Everyone knows about Ottolenghi and his ever-growing popularity with his restaurants and delicatessens in London. Slap on the wrist for me, because until this day, I had never ventured into any of his establishments. I really have no idea why.
Firstly, it already gets two thumbs up from me for not being a no-reservations place, a trend that seems to be on fire in London lately.
Secondly, the decor. It's swish but not stuffy, modern but not cold, elegant but with an edge. The white and gold with wooden furniture - it completely won me over.
Onto the main event.
Their breakfast/brunch menu is not extensive, but certainly interesting. I went for the Shakshuka - braised eggs, piquant tomato sauce and smoked labneh (a kind of cheese), E went for the sausage focaccia sandwich with tomato chutney, and we shared the black rice with mango and banana out of curiosity.
My braised eggs were perfectly booked, the tomato sauce so flavourful and fresh, with sticks of grilled bread for dipping. E's sausages were delicious, and the black rice was fascinating - sweetened with maple syrup and coconut milk, it was unusual and mild in taste, a lovely palate cleanser after the savoury dishes.
Honestly, I can't say a bad thing about this place! I do know that their lunch and dinner menus require a slightly larger budget, so in comparison to that I thought this was very reasonably priced for generous portions.
It's the perfect place if you want something a little different to your standard eggs benedict, with their unique offerings and distinctive flavours. I kind of want to go back and try everything on their menu now, but first, I really should visit the other Ottolenghi branches.
It's ideally located in a little street in Soho, and did I mention you can make reservations? Do it.