Both this post, and the next couple that will appear on my blog, are scheduled, as I'm currently in Japan on a sake tour! And oddly enough, this one, and the next, are both reviews of Japanese restaurants in London. Long time readers will know how much I adore Japanese food, so to get to go to two restaurants in London serving one of my favourite cuisines, then to the place itself, is pretty magical. Starting with Tootoomoo. Though not strictly Japanese, Tootoomoo serves a range of pan Asian (from Thailand, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan) inspired dishes at its four restaurants in London (Whetstone, Islington, Highgate and Crouch End - where we went). The Crouch End branch has had a recent makeover and is all brightly coloured wooden tables, chairs and walls - we were sitting in the red area, hence the ruby glow in all my photos!

To get my taste buds going, we started with warm sake. I'm not (yet) a sake expert but am hoping the next eight days will teach me a thing or two about this Japanese rice wine, that's made by fermenting rice that's been polished to remove the outer layer. As I was off to Paris the following day and eating with Moosh who's not a meat fan, we stuck with the lighter dishes on the menu, starting with the mixed sushi (tuna and salmon) and yuzu sake maki (salmon, avocado, yuzu and citrus mayo). The sashimi pieces were incredibly fresh and light, and cut from the perfect part of the fish for sashimi. The rolls were good - not the best I've had, but certainly not the worst - though could've had a bit more going on. They too were fresh, just a little bland.

Having said we were avoiding meat, I couldn't help but order the duck and watermelon salad, which is a firm favourite of mine at some of the more expensive Japanese restaurants in London. Tootoomoo's version was the best I've had. The vegetable were crunchy and chopped into nice large chunks, mixed with a good amount of chilli and loads of herbs, and the duck was slow cooked with a crisp skin and soft meat, and just the right quantity of plum sauce, so as not to overpower it, but to give it a little something extra. I also got to eat all of the duck, while Moosh stuck to the salad.

For mains we shared the miso glazed black cod, with shiro, miso and lime, which at nearly £20 is expensive. Though black cod normally is.... This was well executed, and I loved the shiro, miso and lime sauce on the plate. The only niggle is the price.

Lemongrass prawns were great, though quite sweet - they could've done with a big squeeze of lime to finish them off, though they were huge and juicy, and it's good to order a prawn dish and get more than just a couple of prawns - for £10.50 this was much better value than the cod.

Tootoomoo is fun, and serves delicious food. They're also on Deliveroo so you can get their food delivered straight to your door, which I would definitely do if I lived near one their North London sites. More info about all their restaurants can be found here.

 Tootoomoo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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