Last Saturday, after work, I met my good friend Michael for lunch at Ottolenghi in Islington. This restaurant is owned by the same chef who owns the restaurant Nopi, that I featured recently, here on the blog.
There was a long queue for lunch, as they don’t take daytime bookings, we were told it would be a 30-40 minute wait. The time passed quickly enough as we chatted, looked at the menu and salivated over the food being sold at the deli section at the front of the restaurant.
We were eventually seated and got lucky with a table for two. There is a large bench style table that runs the length of the rear half of the restaurant, communal dining style, but we were offered a table to ourselves. Prosecco was ordered as we looked again at the menu, and agonised over what to have!
We decided on a main course, with three salads. I chose free range chicken with orange, grain mustard, garlic, honey and sage as the main, and my three salads were; roasted aubergine with feta yoghurt, pickled cucumber, pink peppercorn and herbs, saffron cauliflower with caramelised red onions, sultanas, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and celery, and roasted butternut squash with lemongrass sour cream, peanuts, Urfa chilli, lemon zest and mint.
I have never been a huge fan of cauliflower, but Michael assured me it was delicious, done Ottolenghi style, and he wasn’t wrong. It was all absolutely divine. The only tiny criticism I have is that the chicken was very cold, obviously refrigerated after cooking, and it made it a bit difficult to cut up, but I can’t fault the taste.
Dessert was a delicious passion fruit meringue tart, more Prosecco then an espresso. The tart was gorgeous, just the right amount of passion fruit cream inside and meringue on top.
The service was excellent, the waitress was happy to recommend wines to us that would go well with our choices, she knew the products inside out. Lunch for two, with bread, wine, water, dessert and coffee was £90, and I was extremely lucky to be treated to this wonderful food by my lovely friend. My turn next time!
If you find yourself in Islington and want a wonderful treat, or even a take-away (it’s all sold from the deli), I heartily recommend Ottolenghi.
287 Upper Street
London N1 2TZ