Ottolenghi, Islington

Whilst looking for a nice restaurant to visit last minute, I was very surprised to be able to get a table at Ottolenghi for 2 at 7.30pm that evening!

When you arrive, it’s very easy to get side tracked as soon as you walk in at the copious amounts of stunning desserts on show in the window.  I was so busy staring at the selection of desserts and the beautifully arranged Ottolenghi spices, that I didn’t quite hear the waiter inviting us to sit down at our table.

Our coats were hung up which is always useful in the winter to avoid your 10 layers balancing and falling off the chair. Tap water, a selection of fresh handmade breads, olive oil and salt were immediately brought to our table with the wine and food menu. The menu is consistently eclectic and changes regularly, depending on what food is in season. There are 2 parts of the menu from which you can select your dishes: ‘from the counter’ – food served cold, and ‘from the kitchen’ – food served warm or hot.

After choosing the cheapest red wine on the menu – Gran Cerdo at £25 (I’m no wine expert but I thought this wine was pretty nice!) we decided to choose the following dishes:

Mixed green beans and edamame with sesame, shiso and wasabi (from the counter)
This wasn’t my choice of ordering but I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty this was and it wasn’t bland at all! The Japanese flavours were certainly very prominent.
Yellow fin, line-caught seared tuna with mixed sesame seeds and soy, honey and ginger sauce (from the counter)
This was a beautifully prepared dish and if you are a fan of seared tuna and Japanese flavours, you will love this!
Burrata with grilled onion squash and pink grapefruit (from the kitchen, served warm)
This burrata was like no other burrata I have had before, the cheese was so light and creamy and worked perfectly with the squash.

Wild mushrooms en papillote with tarragon, shallots and chevril (from the kitchen)
This was a lovely, seasonal and unique dish which came wrapped in paper – the mushrooms, herbs and shallots had been cooked in this to lock in all the yummy, warming flavours!

Slow roasted celerial with fennel ponzu, dried figs and toasted hazlenuts (from the kitchen)
This was my favourite dish by far! I don’t often opt for anything with fig in but this actually worked really well.

Seared fillet of English beef with sweet coriander-mustard sauce
The meat was served rare (just how I like it!) and was cooked to perfection. Those who know me will know that I can’t stand coriander (sorry!) but the coriander sauce did actually compliment the beef nicely.

Note: The portion sizes are quite small, and tend to vary in price from £8-14

Advice: The selection of spices, condiments and sauces on show are incredible but pretty pricey. If you a savvy saver like me, you can buy spices like sumac, ras el hanout, pomegranate molasses etc. much cheaper in supermarkets and independent shops! If you want to find out where, just drop me a message
Price-range: Mid-range

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