Murray Blake

London food and coffee writer

Ottolenghi

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287 Upper St, Islington, N1 2TZ
Nearest tube: Highbury & Islington
020 7288 1454
Ottolenghi on Urbanspoon
Yotam Ottolenghi is a very interesting guy – he is a Jewish Israeli and his partner is a Muslim Palestinian – they are an advert for middle east peace and good quality food.  Many people reading this will be familiar with Ottolenghi, from his Guardian food column to numerous bestselling cookbooks: his food is Mediterranean fused with Japanese and a sprinkling of Israeli.  The menu at the Upper St. branch is very eclectic with lots of strange flavour combinations, but these almost always work because Ottolenghi has a great palette.  Seared tuna with sesame and soy was extremely clean and fresh.  The signature dish of aubergine salad with lime yoghurt and pomegranate was refreshing yet filling; the aubergine was perfectly cooked.  We then moved on to hot plates which were generally a bit disappointing – the pan fried gurnard in red wine jus was hearty but uninteresting; tofu with aubergine and lotus fruit was lent a nasty bitterness by the lotus fruit; mushroom and buckwheat polenta with truffle cream was gritty and very earthy – not recommended.
Verdict: all fans of Ottolenghi should definitely eat at one of his restaurants, but stick to his signature dishes and load up on the salads and cold starters.
Yellow fin, line-caught seared tuna with mixed sesame seeds and honey, ginger and soy sauce.
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Pan fried gurnard with baby onions, Jerusalem artichokes, hazelnuts, shimeji mushrooms and red wine stock.
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Roasted wild mushroom and buckwheat polenta with pickled quail’s egg, bread crumbs and truffle cream.
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Author: murraycsblake

London food blogger.

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