Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurants and delis are much like his cookbooks: glossy white walls, floors and pages act as blank canvases for his colourful creations and punchy flavours.
His eponymous enterprise began in 2002 with a small deli, complete with 10 seats, in Notting Hill. Today this is joined by a second deli (plus communal table) in Belgravia; Nopi, a somewhat glitzier restaurant (think plenty of marble and brass) in Soho; and bustling deli-cum-restaurants in both Spitalfields and Islington. Of course, all of the above serve food and drinks that can either be savoured in-store or taken away.
Ottolenghi is somewhere to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner: wake up with a warming bowl of creamy vanilla porridge; dig into dukkah-crusted mackerel with burnt-aubergine yoghurt and a side of char-grilled broccoli with chilli and garlic at midday; and come evening dip in and out of the array of lip-smacking shared plates, from pan-fried hake with pickled slaw, grapefruit curd and nori seed furikake to roasted pork belly with braised fennel, bread sauce and salsa verde. It’s also somewhere to come for drinks: both Martinis and Old Fashioneds are served three ways. Plus, my personal favourite, coffee and cake: cast your eyes over the counter piled high with sugary delights then, naturally, opt for a coffee-and-pecan financier.
Photo: Chloë Ashby.