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Review: Tota, Tooting
4:05pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in Leisure
Tooting has always been a go to place for foodies and a new restaurant is adding even more variety to the area, writes Alexandra Rucki.
Tota, located in Upper Tooting Road, has opened its doors close to Tooting Broadway station and is brightening up a part of the area often neglected by punters.
As I enter the restaurant I’m greeted by co-owner Victoria Clayton and much to my delight a glass of sparkly prosecco – already I can see this is a restaurant that gets my style.
The interior of the restaurant is industrial-chic, with metal chairs, exposed walls and hanging lamps. It feels cosy inside though, and you are made to feel at home whether you are dressed to the nines or in jeans.
The menu, presented on a clipboard, features modern European cuisine and has obviously been created by people who are into their food.
For starter I decide to go for salmon sashimi with wasabi aioli (£6.50), while my guest chooses duck spring rolls with ponzu dipping sauce (£6). The sashimi is a light and a refreshing way to start off the meal, presented delicately on the plate. My friend’s rolls are crispy, while the sauce has a bit of tongue-tingling kick.
It’s hard to decide what to pick from the main, with a range of seafood, roasted meat and vegetarian options on offer. My eyes are drawn to the “From the grill” section, with a special robata grill installed in the open plan kitchen at the back.
I decide to go for the chargrilled half chicken, marinated with lemon, garlic and oregano (£12.75). It comes served with a huge sweet potato as well as a side salad. The meat is tender and falls off the bone with ease - you can really taste the difference of it being cooked on the swanky grill. My friend decides to go for pork belly, served in a ginger, star anise and lemon sauce, with sticky rice (£13.30). Before we know it our table is filled with plates and we’re forced to untie our belts.
I’m absolutely stuffed but it is hard to resist the tantalising desert menu. I’m served a passion fruit bavois, with blueberry sauce and a sesame snap, priced at £4.25. My friend goes for a salted caramel tart, with dulce de lece ice-cream also £4.25. Both are divine, and we leave feeling satisfied, as well as already setting a date to come again.
The restaurant has only been open a month, but is already proving to be a hit, with 110 breakfasts served the previous weekend and lots of talks of it on social media.
The name Tota means people of Tooting, and is clear to see this is what the restaurant is going for, a home away from home where you can sample upmarket cuisine in comfortable settings.