25 April 2014

Brunch at Ottolenghi – Islington

I find the morning is the only time I can really relax. I realised this when reading one of Sally's blog posts on Sallytangle (one of my favourites - do check out her blog) and being fully relaxed when eating makes the whole experience of brunch much more enjoyable. Brunch is especially good because you can get away with having something sweet, savoury, or both, and I got to do exactly that at Ottolenghi.

I had only heard of Ottolenghi before I got the chance to visit the Islington branch a couple of weekends ago. My expectations were high, and I was so hungry by the time we got there I was ready to eat about anything on the menu (and I could have – it all looked amazing).



Fortunately, this is what we were greeted with on that sleepy Sunday:

SO many colours – isn't this exactly how salads should be done? Needless to say, I was sold.


And all the croissants... I had had enough pastries that weekend but these were so tempting. 


It was busy, which is always a good sign, but we were seated straight away on a communal table. I prefer to have my own table with whomever I am dining, but in this setting it was appropriate. It's a busy place where food is coming and going everywhere you look. Everyone was chatting and toasting their own bread (yep, toasters on the tables - very niche). 

We ordered a selection of bread to start and although I can't say for sure the difference between them all, they were fresh and delicious, and the addition of the olive oil made it.

I ordered an Americano to wake myself up – it had been a long weekend of eating and shopping.

And when I saw french toast on the menu I knew there was nothing else that could tempt me more. My cinnamon french toast made with brioche served with creme fraîche and mixed berry and Muscat compote, was the most interesting take on french toast I have ever had.

Unsurprisingly, it was a very sweet dish, but the compote had a tartness to it, and the tang of the creme fraîche toned the sweetness down too, so it was pretty perfect. The french toast itself was fluffy and light, with just the right amount of eggy-ness.

Sarah and my mum ordered a selection of salads. They have one of Ottolenghi's cookbooks and I really want to have a go at making some of these salads as they look amazing.

My dad ordered a fancy looking tuna dish. I tried a bit but the almost raw state of the fish put me off and I didn't enjoy chewing on the uncooked flesh... *shudder* – still, it looks delicious, and I'm sure for all tuna lovers it tastes just so as well.

Once we had finished our food and drink, admired the bathroom facilities (it's sad, isn't it?) we carried on exploring Islington at a leisurely pace and stopped off for ice cream not long after... But that's a story for another time :)

Have you been to any of the Ottolenghi restaurants or delis? I think they are exclusive to London but if you're ever in the area, you should check it out because it is just such a luxurious – but not too indulgent – place to eat. You can find out more about Ottolenghi here.
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9 comments

  1. This looks absolutely amazing you always find some real food gems!!! I don't know if I could have held my nerve sat on a table like that but it looks so friendly and lovely, yum I'm jealous! xxx

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    1. It wasn't my choice but it was so good! I'd love to go for lunch or even dinner... :)
      N xo

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  2. That looks so nice! I've never heard of Ottolenghi before but it certainly looks like somewhere to check out. Everyones posting such yummy food on here this evening! haha making me jealous
    I must admit though, the tuna wouldn't be my choice - I think its the only fish I really don't like eating!

    It looks like you had a lovely time xxx

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    1. It's a really great place, you should go if you're ever near one of the delis, such nice food!
      N xo

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  3. i am dying to try his deli in Islington - it looks delicious! i think you made the right choice, that french toast looks out of this world xx

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    1. Ahh you'd LOVE it. I want to go back and have something else now!
      N xo

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  4. It looks so wonderful there. :) All that food- yum! Except, I agree with you...the tuna is a bit too raw for me...I wouldn't be able to eat it. I love admiring bathrooms in restaurants (which, admittedly, I haven't done too often...I guess I just never really eat at fancy places). Supposedly you can tell how clean the restaurant and their food and kitchen is judging by the cleanliness of their bathrooms.

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    1. That sounds true to me! The Tavern in Cheltenham have amazing toilets too... Haha. I love the places where little individual hand towels are all neatly rolled up in a basket. Good soap and hand cream always make it nicer too ;)
      N xo

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  5. I haven't been to an Ottolenghi yet--it seems like there's never enough time in London! Looks amazing, though.

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