Featuring Persian classics and an excellent vegetarian & vegan selection, this family run independent restaurant hits all the right spots.
The Global Financial Crisis hit Plymouth’s restaurant scene badly; before this restaurateur Edmond Davari ran several establishments in the city, predominantly around the Sutton Harbour area, including Souk, Zucca, Asia Chic and Papa Joe’s. The recession forced Edmond to shut these and focus on his catering company Main Event South West, but now he’s back and focused on his new venture, the Persian themed Toot. The establishment is small and cosy, with long pastel painted benches covered in fresh flowers, waxy candelabras and Persian calligraphy and movie posters on the wall. The result is an informal and relaxed atmosphere, presided over by the charming and affable owner himself. On a Saturday evening our group of six found the restaurant to be busy, but not rammed. This meant that Edmond had enough time to greet us personally, welcome us to his restaurant and talk us through the menu, all the while with lighthearted humorous conversation.
So, on to the food. Featuring a variety of Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine, the menu had a surprising amount of food which was accessible to vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diners. We were indecisive about what we wanted as a starter, so asked Edmond to choose a selection of six for us. We explained that as we had a vegan in our party, to make sure a reasonable amount of them were suitable for vegans. Before long we were presented with huge slate platters with a selection of delicious looking appetizers. From freshly fried falafel and chunky hummus to stuffed vine leaves and a really interesting potato and egg salad infused with gherkin and shredded chicken, we were spoiled for choice. Served with baskets of flat bread, these starters were filling on their own, but we soon realized we also had a main meal on it’s way.
Served by Edmond and his friendly and accommodating waiting staff, the mains were huge plates of freshly cooked aromatic food. Most of our group had opted for Kebabs, which were served with saffron infused rice, grilled tomato and more flat bread. The Kebab meat itself was juicy and full of flavour. I had chosen the mixed grill – one Lamb meat kebab and one saffron chicken kebab. Each was flavoured to perfection, and much like the starters was a huge portion. At this point Edmond came over and showed us the traditional way of eating the dish – adding butter and sumac to the rice, chopping the grilled tomato up and mixing it together, and then using a hunk of flatbread to scoop up the rice and meat. Being shown this way was a great touch, and contributed to Edmond’s aim of making his customers feel like they are guests in his home rather than paying clientele.
Already stuffed and barely able to finish our mains, Edmond was more than willing to box up what we couldn’t finish to take home with us. He was then able to successfully tempt us with the limited, but intriguing, selection of deserts. The trio consisted of traditional Baklava, pistachio and rose water ice cream and the bizarre yet delicious Faloodeh. This dish consisted of rice noodles soaked in rose water and chilled, over which fresh lemon juice was squeezed. While this as a concept sounds strange, it had a fascinating texture and fresh yet perfumed flavour. If you want something a bit different as a palate cleanser after a heavy meal, it hits the mark. Finished off with some traditional Persian tea, the meal left us all completely satisfied. Fresh food, fantastic service and all at a reasonable price. If you are looking for something a little different to the usual chain restaurant, Toot is highly recommended.
To see the full menu and to find out more about Toot, click here
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