Since the Santo Remedio’s Mexican Independence day Pop Up scored a healthy 4.1 out of 5 back in September, Tooting Market has very much been on our radar ever since. But while we are sold on it as a venue, we decided to send a couple of Tooting first timers along to Kusina ni Lola Pop Up to make sure it wasn’t just a one off and we’d simply just drank too much tequila.
In the intimate setting of Tooting Market, we had the pleasure of tasting the food of Kusina ni Lola and getting an insight into the culture of the Philippines. With the music of the Buena Vista Social Club as background music to accompany the welcome cocktails and the candlelit tables, we were ready to start a culinary experience.
To start was Spring Rolls with a twist: after being given the ingredients, we then had to roll our own rolls, thereby giving it a more personal feel and a blank look of faces along the table! With us being on a big table, it allowed us to meet new people and get involved in the table quiz, as well as take part in a competitive game of ‘keepie-upie’ Filipino style.
We were introduced to Rowena, the chef, who was remarkably calm considering they had initially catered for 30 guests, and 60 people appeared! The tiny kitchen produced an epic amount of food, and there was such a variety that catered for both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Rowena would explain to the guests the ideas behind the dishes which was informative and enlightening, and gave a good warning as to which dish was the spicy dish which went down a treat on our table (milk was, of course, provided!).
The pudding was sweet and soft to taste, and was a fantastic closure to the already remarkable food. It was a great way to spend an evening and we hope that Rowena and her husband continue to expand their business and introduce the food to the rest of London, as for Tooting Market we will be back again.
To find out more about Kusina ni Lola read our interview.