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|Address:||21-22 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NE|
|Tel:||020 7494 9584|
|Price: £65.00||Wine: £23.00||Champagne: £45.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 8am-2.45pm 5.30-10.15pm Sat 10-11.30am 12N-5.30pm 5.30-10.15pm Sun 10am-4pm|
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction where the briefcase opens and showers people with a dazzling, golden light? This is how I felt, happily propped up at Nopi's shiny, gilt-edged bar, surrounded by animated chatter.
The service seems warm and informal, with staff that appear genuinely jolly. It's infectious, even as a solo diner. To my left was a trendy media type with the rosy glow and happily pink cheeks of the well-fed, lazily pawing his way through the Guardian. To my right was no shortage of gentle flirtation, as the lucky chap left with a fellow diner's number. It's all very ‘Soho brunch-fest’, but not obnoxiously so.
I hungrily scoured the menu and was immediately seduced by the rabbit pastilla; a curious, sugar-dusted pastry with a rich ragu within. There's no starters here so you order a scattering of dishes; I plumped for twice-cooked chicken and an aromatic cauliflower salad. The latter was spiked with capers, milky ricotta and the sharp zing of a keenly-seasoned dressing. The chargrilled chicken was flavoursome, moreish and soused withe lime, albeit accompanied by a slightly weedy chilli sauce.
But the pastilla stole the show – the luscious filling of bunny and spice encased in buttery pastry now resides in the chambers of my most prized foodie memories. Puds were a lively combination of new and unusual ingredients (including a little layered delicacy made from cherry stone pulp, which was chewy and toothsome but tasty) and the cocktails were similarly imaginative.
Then the bill arrived, and my podgy little bubble burst. I'm torn: half of me is an Ottolenghi believer that's cooked much of the way through Plenty, but the other half thinks the prices are largely indefensible. I'd happily devour most of the menu and think it's a genuine challenge to the resolutely carnivorous, but £8 to £12 for a veggie side? Yikes. I racked up a £70 bill all to easily, which didn't enhance my post-gorge glow.
The restaurant is beautiful and even spending a penny in the glittering facilities feels like a treat, but it'll sure cost you.