On Friday night, with husband out watching the rugby, my daughter and I headed down to Whetstone to try out Tootoomoo and their ‘pan Asian’ menu.
Tootoomoo is a cutely named north London based small chain of restaurants with other branches in Crouch End, Highgate and Islington (these last two are for takeaways only). The menu combines Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese influences devised by chef Ricky Pang, with dishes freshly made to order.
Booking spontaneously for a busy Friday evening, we could only have a table for between 7 and 8.15 and were seated near the open kitchen, away from the main part of the restaurant. This was fine by us as we wanted to see the action, but a larger party was offered the neighbouring table, but declined and went elsewhere. We were perched on stools at a high table which suited the buzzy informal atmosphere and gave us a good view of the kitchen.
We ordered a few small dishes to have ahead of a main course and the first of these was a selection of sushi. They were four different maki rolls that had been prepared earlier and were good, but not as impressive as the next dish – crispy smoked chicken with chilli, salt and spring onions. Our waiter recommended this as it’s popular with customers, and you could immediately see why. Succulent pieces of smoked chicken in a crunchy well seasoned batter and very tasty indeed. Our final starter was vegetable spring rolls with sweet chilli dip – nicely done and featuring an appetising little strip of seaweed wrapped around them.
For main course we played safe with Pad Thai with chicken. Our generous sharing plate (reasonably priced at £8.20) was garnished with a pile of chopped peanuts to sprinkle over to taste and a wedge of lime – not normally anything to get that excited about, but it was unexpectedly juicy and flavour-packed and dressed the dish magnificently. We couldn’t finish it, so the leftovers were packed up in a doggy bag for husband to enjoy after the rugby. My refreshing glass of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc was suitably versatile with all this.
After so much savoury food, we fancied some dessert. However, they are limited to frozen yoghurt and various sauces and sprinkles, so we went for a single serving with chocolate and Oreo sprinkles (I was with a 9 year old!). Perhaps they could be encouraged to consider adding fruit and sorbets to the menu. We also fought over a Virgin Orchid ‘mocktail’ (cranberry, apple and lychee), sweetly fruity and scented and a good alternative to dessert. Before ordering dessert our time slot was up, but the accommodating staff moved us to a table in the main room to finish off our meal without having to hurry.
Tootoomoo ticks a lot of boxes and is a big hit with families (they also offer sushi making parties for kids), offering a broad and tempting range of dishes prepared with flair and expertise. That said, it’s also ideal for a light supper and cocktails (two for the price of one 5–7pm Tuesday to Friday). The design and décor gives the impression of being in a bustling Asian market and they have some nice quirky details, for example their takeaway menu includes single serve cocktails in jam jars. Finally, in our neck of the woods, it’s a relief to see an open kitchen cooking dishes to order. There are loads of options for eating out locally, but sadly too many of them are based on frozen precooked food reheated and dressed up for service, not on proper cooking. We’ll be returning to Too Too Moo very soon for more tasty dishes from a really competent kitchen that’s great to watch too.
Our meal for two came to £43 including service.