Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Ottolenghi's Kitchen

Tonight: dinner at the Ottolenghi Restaurant in Spitalfields on the east side of London. We chose this restaurant because of my great admiration for Yotam Ottolenghi and my experiences using his cookbook titled Jerusalem.

After dinner, I enjoyed a tour of the kitchen, which is upstairs from the restaurant:

Every dish we tried was delicious, exceeding my impressions of Ottolenghi's imaginative use of spices and unusual flavors. Our dinner began with wine, lavash bread, and an eggplant spread, and then with bread and a very fruity olive oil.

The salad counter at the front of the restaurant.
The four of us ordered three salads. Their description from the menu: 
  • Fresh figs, Roquefort and mixed bitter leaves, spicy pecans with pomegranate and balsamic dressing.
  • Fillet of English beef with sweet coriander-mustard sauce.
  • Mixed green and yellow beans with fried capers, red pepper and coriander seeds.
 A main course: Urfa chilli lamb rump with muhammara,
feta, olives and corn.
Clams, squid, and mussel stew with coco beans and red currant.
Braised leeks with smoked onion purée, goat's cheese, sour cherries, and almonds.
Not pictured: Gressingham duck breast with red curry, courgette, fresh mandarin and Thai basil.
Display of cakes and tarts, a remarkable selection!
Seasonal fruit tart (similar to my favorite plum cake).
And vanilla cheesecake topped with cherry compote.


Vagabonde said...

I’d love to go to this restaurant as all the food looks so tempting to me. I love lamb and here in Georgia it is very hard to find in restaurants and even in the grocery store or there is very little choice and at high inflated price. Then anything with goat cheese sounds yummy. The salad counter and the cakes and tarts make me hungry even though I just finished dinner. I do cook southern style sometimes, so tonight we had collard greens my way (since I don’t know how they make them here…) fresh mashed sweet potatoes, barbecue meat and my mother potato salad, then a salad (with my vinaigrette) so it’s Franco-deep South style I guess. But I would rather have accompanied you to Ottolenghi’s.

I just realized that there were at least 4 Donna Leon mysteries I had not read, so I got them from the Library. I don’t know if you know these but I really enjoy them. I will have read almost all her mysteries (23+) and have two others that are not. They take place in Venice and Commissario Brunetti’s wife is a gourmet cook, with wonderful descriptions of her dishes in the books. They even published a cookbook called “Brunetti’s Cookbook” have you seen it? I have tried not to get it because I have to let go of so many of my cookbooks and should not buy any new one, but it is tempting.

Jeanie said...

Oh Mae, it looks beautiful and I know it had to be delicious! Goat cheese! The salads were may favorites, I think but oh, dessert! But how fortunate you were to be allowed access to the kitchen. Did you simply ask or did you make advance arrangements or tell them you were featuring it on your food blog? No matter how, that makes it all a very special treat!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

This looks so fantastic and I would love the fig salad.

Beth F said...

What an awesome experience! The salads and the lamb. Yummmm

jama said...

So interesting! Love that cake display. :)

Claudia said...

Wow, what an experience! I would love to go there and try all Ottolenghi's fabulous food, and did you notice how organized and spotless that kitchen was?

Carole said...

touring the kitchen of a famous chef would be just fab! Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter