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|Address:||21-22 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NE|
|Tel:||020 3589 4529|
|Price: £66.00||Wine: £19.00||Champagne: £45.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 8am-11.30pm (Sat 9am- ) Sun 10am-4pm|
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Where to start? Probably as close as you can get to the perfect meal if you don’t mind sharing and like to try as much on the menu as possible. The warm inviting space, despite being white and minimalist, is more welcoming and comfortable than Ottolenghi restaurants – making you want to hole up for a good few hours and try as much as possible on the extensive menu. A splash of colour comes from huge bunches of tulips in fabulous round gold vases, and large gold lampshades give off that elusive ‘perfect’ light that makes everyone and everything look gorgeous.
We were given a sweet potato & pumpkin houmous with bread on arrival, whilst having a chat with the approachable female sommelier who recommended some unusual wines at well under our proposed budget (always a good sign), including an aromatic, juicy Slovenian Riesling. Staff were attentive but not overly so, and really knew the menu inside out, giving some spot-on recommendations.
Four of us shared 14 dishes in total, which arrived in waves decided on by the kitchen, but there was never too much or too little at once. Pretty much everything blew us away, but highlights included prawn toast rolls and beef brisket croquettes to start (fried food heaven), followed by pigs cheeks with celeriac mash and ossobucco with parmesan polenta, both powerfully earthy but elegant and luxurious at the same time.
Our waiter insisted we try the spiced baby chicken which came with a crisp, zingy vegetable accompaniment, as did many of the other dishes, the sides lifting each dish to another level – in fact they were so good we asked for more of the Asian coleslaw that came with the trout. The only duff note was a bland vegetable dish of swede gratin, and perhaps the burrata, which needed some more blood orange to cut through its oozy milky richness.
We somehow squeezed in a couple of puddings (just to make sure…). Churros y chocolate felt naughty and moreish – but how can deep fried pastry dipped in melted chocolate be anything else? Rice pudding with cardamom, rose syrup and pistachios was a heavenly bowl of intense, fragrant, vanilla-scented rice, though the whole cardamom pods were rather off-putting to chew on (fresh breath notwithstanding…).
What else? Oh THE LOOS! Up until now, Crazy Bear has always been my standard-bearer for OOT but fabulous loos, but Nopi’s mirrored boudoir takes things up a notch to create a glamorous powder room feel.
Good to see Yotam Ottolenghi buzzing around and generally running a tight ship. All in all: beautiful space, spot-on service, excellent food, wallet-friendly wine and fab loos – the man is a god!
(Word of advice: as it was opening week when we visited, the place was crawling with critics and food bloggers, ostentatiously sniffing each dish, slurping wine and snapping away during each course. If you find this practice as irritating as I do avoid for the next few weeks!)