Tooting’s on the up. Although the Antic group, with their three bars on Mitcham Road, appear to have cornered the market in shabby chic for aspirational Tooting folk, there’s still plenty of room for other well-priced, mid-range places to eat.
Tota has a contemporary design that looks like something out of a Livingetc shoot, with a menu that shifts according to the time of day: it serves breakfasts, light lunches, and a dinner menu with equal conviction. The dinner menu showcases grill dishes, such as slow-smoked pork ribs; ours were good, but served lukewarm. Perhaps the chefs were having trouble mastering the heat in the new kitchen, as a bavette steak wasn’t so much rare (as requested) as raw in the centre. Other details were good: crisp, dry fries, and pert spring greens.
The wine list is succinct, and the beers bottled – it’s always great to see beers from Camden Town or Hogs Back Breweries on the list.
Tota is a sharp-looking place, and once the front-of-house staff smiles don’t feel quite so forced, this could give places like Antelope some competition.
102 Tooting High Street
|Opening hours:||Open 7.30am-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 9am-10.30pm Sat; 9am-6pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Tooting Broadway tube|
|Price:||Main courses £8.90-£16.70. Meal for two with drinks and service: around £45.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.4 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
TOTA-lly unacceptable behaviour from the owner towards a pregnant woman!
My husband and I booked dinner at TOTA and although the décor looks impressive, the food was tasteless and dry, and the service was absolutely appalling.
We were greeted by the waitress Victoria, who on various reviews here claims to be the owner, the co-owner, the “older woman”, and sometimes even refers to herself as a third person which is very bizarre.
We told her it was our first time and was very impressed with the cosy setting. She gave the welcome spiele and explained that they only have fresh ingredients, and so being pregnant, I mentioned that I would have to have everything well done. She said, “Yes, I saw the badge”. She had a very snooty and sarcastic tone but I thought to ignore it…until…
We ordered calamari to begin with, then husband ordered ribs, and I ordered the seafood linguine. As I’m not allowed to eat certain seafood, I asked for the mussels and clams to be removed. She then gave me the third degree about how “prawns are more expensive” and that she could only give “one extra or two at most but the Chef will not be happy.”
At this point, I’m feeling uncomfortable, like I’m being a nuisance by inconveniencing them. She clearly has dismissed that we’re first time customers.
The calamari arrived and looked promising but was so bland. Our mains followed and again looked really nice, extra two prawns too, but my linguine was completely dry!
For a restaurant that boasts about providing “a kaleidoscope of food” and their head chef cooking around the world for 30 years, how could they get this so wrong?
I was so hungry though and tried to eat it, but had to chase every mouthful with a gulp of water. It felt wrong and for what we were paying (£15+), it was truly unacceptable.
But, like a good customer, I gave them the opportunity to fix the issue. Sadly, they returned with a little pot of melted butter and parsley. I poured it all over but it just made it all greasy. And they say their food “Brims with confidence”.
Then to add insult to injury, Victoria gets very defensive and tells me “Maybe it wasn’t the right dish for me” and then went on to ask my husband if his food was ok.
At that point it was game over. As I started taking some pics of my dry plate of pasta to share with you, she then quickly offered my dish would be “comp”. And then left the other waitress to handle our bill.
Then the other owner (?) came
out to see us and apologised, he kindly offered to give us something else,
but sadly it was just too late.
I’m up for supporting independents but TOTA was a TOTAL waste of time and money!
So to anyone thinking of visiting, I strongly recommend you don’t, and instead go to The Castle, The Chicken Shop or Honest Burger. Jeez, you’ll get better service at McDonalds!
To Victoria, you may be the owner but where TOTA aims to “deliver food to soothe the soul”, you destroy it! Do everyone a favour and leave the front of house to someone else as you clearly are incapable of being kind, friendly, understanding, human even.
Seriously, how many more bad reviews is it going to take for you to take that on board?
I complained about the food and service I received and received several responses from Tota. To cut a long story short, I complained that someone called Victoria had delivered poor customer service and so received a response from someone claiming to be Victoria, the owner of Tota. The person responding denies she served me or being in the building etc.. but surely a business claiming to be all bells and whistles could handle their public reponses in a more professional manner?
They are rude, unprofessional and aggressive. Below is a section of their response:
"Perhaps you would like to come to TOTA and see for yourself that I am not the person you are referring to, but then people like yourself rarely have the gumption to address issues face to face but prefer to remain behind the safety of their computer.
Victoria & Gary
Owners of TOTA"
There are plenty of independent businesses in Tooting who deserve our custom. Tota is not one of them. What a waste of time and money.
Had a lovely full English breakfast washed down with a pitch-perfect cappuccino here during their Sunday brunch service. Nice place to hang out with your other half and read the papers. Looking forward to coming back on a day off to tackle the cocktails and beer menu.