Ottolenghi in Spitalfields is a happy, light-filled space selling colourful plates of homemade good-for-you food. As you enter the deli-cum-restaurant, you’re met with a plethora of salads and some of the best desserts in London. Take a moment to see what’s on offer here as the salads on these wonderful terracotta platters are what you’ll find on the paper menu.
Pastries, nuts, brittle and chocolates are all available to buy as you leave, although if you don’t fancy sitting in, there is a busy takeaway service on the go.
A birthday lunch in August (sorry this is a little late) via a trip to Colombia Road Flower Market, meant a tube ride to Liverpool Street and a short walk to Artillery Lane. Ottolenghi takes up the corner of Artillery Lane and Gun Street, which isn’t too far from Spitalfields and just over the road from Liverpool Street.
Families and couples sit on large tables or at the bar and the atmosphere is very jolly and relaxed.
I start with a Saffron Chase (£12) cocktail. Chase Gin is mixed with the brand’s Elderflower Liqueur, a little lemon, saffron syrup & Champagne. I can wholly recommend it.
Cut to order, the bread slate (£4.50) is filled with focaccia, cornbread and sourdough and the olive oil is a beautiful green and tastes of just-picked fruit.
My seared English beef fillet with horseradish, mustard, rocket and sour cream, was rare and although the portion looked rather mean, as I tucked in, there was plenty. I chose three salads to help it along (£16.70) and opted for roasted aubergine with sorrel yoghurt, turmeric pickled radish, spring onion and almonds; Roasted peppers, red quinoa and maftoul with olives, green chilli and pistachios and slaw with orange, kale, white cabbage, grapes, carrot and fennel seeds.
Meanwhile, Mr went for the smoked bacon quiche with sautéed leeks, parmesan and thyme, a real beast of a wedge of densely packed egg mix with plenty of filling in a lovely thin pastry case. He had two salads (£14.20) the char-grilled broccoli with chilli and garlic and a mixed pepper salad.
Diners can also choose from a small selection of three salads (£11.50) and the regular four salads (£14.00) without the main course accompaniment.
Ottolenghi is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and services the City crowd with a grab-and-go menu.
Whilst Liverpool Street is a bit of a trek for us, it’s worth it for a taste of great ingredients treated simply but to great effect. It’s not cheap but quality rarely is. I will be back.
Ottolenghi, 50 Artillery Lane, London, 020 7247 1999