This isn’t some hidden gem. Sorry, but I don’t care.
Star chef Yotam Ottolenghi is a worldwide success with his cookbooks and TV shows, but his flagship restaurant on Upper Street in Islington is amazing. I go regularly and I have never been disappointed.
The Ottolenghi take on Mediterranean food is fantastic and somehow still new, fresh and exciting despite his success. He mixes cultural influences and ingredients to a dazzling effect yet somehow makes it all work, look amazing and taste even better.
It’s hard to describe the food and do it justice as the influences are so varied so it is probably easier just to give a couple examples: how about ‘seared Cornish cuttlefish with arroz frito, fennel and lemon aioli’? Or ‘harissa parsnips with lime salsa verde and raw coconut’.
I could have picked anything as an example as it all sounds and tastes fantastic… and I haven’t even mentioned the cakes and pastries!
Dinner is rightly very popular so I normally book, but whatever time you go you will not be disappointed. They are open for breakfast (go – it’s fantastic), lunch and dinner.
There are a few other, smaller, locations to what I presume will be an expanding Ottolenghi chain in Notting Hill, Kensington and Belgravia but the Islington branch is the largest and the only one to open for dinner in the evenings.
Go. Join the queue if necessary, but go, as it really is that good.