Yotam Ottolenghi has been my inspiration since the day I discovered him. I could safely say that he is one of my cooking gurus. Visiting one of his restaurants in London, as you can imagine, has been one of the highlights for me. Well, the other highlights were catching up with friends like Alec and Michael as well as JCC, seeing my favourite painting in real; The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck at The National Gallery.
Back to the subject… Ottolenghi Islington was the one we had the pleasure of trying. It caters for 50 people and some of the tables are communal. We booked a table one month in advance because we knew it would be difficult to get a table. This place is so popular with a capital P as you can imagine although they don’t take bookings for breakfast or lunch. So, booking for dinner is essential Peoples.
Food was exceptional but their wine list absolutely, totally blew us away. I have had the most interesting orange wine of my life. They are the big thing at the moment but getting a good orange wine is still a challenge. Well, in Australia anyway.
Roasted aubergine with sorrel yoghurt, turmeric pickled radish, spring onion and almonds £9.00
Poached peaches, mixed bitter leaves, spicy pecan nuts, Roquefort and orange blossom dressing £9.50
Tempura sweet potato with peanut and coriander vadouvan and lime yoghurt £11.00
Pea and mint croquettes with yuzukosho mayonnaise £11.00
As for the wine… I started off with white from Loire, France. Touraine Le Tesniere is a bio-organically produced wine with flinty minerality (not my word, I stole it like an artist :)) combined with lemon, white fruits and a hint of dry honey as they say on the wine list. Then I moved on to an orange wine called A Demua from Italy. It was a stunningly unusual wine with dried apricot and almond. This one was quite complex as it is made with five local grape varieties (bio-organic, again). John on the other hand decided to stick to orange wine only and had Dinavolo and Vitovska. Both bio-organic, both from Italy.
When it was time to consider dessert we were both full yet didn’t want to miss the opportunity so we had desserts to go. John had a tart and I had one of those berry meringues I had my eyes on since I walked through that door (see photo below).
Before I forget, I also bought Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook Plenty More while I was there and like all my other Ottolenghi cookbooks, this one is signed too!
287 Upper Street
London N1 2TZ
Tel: 020 7288 1454