It’s a sign of the times for Tooting that the area is jumping on the street food bandwagon with a pop-up in the vain of Pop Brixton and Shoreditch’s Boxpark.
Tooting Pop Ups juggles rotating street food vendors and a bar serving cocktails and local craft beer alongside live music and cinema screenings.
For what sounds like a bustling space, the interior is actually quite basic – there are only two food residencies at one time which sit in the corners of a small room with a polished wooden bar as the centrepiece.
But the promise of weekly live music, DJs, cinema afternoons and sports screenings could liven up the atmosphere.
The venue is the latest venture from the team behind cocktail bars Imperial Durbar and the recently opened Hill Station in Tooting, as well as La Cabina in Hoxton.
Current food residencies are held by Raclette Brothers, serving up French alpine dishes with a modern twist, and Every Juan Loves Tacos, providing simple Mexican fare.
The vendors will change every four to six months – quite a long stint for a pop-up.
However, the food was perfectly tasty.
Raclette Brothers’ menu included garlic and rosemary potatoes topped with melted cheese, cornichons and maple bacon crumbs, as well as a beef bourguignon burger with bearnaise sauce. Both dishes were generously covered with cheese which was melted in front of you. Modern twists such as the sweet and crispy bacon crumbs were a nice touch.
The beef bourguignon burger was so tender it fell a part in your hands, making for a suitably messy street food experience.
The tacos were more hit and miss. The balsamic pork was nicely spiced and flavoured but the chicken was a bit bland. There was also an avocado option for veggies and decent nachos topped with pulled pork as a side.
For dessert, there was churros and for the more adventurous deep-fried tequila shots.
Portions, priced at around £5-7, weren’t huge so you’d probably want to sample a couple of dishes. Two could eat well for £25 excluding drinks.
Service was on the slow side for street food (15 to 20 minutes per dish) but unless you’re in a hurry the bar menu should keep you entertained.
There were 18 lines of draft beer on offer alongside plenty more bottled craft beers from London breweries which are rotated every few months. The bar is currently stocked with beers from South London breweries, By The Horns, Belleville and Gipsy Hill.
There is also a changing menu of cocktails, currently 80s-themed to match the night’s soundtrack, including Pina Colada and Alabama Slammer.
Whilst not the best street food you’ll find in London, Tooting Pop Ups is a decent place for a reasonably priced meal in a casual bar atmosphere.