Eating Out|| Tootoomoo, Islington

Close to Highbury & Islington station, this cute little pan-asian restaurant is in one of my favourite areas of London. Nestled close to the boutique coffee chops around the main roundabout, and the numerous new openings on St. Pauls Road, the area is one to watch.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

Relatively small, there’s only about 30 covers (to memory) in the Islington branch of Tootoomoo. The interior, decorated in reds and blues, with striped cushions and blue padded booths, wooden chairs and bright and colourful tiled tables, it radiated its eastern influence. The open front, breezy during the longer late summer evenings, meant you didn’t mind too much that you weren’t sat outside making the most of the English summer – which I know a the moment seems like it never existed!

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

Thursday evening wasn’t overly busy during our visit (I was out for a catch-up with Kim), so we managed to get a slightly larger table for our feast which was about to ensue.

Cocktails, of which there were several to choose from, were high on the priority list after a long day in the office. The Elderflower TooTooMoo – gin, sparkling elderflower & fresh mint – light and refreshing with the extra mint, it satisfied the craving for something a little stronger. The wine and beer offering looked just as good, with buckets of four beers for £10 and wines from £5.50 – we could have easily made a night of it.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

The food menu wasn’t as easy to choose from, purely due to being extremely hungry to the point where I was verging on hanger and all the options sounding so good.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

Sharing helps with this a little, and so began our feast of small plates and mains, all arriving at about the same time as requested.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

The Crispy Smoked Chicken, served with chilli salt and creamy spicy mayo, was one of my favourite dishes of the evening.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

With a flavour strangely almost reminding me of a packet of prawn cocktail crisps from my childhood, the chicken strips had a slightly sweet taste with a small kick of spice. The spicy mayo was similar to a chipotle mayo with a smokey aroma running through.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

The Chicken Pad Thai, with egg, chilli, assorted stir fried vegetables, crunchy peanut and lime for adding a squeeze, arrived almost deconstructed – I’d never seen a pad thai served in this way before, the dish delivered all on one plate but split into parts. Served with delicious coated fried tofu too, it was a fantastic pad thai and a generous portion.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

The Edamame was fresh and juicy, with a good helping of sea salt. The Vegetarian Potstickers were rich with a great depth of flavour, all in a lightly toasted dumpling case. Served with ponzu, a citrus-based, slightly tart sauce and a small bed of veg sticks, the combination of flavours complimented each other well. Both great sides.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

The Beef Rendang, rich, creamy and aromatic, had candlenut & sweet potato cooked into the dish too. The mouthwatering beef, extremely tender, pulled apart easily with the tines of the fork.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

Chosen with a side of Japanese Brown Rice (smaller grains than other brown or white rice) served just cooked, it was something special. I do love a beef rendang and this one was packed with flavour and seriously delicious.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

The signature frozen yoghurt is recommended to finish with, and we could tell why. Available in six different flavours, and served almost like a Mr. Whippy 99 but in a bowl, it tastes indulgent and the flavour is incredible.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

The Pistachio and Oreo options, both potent in flavour – the pistachio my choice, and I would highly recommend this time and time again.

Tootoomoo Islington, Pan-Asian Restaurant

With small plates starting at £3.95, mains at about £7 and alcoholic drinks at £4, it’s pretty reasonable for its location. The food was absolutely delicious, the service helpful and efficient, and the place itself was cute and not too busy, making it a welcome escape from the usual bustling restaurants on a Thursday evening. I would highly recommend it for a more chilled location for a catch-up. In fact, as it’s so close to where Alex’s mum lives, I’m thinking of suggesting it to Alex for the three of us.

Have you been before? What was your favourite dish?

Chloe xx

*I was Kim’s plus one for her review. All views my own. 

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