Author: MS

Boom Bap Burger

Our usual burger spot in Tooting is Honest Burgers on the high street, but there is another decent burger joint hidden away inside Tooting Market. Boom Bap Burger is at the back of the market area, around the corner from UnWined and Graveney Gin. We’ve sampled their burgers before at a Tooting Market Summer Supper and we enjoyed it then, so when we were looking for something quick and tasty to eat on Saturday, that’s where we headed.

Being in the market, it has an open front so you still get to enjoy/be part of the hustle and bustle of the market shoppers. There are plenty of tables, with the kitchen sectioned off at one end, and some great tracks playing over the speakers.

The menu offers 7 different burgers (one Veggie), and a good selection of side orders and extras for the burgers. There is just about something to suit everyone. On the night we went, there was also a special lamb burger. The only thing missing was a chicken option. There were 4 of us and we opted for a bacon cheeseburger, 2 veggie burgers and a blue cheese burger. We also all ordered fries and 1 portion of onion rings.  To wash it down we chose the Chapel Down Cider, a beer and water.

It didn’t take long and the burgers looked awesome. The blue cheese burger had a really good combination of flavours and textures. The burger was succulent without being too juicy (something I appreciated). The blue cheese, which can sometimes either get lost or be too overpowering, was just right, giving a really nice salty flavour, and it went well with the boom bap sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion. The brioche bun was also nice.

The veggie burgers, which consisted of Portobello mushroom, sun dried tomato, halloumi, lettuce, gherkin and boom bap sauce, went down well too. The balance of flavours worked really well and they were really filling.

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The bacon cheeseburger was great. Perfectly cooked patty underneath a couple of juicy pieces of bacon and cheese, with crisp fresh salad, and then sandwiched between a nicely toasted brioche bun. Lovely hot crunchy fries on the side, and they weren’t greasy which is always a bonus.

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The onion rings weren’t the best we’ve had but they were OK, and it was a generous portion. There was a good selection of sauces on the tables to dip everything into.

This was a quick meal and we were all really happy with what we ordered. The burgers were really tasty and not too messy, as they can sometimes be in other places. We will definitely be back and I also think we’ll consider Boom Bap if we use Deliveroo for burgers too.  Next time you fancy a burger, you would do well to pop into Boom Bap and give them a try.

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Trinity, Clapham

Whenever we have a birthday or anniversary to celebrate we like to visit somewhere special. These occasions usually call for a trip to a Michelin starred restaurant and we have been lucky enough to eat in some really special places. This year, for Mr Tooting Eater’s birthday, the job of choosing a table fell to me. After a very special trip to L’Enclume last year, I knew I needed to find somewhere different. After some research I settled upon Trinity in Clapham. I was keen to find another local restaurant and was really interested in the fact that, rather than a taster menu, Trinity offered a 4 course a la carte menu.

The restaurant is in the Old Town area of Clapham, near the common, and looked really inviting from the outside. After being welcomed at the door we were shown to our table near the window and offered an aperitif to start our evening. Seeing as it was a special occasion we chose to have a glass of Delamotte Brut Champagne, and this was served nicely chilled and started the evening of perfectly.

We were then treated to some snacks which were delicious tasty morsels to get our taste buds going. Fresh bread soon followed along with some whipped butter. The bread rolls had a perfectly crisp crust and were lovely and soft inside, and the whipped butter was amazing, I could have eaten it all night long it was so good!

 

The menu included 4 choices for each course and everything sounded delicious, making it hard to choose. For starters we selected the Soused Cornish Mackerel, White Gazpacho, Grapes, Tarragon and the Big Eye Tuna, Cornish Crab Salad, Avocado and Pickled Cucumber. We were given some great advice from the sommelier who helped us choose glasses of wine that would help compliment the dishes.

The starters arrived looking stunning and smelling delicious. The tuna dish was tasty and refreshing with a really lovely balance of flavours. I’m not normally a fan of cucumber but it paired really well here.

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The mackerel was great. Fresh and full of flavour, it worked perfectly with the creaminess of the gazpacho, the acidity from the grapes, and the tiny hint of sweetness from the tarragon.

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For our next course we chose the Crispy Pigs Trotters, Sauce Gribiche and Crackling and the Ravioli of Scallop and Lobster, Lobster Soup, and Porthilly Oyster (although no oyster for me thanks to an allergy). Again, the dishes looked and smelt fantastic and didn’t disappoint in the flavor department. The ravioli was soft with a rich and tasty filling. The soup was also full of flavor and well balanced.

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Crispy pigs trotter is one of my favourite things to eat, I love the rich meaty pork enclosed in breadcrumbs. Add a sauce and crackling to that and it will always be a winner.

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The third course saw us select the Dover Sole baked in Truffle Butter, Ceps and Cauliflower and the Sea Bass. I have to say, I wouldn’t normally choose such a fish heavy menu for myself but I was thoroughly enjoying every dish that had been put in front of me.  The range of textures and flavours were delightful and really enjoyable.

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The Dover Sole in truffle butter was delicate and rich, just a pleasure to eat.

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Finally we had to choose desserts. All of the desserts sounded scrumptious so this was difficult. We decided on the Salt Caramel Custard Tart, Salt Caramel Ice Cream, and the Hot Chocolate Tartlet, Poached Pear, Olive Oil Ice Cream.  The salt caramel custard tart is apparently a specialty and it is easy to see why. There was just the right amount of sweetness and salt and the texture was smooth with a perfectly crispy base. The ice cream was a lovely accompaniment and my only complaint was that there was only one small scoop of it. It was so delicious that I could have eaten a whole tub.

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The hot chocolate tart was also a winner, with the rich chocolate and soft poached pear working perfectly together, and the creamy ice cream with the perfect hint of olive oil in, adding another level of flavour to the dish.

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This was our first visit to Trinity and it certainly won’t be our last. The service was professional but very friendly, and the restaurant had an atmosphere that was friendly and relaxed but professional enough for it to feel special.  We do enjoy a taster menu but it made a really nice change to be able to select and try different dishes.

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Trinity, everything about it was lovely, and we will certainly be visiting again.

Meza

We have been meaning to visit Meza in Tooting for ages and, finding ourselves at a loose end last Saturday, we decided to book a table and go for it.

Meza has 2 restaurants and we were booked in, for a table of 3, at the branch on Mitcham Road (a couple of minutes up from Tooting Broadway station). It is small and compact with seating for about 30 people. When we arrived, at 7pm, it was busy and there were only a couple of free tables available. Luckily, we had booked in advance and this seemed to be the case with most of the customers who arrived after us. Advice: book a table in advance!

We browsed the menu and decided on a selection of meze to share for starters and then a main each. The menu included brief descriptions of the dishes but left a bit to the imagination.

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From the meze selection we chose the sautéed prawns cooked in tomato sauce with vegetable rice, the batata harra (potatoes, garlic and coriander) the moussaka bantenjen (aubergine, chickpeas and tomato) and the jawaneh (chicken wings served in a garlic sauce). These arrived in the style of tapas and smelt really good. The potatoes were well cooked and had a sort of sauce on them. They went really well with the other dishes which were a lot saucier. The prawns, although small, were nice and juicy and the sauce they came in was flavoursome. Sadly, it tasted very similar to the sauce for the aubergine which arrived at the same time as our main dishes. The flatbread was nice although only just warm.

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The aubergine was a little disappointing as there wasn’t a great deal of it that was distinguishable from anything else in the dish.

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For mains we had each selected one of the meat dishes: kafta meshweih (skewers of minced lamb with parsley and onion); lahem meshweih (skewers of lamb cubes) and shish taouk (grilled skewers of marinated chicken). All of the main dishes were well cooked and came with a side salad.  The chicken was succulent and the flavour of the grill gave it a nice smokey taste. The cubed lamb was nice but not the nicest we’ve had, lacking a little in flavour.

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The minced lamb again was nice, but the flavour wasn’t as good as I was expecting, and a little more parsley may have helped.

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We also chose a portion of vegetable rice to accompany the mains. This served its purpose to add some depth to the main but it was just a basic vegetable rice.

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By the end of the meal we were all full. This was our first experience of Lebanese cuisine, although the flavours and style of food can broadly be described as regional Middle Eastern cuisine as it shares a lot of similarities with Syrian food and the surrounding geographical area, and we enjoyed what we ate and the fact that the dishes felt reasonably familiar to us. The service was functional and lacked some of the personal charm of other restaurants in Tooting, but that is a minor point.

If you’ve not been, we’d suggest you book a table and decide for yourself.

 

 

Koi Ramen Bar (Tooting)

 

We love Gyoza after discovering them at Tootopia last December and sampling the little pillows of heaven cooked up by the Gyoza Guys. These tasty morsels are reason in themselves to visit the Koi Ramen Bar in Tooting Market, although the rest of the food on the menu is also pretty tasty.

Koi Ramen bar has been open for a while now, and it’s proving to be a popular food stop in the market, and it’s easy to see the reasons for this; the food is very tasty, reasonably priced and super quick. The menu is simple. They offer 4 types of ramen: Toukostu, miso tofu, miso pork and shoyu. Alongside this are the aforementioned gyoza and ice-cream for dessert. What could be simpler?

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Having sunk a few glasses of wine earlier in the evening we were looking for something to soak up the alcohol and quiet our grumbling tummies, and were lucky enough to find seats at the counter allowing us to watch our food being prepared.

Rather than ramen, we ended up choosing the summer special of abura soba (a combination of noodles, shredded pork/tofu, crispy fried shallot, bean sprouts and spring onion)  along with a mixed portion of chicken and pork gyoza (vegetable option also available).

The gyoza arrived first and were perfect; soft delicate dumplings topped with soy sauce and spring onions. Yum!

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Our main dishes arrived pretty quickly after that. One of us had chosen the pork and the other the tofu option. Both smelt amazing and, after following the instructions to mix everything together, we tucked in. It was the perfect meal to soak up some of the alcohol, and it certainly filled us up.

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The dishes tasted as good as they looked and smelt. A perfect combination of soft meat/ tofu and noodles with crunchy veg and seasoning.

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As we said earlier, it’s a quick and tasty meal and really worth a visit. The service was really friendly and it’s also available through Deliveroo if you don’t fancy a trip to Tooting.

@koiramenbar

Sunday Suppers @ Tooting Market

Sundays can often be dreary evenings spent feeling blue about work the following morning, and channel hopping through the mediocre television on offer. So, when we heard about the Sunday Supper collaborations happening in Tooting Market it seemed like just the thing to beat the Sunday blues.

Over the summer months, a range of businesses based in Tooting Market are offering a 3 course meal with drinks. The first event took place on the last Sunday of  June and the final one will be in August. July’s theme was Street food and saw Unwined, Graveney Gin, The Joint, Boom Bap Burger and Nuvolo bakery collaborating.

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Seating is at the communal tables in the middle of the market which creates a sociable and laid-back atmosphere. Having said that, we were sharing a table with another couple and had plenty of space without feeling like we were encroaching on each other’s conversations.

On arrival we were treated to a Cocktail from Graveney Gin. If you’ve read our previous reviews you will know that we love Graveney Gin and it was lovely to see Victoria, who always serves her gin with passion. The cocktail was called a Graveney Street and was a blend of gin, fresh grapefruit, sugar syrup and soda, served in a tall glass. It was lovely and refreshing and the perfect way to start the evening.

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Next up came the chicken wings from The Joint. These were described as spicy and they certainly ticked that box. They were delicious with a lovely heat and flavour and the meat was tender and just fell off the bone. There were 3 each, and I couldn’t resist eating one before taking the pic below.

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This was matched with a Holzer ‘Wagram’ Rose: Zweigelt 2016 from Austria. As always from Unwined, we were given the background to the wine which is always interesting. I’ve had several lovely red Zweigelt wines but this was a rose, and it was a really good refreshing match for the chicken wings, not easy given the flavours.

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We haven’t tried Boom Bap Burger before so were looking forward to what came next which was a Ricky Martin Burger, described as a 28 day aged beef patty, brindisa chorizo, manchego cheese and smokey mayo in a potato brioche. When it arrived it looked great and was accompanied by a portion of fries. The burger was great; well cooked with a tasty, toasted bun and the combination of the patty, the chorizo, the cheese and the mayo was enjoyable. The fries were also really good, they were perfectly seasoned.

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To wash the burger down we were treated to a Patrick Sullivan ‘Samurai’ shiraz from Australia. It was a good match, with berry fruitiness complimenting the flavours in the burger well.

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Finally, dessert came from the Nuvola Little bakery and was a limoncello tiramisu. This was very clever and came served in a plastic glass with a shot of limoncello in a straw. Sometimes lemon desserts can be either too tart or too sweet but this was perfectly lemony and creamy.  Licking out the glass wasn’t really an option but if we could have, we would have.

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This was served with a favourite tipple of ours, the Suck it and See frizzante by The Rude Mechanicals. A perfect wine to accompany the limocello as it didn’t battle with the flavours and instead was just delicious, refreshing and incredibly drinkable.

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The relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and great food and wine combination made this a great way to spend our Sunday evening. There is only one more left in the series, so if you fancy an evening of good food and wine in a relaxing environment, hurry and book your tickets!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sunday-suppers-tooting-market-sundaysuppers-tickets-35698554337?aff=erelexpmlt

MeatUP Grill

We never really venture to Wandsworth in the evenings and Wandsworth Town is somewhere we’ve only ever really driven through. Every time we do though, we comment on what a nice little high street it is. We came across MeatUp on Twitter and being fans of good meat, it has been on our list to try for a little while. So, finding our fridge empty, we headed to Wandsworth Town to give it a go.

The restaurant is deceptively large, going back quite a way from the front. It is nicely decorated and has a rustic feel to it. There is a bar area near the front and the kitchen is open, with some stools so you could sit and watch the food being prepared if you liked. We were seated towards the back where it was cooler, which was fine with us.

We ordered an Old Town gin based cocktail and a pale ale and looked through the dishes on offer on the menu.

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In the spirit of writing a review, we decided to order starters. We chose the BBQ pork rib, and a haloumi salad. There wasn’t too much of a wait for the food and when it arrived, we realised we may have made a mistake. For starters, the portions were really big!

The haloumi salad included 3 large slices of haloumi, grilled to give it a really lovely flavour and texture. These were layered with grilled heritage beetroot and sprinkled with pistachios and pomegranate seeds. The combination of the smoky haloumi and sweet pomegranate jewels went really well together, but it was so filling!

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The pork belly rib was lovely. The outside of the meat was sweet and smoky from the BBQ glaze, and the inside of it was soft and juicy, and it fell away from the bone with ease. For a starter, there was a lot of meat to eat but I wasn’t complaining.

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Having seen some dishes be delivered to a table next to us, we had decided to order the beef short rib for 1 (this is also available as a portion for 2) and a burger for our mains. Both came with a choice of skin on chips, skinny fries or salad. We had chosen a portion of each type of potato and also ordered some macaroni cheese (bear in mind this was before we had seen the size of the portions).

We were on our way to being full just from the starter so when the mains arrived we knew we would have to dig deep to get through it all. The beef short rib was a big portion of meat. It had been marinated for 24 hours and cooked slowly over a low heat so that the meat just fell apart. Like the pork rib, it was juicy and full of meaty flavour. You can see from the photo, it was a big lump of meat, more than enough after a big starter.

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The burger was tasty. It was a homemade chuck, brisket, short-rib and bone marrow patty. It wasn’t the thickest or juiciest burger we’ve ever had but it had good flavour and was served with gooey melted cheese on top and a side portion of pickles/ slaw. The fries were nice but the skin on chips were superb. Excellent crispy skin with fluffy potato in the middle.

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Ordering the macaroni cheese was a bit of a mistake as we were simply too full but whilst it had a good flavour, it was a little dry and could have done with a bit more sauce.

By the end of the meal, we were both stuffed. When the bill came, it totalled around £70 (including service charge), and we both agreed it had been pretty good value given the amount and quality of the food we had eaten. It certainly hadn’t been a case of quantity over quality.  If you like grilled meat this is somewhere you really need to try.

 

 

UnWined – A new pop-up

With the arrival of a new pop up kitchen, we decided to spend our Saturday evening at Unwined in Tooting Market. For the next few weeks Rustica Kitchen are in residence serving up Sicillian dishes which have been paired with wines that have a rock star theme.

It was a warm evening and the market, as always, had a buzzing atmosphere. We were seated at a table for 2 and quickly started salivating over the menu.

We decided on some mozzarella arancini balls to start. These were served with a tomato and pesto sauce. Served piping hot, they had a soft, gooey filling and a crispy outer shell. The sauce and pesto also added a nice depth of flavour.

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The wine to accompany them was an unusual sparkling red wine from the Loire region of France. Made from gamay grapes, it was light and full of red berry fruitiness.

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The starters on offer were 3 different types of bruschetta, something we are both big fans of. We opted for the nduja and mascarpone bruschetta and a portion of the Parma ham and fig bruschetta. These were served on boards and were delicious.  The Parma ham and fig was drizzled with sweet honey which bought out the flavours of the other ingredients.

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The nduja provided a lovely bit of heat, with the creamy mascarpone helping to take the edge off it.

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The wines to accompany these were a Patrick Sullivan wine called ‘Bonkers’ from Australia and a BK Wines ‘Ovum’, a pinot gris, also from Australia.  The Ovum was full of pear and honey, and well balanced. The Bonkers, made with a blend of red and white wine grapes from 3 vintages, was quite unusual. Light and fresh like you’d expect from a white wine, with citrus fruit to start but then red fruits taking over. Strange, but quite drinkable.

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For our main dishes we chose the pesto risotto stuffed peppers and the crispy pork belly strips. The stuffed peppers were delicious. The risotto was perfectly cooked and had a nice depth of flavour.

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The crispy pork belly strips were also a hit. The pork was perfectly cooked, with lovely soft meat and juicy fat. The lentils had an earthy touch to the dish.

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The accompanying wines were both reds. For the stuffed peppers, we had a glass of Papegaai cinsault from the fantastic Adi Badenhorst of South Africa. Lovely cherry and red fruit, smooth and a nice finish. To go with the pork, we had a Bodegas Arraez Mala Vida from Spain. A blend primarily of tempranillo and shiraz, it had bramble fruits with a hint of oak and vanilla from the 8 months aged in French and American oak barrels, and a subtle touch of spice to the finish. Lovely.

Finally, to finish things off, we shared a 3 cheese, cheese board. The cheese here is always good and tonight was no exception. A nice hard cheese, a perfectly salty blue and a soft. These were washed down with a glass of Suck It and See frizzante from The Rude Mechanicals, Australia. This is such an easy drinking wine; light and fruity with a great hint of elderberry, it’s a perfect summer drink. We have had it here before and when we saw it on the menu, just had to have a glass before going home. Others on tables around us appeared to agree, with some buying a bottle to take with them.

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Again, we had a really lovely time here. The food was great and served piping hot. The wines were unique and surprising, in a good way.

Rustica Kitchen are at Unwined for the next 4 weeks so if you are looking for somewhere to eat over the next month or to enjoy a glass or two of interesting wines, we recommend you give it a try.