A Late Lunch at Ottolenghi

Restaurant Ottolenghi in Islington, LondonRestaurant Ottolenghi in Islington, LondonRestaurant Ottolenghi in Islington, LondonRestaurant Ottolenghi in Islington, LondonRestaurant Ottolenghi in Islington, LondonRestaurant Ottolenghi in Islington, London

Trying to get a table at a restaurant with a celebrity chef that doesn’t take reservations during the day is nearly a mission impossible in London. You could of course wait in line for about two hours. But since an empty stomach brings out the worst in me, I try to avoid those kind of situations.

The delis/restaurants of Israeli-born chef and cookery writer Yotom Ottolenghi are sort of an institution in London. Every time you walk by one of their four places in the city, you can’t help but to stop and gaze at those beautiful pastries, cakes and salads behind the windows. But the long line of people that are buying take out or trying to get a table had until now stopped me from going in.

So how long did we have to wait to get a table at their restaurant in Islington? About 2 minutes! I was already walking around, killing time by taking photos while my friend waited in line (I’m such a good friend…) when they told us that our table was ready. Well, not our own table, but we were seated at the long communal table which was fine.

Their menu changes daily, but for their late lunch menu (we arrived around 3pm) you combine a main course with two or three salads. The main (I had the char-grilled salmon) was good, but those salads… That’s what makes this place so special. I can see why people call him the champion of vegetables. Best roasted cauliflower I’ve ever had!

I wouldn’t recommend going for three salads, two is definitely enough. And how I wish I could have tried one of those cakes. But after finishing this lunch there simply wasn’t any room left for dessert. Next time I’ll just start with dessert and then continue with the salads. Should work right?