Ottolenghi, Islington

When I’ve had the hardest of weeks, I believe in treating myself. Perhaps a new dress, a shiny pair of shoes, a relaxing, money wasting manicure or delicious food at a restaurant I can’t afford.

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Yotam Ottolenghi was put on this earth to create beautiful food for women. Not that men wouldn’t enjoy his gorgeous creations, but I can’t see a blokey bloke appreciating the thought and precision that goes into his dishes.

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For this reason, I chose his lovely Islington restaurant as my Friday treat. The entire shop-cum-dining room is white, brought to life by vibrant food and flashes of red. Most people had booked, but despite being walk ins, we were quickly sat at the counter.

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Everything is made to share and it’s suggested you order three plates per person. Because of the complimentary, oh so delicious bread, we opted for five dishes – two cold and three hot – along with a glass of biodynamic Prosecco.

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Our drinks came first and were quickly returned. We couldn’t get our heads round the sandy coloured, misty, flat Prosecco, so went for a couple of glasses of biodynamic wine. This fared much better and we appreciated the waiter’s lack of annoyance when we made the change.

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Roasted Aubergine (£9) paired well with Walnut Yoghurt, Herbs & Spicy Walnuts – an inspired combination only Yotam could muster. The Grilled Pear (£9) was equally good. Golden and sweet, the fruit made a delightful contrast to the bitter leaves, crunchy pecans, hot chilli and intense Roquefort dressing.

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My favourite hot dish was the Poached Duck Egg with butternut squash, roasted mushrooms, glazed cranberries and buckwheat biscuit (£11). The egg itself was a sight for sore eyes, somehow moulded to resemble a flower in bud. The mixture beneath was curried, sweet and multi-textured, tying everything together.

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We also ordered Pan Fried Pollock (£11), which was tasty, but a tad overcooked. However, The Quail (£11) was delicious, covered in grains of sharp mustard and sitting on a refreshing bed of chopped fruits and fresh pea shoots.

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You’d be mad to turn down pudding. We had a gorgeous passion fruit pie that was almost too good to eat…almost.

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The bill wasn’t cheap, but this dinner was a treat. Yotam is one of my favourite chefs and Ottolenghi didn’t disappoint when it came to the food, staff, atmosphere and general prettiness. So for that ladies, I’m giving it a LLE Rating of 8/10.

Ottolenghi, 237 Upper Street, London N1 2TZ

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One response to “Ottolenghi, Islington

  1. As I am a bloke, no comment!

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