Spotlight on Food Stories in a Tooting Community

Broadway Market

In appreciation of the food businesses around Tooting - this photo essay gives you a quick tour around the area highlighting stories of the people who’ve brought them to you.

When we’re out of this lockdown we hope it encourages you to eat with a renewed respect for your local businesses; to reflect on Hospitality not as a “quest for authenticity” but a mutual exchange and “harbour for stories” (Priya Basil, Be My Guest) in which we celebrate them and put money into supporting migrant-led communities. 

1. Ading’s Kitchen

A Filipino grocery and hair salon turned restaurant, bar and bakery - the adaptability of spaces like Ading’s Kitchen are a testament to people like Velly (below) keeping them going through ‘regeneration’ and COVID-19.

Here you will find Cornish prawns, handmade steamed dumplings, squidgy sapin sapin cake and sour prawn sinigang - served in beautiful clay pots brought back from the Philippines. There’s also late night karaoke. Spaces like these fill you up with connections, not just what’s on the plate.


Ading's street food stall in Tooting Market
Velly by her Ading's stall.
Ading's quote
Ading's and claypot
Chef Rodel, Ading’s Kitchen and the Filipino clay pots.

2. Lahori Falooda 

Lahori Falooda and Mr Muhammed
Mr. Muhammed by his food business - Lahori Falooda
Mr Muhammed quoteText from article
Lahori Falooda Food Shop
Lahori Falooda Food Shop front

A (30-year) Pakistani chef, who previously owned another food place in Brixton but sold it - he wanted to "bring something different" to Tooting. And he certainly does - fresh mango kulfi, Pakistani chicken soup with black salt and a garam masala made of 10 different spices; ‘Wake Me Up’ tonic, fresh samosa chaat [below] and weekly off-menu surprises widening our eyes to the dishes he knows best. 

3. Spicy Noodle Cafe

Double burger, egg and chips with your roast duck noodles? Side of hash browns and apple pie for after? With aloe vera juice and a fridge stocked full of Kit-Kats - Sonny's got you covered.

Quote from Sonny
Sonny in front of his cafe Spicy Noodle Cafe
Sonny in front of his cafe Spicy Noodle Cafe
We're not trendy like Gail's quote from Sunny

… and thank god for that:

Spicy Noodle Cafe dishes
1: Spicy cabbage; 2; Spicy noodle beef cafe; 3: baked beans, eggs and chips.

Chilli oil and soy sauce cuddle Batts Brown sauce and Ketchup, and paintings line the wall from the '80s:

Pictures in Spicy Noodle Cafe
Interior of Spicy Noodle Cafe.

4. Bhavin’s Vegetable Shop

Bhavin's Vegetable shop
Bhavin's vegetable shop.
Bhavin's quoteText about Bhavin's vegetable shopBhavin with roti inside shop

4. Bless Bakes

Bless by her bake shop Bless Bakes
Bless by Bless Bakes.
Quote from BlessBless Bakes text

5. Chef Jojo Manalo’s

Jojo Manalo shop front
Chef JoJo Manalo by his shop.


Jojo Manalo text

He’s had to change it during COVID-19 in order to survive - selling everything from groceries to broomsticks to electric scooters - and is still doing his amazing steamed buns and chilli oil:

Jojo with steamed buns
JoJo with steamed buns.

There have been recent plans to ‘regenerate’ this market into a three story tower. Will it help? “Of course it won’t - rents keep rising” (JoJo), with no relief from the landlord during COVID-19. The focus should be on maintaining the diversity of the spaces already in there, championing individuality before bringing in businesses who have multiple stores already.

Image of letter sent to Tooting Market regarding regeneration
Broadway Tooting Market Proposal for the new ‘Sky Market’, claiming the main aim is to help the number of traders and businesses “who have failed.”

6. Mange Des Iles 

Ravi by Manges Des Iles
Ravi by his street food stall Manges Des Iles.
Ravi quote

A Mauritian eatery in Tooting Market serving fresh dal puri rotis with butter bean curry, coconut pudding, lamb haleem soups and more. Ravi (above) has had to introduce cocktails to the menu to please the changing crowds and compete with new bars opening. But he still manages to make it all beautiful!

Manges Des Iles shop front
Manges Des Iles shop front.

 7. Roti Joupa

Mr Sign at Roti Joupa
Mr. Singh at Roti Joupa.

Trini curried duck rotis, hot doubles, fresh sorrel juice and tamarind soaked pholourie balls  - get them all from Mr and Mrs Singh’s takeaway shop in Clapham.

You can read more about their story in Community Ambassador, Riaz Phillip’s book Belly Full documenting Caribbean Food in the UK.

Artwork from Roti Joupa

8. Ting ‘n’ Ting

Garfield in his restaurant Ting 'n' Ting
Garfield in his restaurant Ting 'n' Ting.
Garfield quote

Garfield opened Ting 'n' Ting in 2012, serving Guyanese and Caribbean food. Despite the changes in the area, he’s kept a steady local customer base - “I see customers who used to come in as children now back with their babies.”

Oasis in the ‘ghost town’. "KABOOM, Garfield says as he lowers it to the table
Oasis in the ‘ghost town’. "KABOOM, Garfield says as he lowers it to the table.
Garfield text
Ting n ting interior frames
Interior of Ting 'n' Ting, framed picture of Dennis Brown on the right and plants on the left.

 9. Liqui Liqui

Founders of Liqui Liqui
Erika and front of house staff at Liqui Liqui food stall.

A Venezuelan shop and street food business in Colliers Wood. During COVID-19 - owners Erika (from Venezuela) and Ryan (from Cornwall) joined forces with Wimbledon Brewery in an outdoor spot to get around the restrictions. Erika (above) said it went really well! Look out for it this Summer. Their shop is beautiful and so is the food - Venezuelan iced cocada shakes, cheesy tequenos, homemade arepas and more:

Quote from Erika
Interior of liqui liqui
Liqui Liqui interior.
Liqui Liqui shop front
Liqui Liqui shop front.

10. Jaffna House

Front of house staff at Jaffna House
Jaffna House counter and food. 

One of the only places you can get proper Srilankan Hoppers in London, and it has been open on Tooting High Street for 30 years. Pre-order hoppers the night before: breakfast egg ones, sweet milk ones, string hoppers, deep fried banana doughnuts stuffed with chana dal and side coconut green chutney. You can sit in their backroom (post lockdown!) which is beautiful - or pop in before and take-away a mutton roll.

Jaffna House Interior
Jaffna House interior.

11. The Mango Sellers of Tooting

Mango season is coming soon into bloom and Tooting is the place to be for it! Yellow-bellied Alphonsos spill out onto the streets and the perfumey smell with it. Special shout out to Shabir (below), who gives the occasional free Cornetto out with his boxes of Pakistani Honey’s:

Mango sellers of Tooting.
Shabir and his son selling mangoes on Tooting High Street.

Want to read more about food?

These photos were taken by one of our Community Ambassadors, Content Creator and food activist, Tara Rudd. Find out more about Tara here.