Review: Tootoomoo – Tobes and Tone

Tootoomoo

No, not Desmond the famous South African Archbishop being asked to impersonate a cow.

No, not someone trying to get an Ox to perform the nutcracker.

No, not someone complaining that their steak is too steaky.

No, not someone explaining his disappointing degree result to cattle.

No, not an infant trying to pronounce the name of the famous Egyptian Pharaoh.

No, not Gary Lineker telling your mum the football score.

Yes, a Pan-Asian restaurant in Crouch End.

North London dwelling Toby, has been suffering with a bit of tummy trouble of late.

“Knock, Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Another runny poo I’m afraid.”

Anyway, yesterday he started to feel a little better and Tony suggested he should leave the house. We met in Crouch End.

Toby, who hadn’t eaten for four days saw Tootoomoo and was like, “we should try that place.”

Next thing you know, we’re trying it.

Lots of Asian fare to be had here, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese think of an ‘ese’ and these guys do it, with ESE (ease.) Just call these guys Foodese ™FoodieBoys.

This is very much where the PAN part of Pan-Asian comes from, ‘pan’ being short for ‘span’ (we think) their food SPANS ASIAn cuisine.

Despite it being a Tuesday night, we hit the cocktails. Toby loved his Tootoomoojito, and Toby settled back and quaffed a Tom Collins, like an expat may have done in Asia at some point in the past.

Beef and Foie Gras Gyoza

Beef and Foie Gras dumplings

Not wanting to rest on our laurels, we ordered some Beef and Foie Gras Gyoza to nibble on – Pan-Asian-French (PAF) fare perhaps? These were perfectly reasonable, like little parcels of meat, and who wouldn’t sign-up for that package?!

For our main we decided to share Beef Rendang and Shoaxshing Chicken. Both came with chillis next to them on the menu.

We prepared ourselves for some serious heat and prepared ourselves accordingly, Toby apologised in advance to his bowel.

Sadly, neither dish were spicy but both were very tasty indeed.

Chopstick masterclass

Chopstick masterclass from Toby

So, next time you find yourself in Crouch End, or Islington or Highgate or Whetstone (that’s where their other branches are) and you can’t decide what type of Asian food to eat, why not head to Tootoomoo?

Toby reviews Duke’s Head – Pulled 1st January.

People who aren’t aware of The Duke’s Head in Highgate are missing out on one of the best kept secrets in London – a pub with more beers than you could swing your drinking arm at. Not that you’d want to swing your arms aggressively, as, on the whole, everyone seems quite nice there.

They have monthly residencies, taking in some of the finest street foods that London Town has to offer, and placing them in the sleepy surroundings of Highgate Village.

For December, they had Pulled, purveyors of slow-roasted meat. pulled-web

Well, I thought I’d missed my chance at sampling them when I called in for a post-New Year’s Eve pint and saw that I had one more evening to see what they had to offer.

I went for the chicken, with their own piri-piri sauce, in a knowing nod to the popularity of a certain Portuguese restaurant…

After an impressively short wait, they came back to me with a burger on a chopping board – a nice touch.

IMG_20150101_174611Just what the hangover doctor ordered.

Firstly, the rosemary fries. I loved these, in fact I’d go as far as to say they are my favourite Fry in London –  bad luck Stephen!!

The chicken sandwich itself was a little disappointing. To my tongue it tasted a little bland, and not nearly enough spice to it.

Perhaps I should have gone for the pork, a more naturally slow-roasted meat. That would have been a real hog-manay then!

So perhaps the chicken didn’t lay the perfect new year egg for me in form of a burger but the meal was driven by those spectacular chips, which don’t look much but really are unbeatable!

I enjoyed this with a half of Siren’s excellent Liquid Mistress beer – a half is enough with this one as it certainly packs a crafty punch. I would have like to have spent more time in the pub but it was closing time.

Our review of January’s residency ‘Beefsteaks‘ will be coming VERY soon!

Tony reviews Chicken Liquor – Brixton market 22 Nov

Once again Saturday evening appeared and I was without a restaurant reservation. Where to? Brixton market of course.

I wasn’t really sure what I fancied so I did a couple of laps of the market/row areas and deliberated the pros and cons of each establishment.

My findings were pretty unanimous, there are no cons to fried chicken. So, it was off to Chicken Liquor I went.

“Chicken liquor, that name sounds familiar.” You’re right, it does, formerly Wishbone,  this chicken joint is now owned by the trendy Meat Liquor organisation.  Having never been to Meat Liquor I have no idea if it’s any good or not, but I’ve heard enough about it to presume it is.

It was pretty busy but myself and two friends were given a table at the back with high stools and a very close proximity to the toilet. This worked well as I actually needed to use the facilities when we first arrived and also just before we left.

What’s on the menu?

Chicken liquor menu

Chicken liquor menu

Chicken and plenty of it. If chicken is your thing there’ll be something for you.

Chicken YOUR WAY boasts the menu.

Well, my way was 1 x Buffalo wings, 1 x Thai wings and 1 x Garlic and Soy boneless bites.

“That’s a lot of chicken!” Yes, yes it is. Look at it in all it’s glory (see picture).

The buffalo wings were good, with enough of a kick to keep you on your toes and a delicious blue cheese sauce to add to the bite.

A lot of chicken

A lot of chicken

The Thai wings were disappointing, but I only ordered them as an experiment, so I wasn’t too downhearted,

The garlic and soy bites were sweet and lovely, a contrast to the buffalo. I chose to have a buffalo wing followed by a boneless bite, followed by a buffalo wing followed by a boneless bite and so on, to keep my taste buds guessing.

For a drink I had a whisky sour. I wasn’t sure what I wanted when the waitress approached the table to get our order, so I panicked and asked for the first thing I saw.

“A sour please.”
“What type of spirit?”
“Whisky.”

Drink_chicken_menu

Sour note

I’m pleased I said “whisky” as the first spirit to come to mind, as it could have been quite embarrassing if for example I’d said “Baileys”.

Did I enjoy chicken liquor?

I’ll let this graphic photograph do the talking!

Yes, I did enjoy Chicken Liquor.

Yes, I did enjoy Chicken Liquor.

Review / Tony’s lunch – Inito 28 October

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

Inito roti

Inito roti

Whoever said that didn’t have lunch with me today. Having lived in India I’ve watched with eager eyes as Inito Roti has been put together near my place of work.

When I lived in India I used to have rotis for lunch very often, normally they’d be dipped and dunked into chickpea curries, acting as a mini naan bread. Delicious.

Now, as a big fan of wraps (the alternative to boring, old sandwiches) I was delighted to see that in Inito, roti bread was being used as an alternative to a tortilla style wrap.

Roti is generally an Indian bread, made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

As I walked to Sainsbury’s to pick up some San Pellegrino water (I developed my taste for sparkling water when living in India) I saw Inito had opened it’s door(s).

Inito roti menu

Inito roti menu

I peaked my head through and was informed that they weren’t properly open just yet, but I could join the queue and try some of their fare.

Well, what a treat! There are numerous options here. I jumped in and went for the chicken, chickpea masala, spinach with mixed herb chutney sauce. It was a winner.

Now the amazing bit – I didn’t pay for it. “What, did your Mumbai?” No, when did I mention my mother being with me?!  It was because they’re not officially open. I was gobsmacked.

It’s only some 30/45 minutes later I realise the genius of this. Due to me enjoying the food and the proximity to my work, I’ll almost certainly be back. I could end up potentially having one of these every lunch time I want to be reminded of living in India, which is most of them let’s face it.

My colleagues are especially pleased as they adore my anecdotes about the time I lived in India.

Chicken and Chickpea roti at my work station

Chicken and Chickpea roti at my work station

It’s worth noting that we review both things we have and haven’t paid for. If you would like us to review your restaurant please get in touch. Especially if it’s going to be free.

Toby’s Lunch: 16th October

Chinese for lunch? I haven’t a clue, I don’t speak a word of it!

Seriously though, a BBC (British Born Chinese) ex-colleague recommended Chop Chop Noodle to me recently and so I couldn’t resist popping down after roping in a few workmates to fill the seats next to me!

I went for the Chicken Chow Mein (which is a popular chicken fried noodle dish) I have to say I was disappointed in the cuisine. The food was very bland and required a lot of salt to flavour the dish.

The serving staff were apathetic too, with frequent requests for tap-water falling on deaf-ears. Perhaps my ex-colleague had more luck with her multi-lingual skills.

The only saving grace was the portion sizes, which were full and filling.