I promise I do venture out of south London sometimes but here I am again writing about Tooting!
Tota is a cute little restaurant with a sparkly façade and friendly staff on Tooting High Street. The menu is very eclectic, with everything from ribs and steak to vegetarian curry and fish.
The small menu is complemented by a selection of specials which are similarly varied.
Due to the “kaleidoscope” of food on offer we decided it would be rude not to have starters and main courses – we needed to make sure we sampled as much as possible!
I went for the salt and pepper calamari with a chilli jam. It was beautifully presented in a miniature saucepan with the sauce in a dish next to it.
The calamari was really tender but I felt the very sweet flavour of the jam overpowered the salt and pepper which I couldn’t really taste.
Agatha went for the scallops special which were served with pesto and a black pudding-esque sausage. The swift nature in which these disappeared from her plate told me they were very good!
I think when it came to the main courses we were perhaps a bit baffled by the choice; did we want pasta, a burger or the hake special?
I’m not sure that what we chose in the end really showed off the talents of chef Gary Doherty.
I went for the stuffed Portobello mushroom which was served with quinoa, seasonal greens and mozzarella. It was a great mixture of flavours and ingredients but was probably not the most adventurous of choices.
Ag, who was exhausted after spending the day packing up her flat and not eating, chose the pesto linguine from the specials board which came with sundried tomatoes, broccoli and parmesan.
We concluded that while it was colourful and fresh, both of us could have definitely just as easily reproduced it at home and it again, wasn’t especially ‘special’.
However, I should stress that those were just our choices and I think that on this occasion we made the wrong ones.
The restaurant itself has a great buzz to it. When we arrived only around four tables were full but by the time we started to eat it was packed out.
The front of house manager and waitress did so well to attend to all of the tables between just the two of them. The service was relaxed and efficient.
We had a really nice time at Tota, in its lovely surroundings. I think next time we just need to branch out from the comfortable familiar dishes.
Tota is just around the corner from St George’s Hospital and all NHS staff receive 10% discount from Tuesday to Friday until 5pm.