my recent trip to london was a bit of an ode to yotam ottolenghi! we visited his casual eatery in belgravia and also ate has his newly opened restaurant nopi in the soho area (it’s about a half block from hamley’s, the toy store). we went to nopi for lunch. the restaurant also serves breakfast and dinner.
the decor of the restaurant itself is right up my alley — clean, light and airy with the tiniest ode to opulence. it’s white, lemon yellow with a bit of faded gold thrown in. kind reminds one of being on vacation in the mediterranean.
the top bit of the menu recommends that for lunch, one orders 3 savoury dishes per person. each dish is indeed quite small, and depending on what one orders, sometimes 5 dishes might be required to tame hunger. i’m not sure if the menu is legible at all, but the savoury items are then organized into 3 categories: vegetables, fish and meat. prices range from £6.5-9 for the veggies; £9.5-12.5 for fish; and £8.5-12 for meat. sweets, my favorite part of the menu, comprised of 7 offerings, ranging in price from £3.5-8. when you add it all up, it’s not exactly a cheap eat . . . but when in london, i usually brace myself for sticker shock.
chef ottolenghi’s flavours are bold and broadly multicultural. he prominently features mediterranean ingredients like manouri, feta and bulghur wheat alongside flavours from the far east, there’s fish wrapped inside of banana leaf with pineapple sambal or tea smoked quail. he’s also got an ode to traditional english fare in the form of a mincemeat strudel.
as per the menu’s instructions, hubs and i ordered 3 items each from the menu. i quite enjoyed all the dishes — although some were lightly dusted with cumin or liquorice, 2 flavours that hubs detests! (if you have a sensitivity to these spices as well, you may be best served by letting your waiter know about it, as the ingredients aren’t always fully disclosed on the menu.)
not to take away from the elegance and bold flavours of savoury dishes; however, these financiers remain my favorite plate from the meal (obviously, i’m biased towards sweets!). they are served warm, with a ooey gooey chocolatey center. mmmm! hubs observed me enjoying these so much, that he let me eat his portion as well 🙂
21-22 Warwick St
London W1B 5NE
(44) 020 7494 9584
Tube: Piccadilly Circus