Levantine café king Yotam Ottolenghi's most formal restaurant to date trumpets the Med-influenced fusion food that his newspaper columns and cookery books have placed firmly in the mainstream. An eminently stylish space, with whitewashed brick walls, curved brass lights and a shiny, gilt-edged bar, it naturally attracts Ottolenghi's Guardian disciples and Soho trendies. Dishes showcase the chef's knack of conjuring up striking flavours from unusual ingredients – hibiscus and tea-smoked quail with kumquat and clementine relish, for example. Elsewhere, everything on the veg-heavy menu – from ‘must-try' roasted cauliflower with farro grains, barberries, almonds and celery to fried courgette flowers with ricotta and date molasses – makes the taste buds take notice. ‘Warm and informal' staff, zingy cocktails and a sharp wine list also hold their own – the only downside is the price: Nopi is ‘a treat that costs you'.
With fewer than 100 wines, this list is a great example of clarity and concision. But it’s also intriguing, with sub-categories like ‘Black Gold’ (Pinot Noir), ‘Volcanic Wines’ and ‘Going Natural’. Oh, and there are even three sakés.
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