As you walk past Tootoomoo you could easily mistake it for just another Thai takeaway standing inconspicuously on St Paul's Road. On closer inspection however, this is actually a great little spot for dining in as well, with interesting, colourful decor and a welcoming vibe, additionally offering a simple yet excellent cocktail menu.
Positioned just a stone's throw from Highbury and Islington station, Tootoomoo is conveniently located for hungry after-work punters or Islington locals coming and going on any night of the week. It is set up both as a takeaway and as a great new casual dining space in the Angel area.
As we arrived, the comforting smell of cooking spices and sweet lemongrass wafted out through the open door to invite us in. The warm lighting coming from the bare hanging lightbulbs and intricate bird-cage style lighting features created an intimate and relaxed feel for this pint-sized venue. Combined with the colourful walls and chairs, the Asian spices and bottles lined up along the shelves and a gentle tinkling of relaxed reggae music, the overall effect seemed charming and well designed.
Food & Drink
The fusion of pan-Asian food that Tootoomoo dish up is done to a great standard and a lot of focus is put on using high quality ingredients and making their dishes that little bit different.
We started with a couple of Lychee Caipirinhas (£7) that we were told were one of our waiter's specialities. They were very good and perfect for a warm, slightly humid day. We then went for a tasting menu of many of the different small plates Tootoomoo has to offer. The crispy smoked chicken with chilii salt & spicy mayo (£4.50) was a great addition to the menu, with the wood-smoked flavour giving it something a little different. The highlight of any Japanese meal I order if often the gyoza, and so also opted for the chicken gyoza (£4) on Tootoomoo's menu, which did not disappoint.
The popcorn shrimp (£6.50), served with nori dust & yuzu mayo, was my friend's favourite and the seaweed salad (£5.50) demonstrated well the high quality ingredients and fresh, clean tastes found across the selection of dishes at Tootoomoo. Topped with black pepper & sesame dressing the salad was full of flavour, crisp and delicious. The other excellent example of how Tootoomoo stands out from the crowd as far as pan-Asian, speedy eats style establishments go, was the succulent aromatic duck and pancakes (£8.50). Washed down with a bottle of sauvignon blanc (£23) - one of the two carefully chosen, good value white wines on the drinks menu - it was altogether a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
We were tempted to finish with a taste of their frozen yoghurts on offer, opting for the pistachio and the chocolate (£3.50). Here however, is where Tootoomoo possibly fell a little short. Unlike the rest of the food on offer, the chocolate frozen yoghurt tasted bland and artificial. The pistachio was a little better but in general I would say stick to the savoury and the great selection of sushi, wok dishes and interesting, tapas-style small plates.
The atmosphere at Tootoomoo is just what you want from a chilled out, casual dining space to enjoy a few cocktails and some tapas-style, Asian fusion dishes with friends. The team are all very friendly and create a great vibe for the restaurant. The crowd here are mainly young locals, clearly very welcoming of this new addition to the neighbourhood with it's convenient, tasty, fast food and good cocktails.
Head to Tootoomoo for a warm and welcoming set-up and some really good quality pan-Asian cuisine. My advice? Go when you're hungry and try as many of the Small Plates as you can, sticking to the great savoury dishes and cocktails.