I’ve been a fan of Ottolenghi for a while now, especially since Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi came to Bath to promote their book Jerusalem by displaying their skill at marrying ingredients in a fantastic talk, demonstration and sampling. I’ll often cook Ottolenghi recipes when friends come to stay and the family have some firm favourites which we often have for supper. Their recipes are packed full of delicious fresh ingredients and wonderful blends of herbs and spices. It’s so easy to eat exciting, tasty, nutritious meals.
So you could say I was a little bit excited when we managed to book a table at the new Ottolenghi Spitalifelds which recently opened. As soon as you walk through the door you’re met with an amazing array of counter dishes, gorgeous coloured salads piled high on big white platters alongside the most delicious looking rare beef or tuna! I knew it was going to be difficult to chose, it all looked so good! However this choice is made easier as you order dishes for the table to share, so the only problem is all agreeing what to order! There were plenty of gluten free options, I was so pleased to discover I could have over two thirds of the dishes from the counter and kitchen menu, which is rarely the case eating out. In fact I was given a personally marked up menu ticked with the dishes I could chose from. The menu changes daily depending on what’s seasonal and available, so you know your food has only the freshest most flavoursome ingredients.
If I had to pick out my favourites it would without doubt be 3 of the salads.
Roasted aubergine with sorrel yogurt, turmeric picked radish, spring onions and almonds. (pictured right)
Mixed green beans, broad beans and peas with toasted coconut, mint and lemon.
Broccolini , green courgettes, Parmesan, pistachio and truffle oil. (pictured below)
The Seared tuna with mixed sesame seeds and soy, honey, spring onion and ginger sauce also looked amazing but unfortunately was off the menu for me!
The flavour combinations were so delicious and the food felt good and healthy. We sat on part of a larger table and the other diners were keen to share their thoughts on the best dishes and didn’t mind us ogling at their food as it arrived! The friendly staff also recommended some excellent wines from their list and brought out little samples of the more obscure ones. If you get a chance to go I would highly recommend it. I’m sure you’d get the same experience at any of the other Ottolenghi restaurants or delis though sadly they are only in London, but you could take a look at one of their books and try some recipes for yourself! (see listings in My Favourite Books)