Ottolenghi Delicatessens

Ottolenghi is nothing new, so you probably know that the treats on offer here are as rare and delicious as Mr. Ottolenghi’s name. So if you’re already an established enthusiast, my apologies. If, however, you have never been, get down there quick, I’m willing to bet my lemon and blueberry cupcake you’ll become a disciple.

Yotam Ottolenghi worked as a pastry chef for five years in London restaurants and delicatessens, including Kensington Place and Maison Blanc, before deciding to set up on his own. The first Ottolenghi opened in Notting Hill in 2002, with two more branches in Islington and Kensington to follow. The idea was a simple one, a cafe selling food and pastries where you can either sit in or take out. Now Ottolenghi is fast becoming one of the most famous delis in London.

The Ottolenghi ‘philosophy’ is strightforward. Ottolenghi provides good food, handcrafted on site, using only the best raw ingredients. The theme is Mediterranean crossed with the Middle East so expect flavours from Italy, France, Israel, Palestine and Turkey all fused together. Croissants are made over three days in the traditional French style and have won the Time Out ‘Best in London’ award. All bread is homemade and the puddings and pastries are exquisite. There’s a ravishing display of irresistable tiny lemon tarts, flourless chocolate cake, profiteroles and white chocolate and raspberry pavlova.

Other delights include savoury tarts, filo parcels and cheese straws; main dishes such as deliciously rare cold beef, seared tuna with a coriander crust or baked seabass with fennel, garlic and chervil, and an array of salads using every ingredient under the sun from sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli and beetroot to couscous, bulgur, goat’s cheese and pecorino.

The décor is minimalist and trendy. It’s all white with communal tables and communal loos, yet somehow it’s still cosy. Ottolenghi offers a catering service for small parties and has lately introduced cooking courses taught by the Ottolenghi chefs and teachers from Leiths. Rumour has it Mr Ottolenghi is hoping to further expand his empire so fingers crossed the next Ottolenghi is opening near you.

— Mrs M


Islington Notting Hill Kensington
287 Upper Street 63 Ledbury Road 1 Holland Street
London N1 2TZ London W11 2AD London W8 4NA
020 7288 1454 020 7727 1121 020 7937 0003

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  • Ottolenghi Delicatessens