Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ottolenghi, England by Bureaucrat

Since moving to London, I haven't kept up my reading of the foodie scene (in Australia and overseas).

So when I made an impromptu stop at Ottolenghi, I didn't realise that it was one of few eateries that is owned by chef, Yotam Ottolenghi.

I chanced upon Ottolenghi after lunch at Almeida. We were too full but just had to buy some of the food-porno-worthy cakes that were on display in the window.

I'm rather glad that we decided to get the cakes takeaway, as the seating inside was at full capacity, and the narrow entrance was like a night club - a crush of people who were either gawping at the divine food (I don't blame them), people waiting for a table, and people doing takeaways.

Too many choices on offer, and it's a shame that I can't quite remember the delightful names of each cake, but we went with...

Raspberry sponge cake. The raspberry was a balanced tart and sweetness. It had a cream-like inner, which I think was somethink along the lines of cream patisserie. It was dusted with icing sugar and this red powder that was slightly acidic. Wonderful, light sponge. You can imagine chic Parisian ladies eating this!

Vanilla and ginger cheesecake with rhubarb. I quite like rhubarb and this had decent sized, tender chunks. The cheesecake was creamy but not overly rich, and speckled with vanilla pod seeds. The ginger gave a nice warm depth to the cake. Also very yummy.

Flourless chocolate cake. Very chocolately, moist. Like the cheesecake, despite the luxuriousness of it, it wasn't heart-inducing rich. A generous sprinkle of good quality cocoa powder on top.

And my joint favourite (along with the raspberry number) is the lemon meringue. Unfortunately, it got slightly mushed in the box on the way back home, but you can see them in the bottom left-hand corner in this photo above. Glorious peaky meringue (such as sense of fun and drama!) and a lovely tart interior. The pastry was firm and not too buttery.

I would love to try Ottolenghi when it isn't so busy - but I think this place is pretty popular all the time! As a back-up option, I'd settle for doing more takeaway of the cakes and also the rather enticing salads.

287 Upper St
Islington N1 2TZ
Telephone: (020) 7288 1454

Ottolenghi on Urbanspoon

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