‘Brunch’, a term coined in the 1800s, is now the most important meal to get us through the weekend. Tooting Broadway has recently become South-West London’s answer to all things brunch related. A buzzing high-street in a neighborhood with a wide ethnic diversity, Tooting Broadway boasts a rich foodie heritage. From cheap Indian fare to posh French dining establishments, Tooting has something to offer everyone.
First on the list for fab brunch places is TOTA. The name is derived from ‘Totinge’, the Anglo Saxon version of the word Tooting. Available all day until 5pm, their brunch menu will leave you spoilt for choice – from breakfast butties to fluffy pancakes and French toast to eggs Benedict, they have it all. For a competitive price of £7, the King of all Brunch ideas – huevos rancheros – is the most sumptuous option. They also have a good selection of brunch cocktails including the dreamy combination of caffeine and alcohol – an espresso martini. It is the perfect place for relaxed lunches, date nights, family dinners, eating out with friends, or even for the lone rangers in search of a quite cuppa. The wooden benches and metal chairs with new-age tungsten bulbs scream understated vintage, while a moss green rexin sofa stretching across an entire wall adds a definite grunge edge. Expect to be waited on by friendly and cheerful staff.
Tota Restaurant, 102 Tooting High Street, London, UK, +44 20 8767 1122
The cuisine – modern French–Moroccan and Mediterranean. The setting -cosy, comfortable, industrial-chic-meets-contemporary. Grab a place on the sofa right inside next to the fake fireplace and drink in the ambiance at Tartine Artisanal while you devour a free-range omelette maison. With a brunch menu available until 5pm on weekends, you can sleep in for longer than you thought. Perfect place for mums with buggies, girlfriends out for an afternoon tea time meet-up, folks in for quick bites, and everyone else in between. Friendly service and plenty of seating are an added bonus.
Tartine Artisanal, 94 Tooting High Street, London, UK, +44 20 8672 0070
Clever seating to optimise space goes well with the tiny wooden tables and the trademark bottle green walls at Honest Burgers. Expect to wait if you don’t have a table reserved on weekends- but the juicy burgers and fries dusted with rosemary salt are worth it. A fine selection of beers and a generally cool vibe make for a great eating out experience. While breakfast is not available at the Tooting branch, a late afternoon cheesy beef burger with onion rings on the side is not too bad an option, especially paired with a Kona Big Wave golden ale.
Honest Burgers, 72 Tooting High Street, London, UK, +44 (0)20 3601 5700
If it’s Sri Lankan food you fancy then head to Jaffna House. For a light bite try the dosas, served with a thick and wholesome sambhar and coconut chutney. If it’s a ‘full English fry up’ kind of hunger you are dealing with, opt for Jaffna special noodles with mixed veg, mutton, egg, and prawns. If you are going as part of a small group then go à la carte and order one of the delicious curries and a side of naan. Whatever you choose, don’t miss out on the special devilled mutton – a fiery combination of traditional spices and extra onion, this one hits the spot. The place is pretty bare in terms of decor and has a cafe plus take-away counter out front, while the bar has a separate entrance at the back.
Jaffna House, 90 Tooting High Street, London, UK, +44 20 8672 7786
Dosa n Chutny
Situated opposite the exit of Tooting Broadway station, this cafe serves a huge variety of South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. With paper-thin rice crêpes served with sambhar and three different types of chutneys, this is a great option for a satisfying meal any time of the day. If you want to go the whole hog then start by ordering the king fish fry and chicken chukka – both absolute must-haves from their starter menu, but be warned; they are fiery dishes and you may want to wash them down with a mango lassi or two. Follow this up with a traditional chettinad chicken curry with rice and some cooling yoghurt on the side. They also boast a decent beverage menu offering wines by the glass and bottle, and beers including the usual suspects, expected of any decent curry house – Cobra and Kingfisher.
Dosa n Chutny, 68 Tooting High Street, London, UK +44 20 8767 9200