tootoomoo.co.uk
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