I am a big fan of all things Ottolenghi. I dream about creating his fabulous med inspired rustic dishes in the Guardian, but time and sourcing mysterious ingredients are always a problem. So, I was pleased as punch, when I found out about his latest flashy restaurant Nopi, in easily accessible Soho. I brought one of my fave girly luncheon partners and off we went. The restaurant itself is glossy in a posh souk way with white tiled walls, eastern golden fittings and a grand display of large white bowls of very attractive salads (posh buffet style). The service was a little sharp, not oozing with family hospitality, which I was for some reason expecting. The good looking menu has small and larger sharing dishes with zingy, mouth watering combinations such as duck with hazelnut butter, roast sweet potatoes with figs and cheese and truffled polenta, yum. We had the twice cooked baby chicken with chilli and salt, which was light, crispy and flavoured with eastern promise. We ordered it twice. The polenta chips were a little solid but there was some fab moreish chilli sauce. All the dishes are vibrant in colour and have a fresh, zesty, light feel, that cleverly whisks one away to that feeling of grazing at a gourmet barbecue in the soaking med sun. Unfortunately, we both had all-consuming colds, so could not fully enjoy the subtle flavouring and wizardry of Yotam. I was slightly underwhelmed, maybe the cuisine is better off in a posh deli rather than a high end, flashy restaurant. Prices are not cheap and add up with extra small dishes. However, I would go again, maybe when my tastebuds are revving up again and the desire for Eastern delights beckons .
Rob Greig / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Jul 26 2012
NOPI’s chef-owner is Yotam Ottolenghi, who struck culinary gold a few years back with his game-changing Ottolenghi cafés. This somewhat more grown-up, all-day restaurant shares a similar look and ethos, but is more formal. The white decor is warmed up with brass fittings; the basement contains large sharing tables and an open kitchen. The inventive cooking has a firm foundation in the Middle East and takes bold flavour forays into the Mediterranean and Asia. You can go the conventional route, with starters and mains, or take the opportunity for wider grazing by sticking to sharing plates (but these are quite small). Vegetarians have plenty of choice, with dishes such as a savoury cheesecake with gently pickled beetroot, crunchy hazelnuts and thyme honey, or a moreish side portion of truffled polenta chips. Star dish was spiced gurnard served Vietnamese-style: taken off the bone, mixed with chilli and spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. NOPI isn’t the greatest bargain in town (a main course of comparatively lacklustre chickpea dumplings with tahini and yoghurt cost a stiff £19). Two-hour table slots are strictly enforced, and service can seem rushed as a consequence. The wine list is as wide-ranging as you’d expect, with some excellent (if pricey) selections.
NOPI 21-22 Warwick Street
- Venue phone:
020 7494 9584
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Breakfast served 8am-noon, lunch served noon-2.45pm, dinner served 5.30-10.30pm Mon-Fri. Brunch served 10-11.30am Sat; 10am-12.30pm Sun. Meals served noon-10.30pm Sat; noon-3.30pm Sun
Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube
Main courses £17-£29.50 Meal for two with wine and service: around £140.
- 21-22 Warwick Street
- 020 7494 9584
- 21-22 Warwick Street
Average User Rating
3.3 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:7
- 2 star:5
- 1 star:3
I had early dinner today at Nopi. Lovely crowd and atmosphere but I was sooo disappointed the food was very very small portions. And the menu didn't have a lot variety I expected much better. Nothing wow in food. I ordered 3 starters and portions were sooooooooo small. And my half chicken was normal. Nothing special. Ohhhhhhhhh dessert i thought it will be wow like ottaligi. But it was sooooooooo bad I ordered the caramelized rice. It was really bad not sweet at all. My rating not coming here again
Bedazzled! By the shinning white tiles, the gold tables and lanterns, the wall to floor mirrored toilets and the ambience. Here is another word – opulence! Unfortunately I can not say the same about the food. Everything was yummy, as I would expect it to be, but nothing was great. The wine list was extensive and the cheapest red wine on the menu, the Rijoa, is actually good, very good. The is about as close as we got to good value for money the whole night. Before the starters, we were given two small pieces of sourdough with some olive oil. The bread was very good but as others have reported it is very sparse. We then ordered two starters of courgettes with a truffle vingerete and also sweet pumpkin with tahini. Both delicious but very very small portions. I especially liked the truffle vingerete and the sesame seed on the pumpkins but for about £9.00 a main the portion size was unforgiveable. For mains we had the buttered lemon sole and the steak. No complaints here, both again were very good. The service was professional but lacking in any warmth and at times a bit surly. I also didn't like the sneaky little trick of including the service in the bill. Naughty Naughty Ottlenghi. What was missing overall was some oomph! Middle Eastern food has so much vibrancy which was completely lacking here. Also, a culture which is known for its generosity in food wasn't replicated. Moreover, I could have forgiven the prices if the food was technically brilliant – but it wasn't. Which left me thinking, what is he trading on? – reputation or trend – probably? Given that, it was about 30-40% too expensive we left unimpressed. Two starters, two mains, two desserts, a bottle of red wine and service came to £150. We should have called it even at £100
not very inspiring. the dishes here are nothing special, the combination of flavours quite familiar if you have eaten persian/lebanese etc before. it is also very overpriced for what you get. 3 slices of roasted aubergine with a couple of pomegranate seeds - that'll be £8.50 please. 2 (two) not very good scallops - certainly not fresh - with two reconstituted dried shitake mushrooms: a snip at £12 vegetable crudites with industrial quality guacamole sets you back a fiver. our neighbours had the fish and the chicken and were visibly unimpressed. and yes - they are still mean with the bread. the wine list is idiosyncratic but likewise twice as expensive as it should be. service was attentive and the ambience ok. but £50 per head and not a single memorable culinary moment ? hmm....
Went for breakfast this morning. Very impressed. Stylish restaurant, most attentive friendly staff I've met for a long time, lovely food at a reasonable price. I had french toast with star anise....mmmmm. Go!
Suppose to be great for vegetarians however the only vegetable option for a main dish contained rennet (usually from the abomasum of newly-born calves). As did a number of the smaller/starter dishes and everything came with crème fraîche – total crème fraîche overload! When I asked if the vegetable dishes where vegetarian the waiter confirmed they were twice, the third time I asked the chief, who confirmed as I’d suspected, they contained retina. The waiter admitted many vegetarians had enjoyed these dishes in the past – he had disappointing knowledge of the dishes and a lack of concern for the customer, although friendly and reasonably attentive. The cocktails also didn't hit the mark and need more consideration. Quirky yet overall disappointing and definitely too pricy for what it is!
I cant rate it highly enough for the inventiveness, quality and sheer deliciousness of the food. I have done dinner and breakfast there and find the portions more than ample and agree with the reviewer below - give me quality over quantity every time.... Service has always been friendly, relaxed and professional. A gem in what can often be style over substance in Soho.
I had the most EXQUISITE MEAL OF MY LIFE last night at NOPI. The attention to detail on the flavours is fantastic - truly amazing The pea and courgette fritter was sublime, the twice cooked baby chicken to die for, and the roasted aubergine nearly had me falling off my seat in sheer rapturous delight!. We had seats at the bar, so entertained and informed by the bar staff over the course of the evening, and it meant they were always 'on hand'. I can't recommend the food and cocktails highly enough, and I will be returning many times with my favourite (rich) friends. All you fat greedy pigs that want quantity over quality need to go ta an 'all you can eat buffet'.
Everything was delicious. Broad bean and pea fritters (a English-ified riff on falafel), marinated aubergine, the duck confit and a glorious take on Eton mess (who knew surmac would be so good on strawberries?) But the surprise standout, crushed potatoes with caperberries. Service was excellent.
Very Unhappy! Our waiter overcharged us and lied to us about the amount paid by 2 of our party by card, all to increase his personal tip! I will not eat here again, and I urge you not to either. Appalling!
This is the second time at Nopi and both have been first class! The food is superb, the atmosphere is great and the decor very nice. I understand they have a state of the art acoustic plaster ceiling which absorbs some of the sound in the room. This certainly seemed to do the trick as the four of us were able to have a relaxing conversation whilst the restaurant retained a great atmospheric buzz. I'll definitely be back soon!
Interesting food and some amazing flavours but some of the portion sizes are just ridiculous for the price. The size of the seabass was insulting and we did point it out to the waiter. They are also extremely mean with the bread - one half of a slice per person.
Can't recommend this restaurant highly enough. Between the two of us, had six of the seven vegetarian dishes on offer, all of which, together with a small 'starter' salad and a dessert, were equally delicious - inventive, fresh, satisfying - really food at its best. We were still savouring it a couple of days later, and trying to recapture the amazing tastes which the dishes create. The service was absolutely perfect - attentive without being over-imposing, knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and efficient. The ambience is just great - clean and bright without being sterile, bubbly without being overly unbearably noisy. The cost of the food, at about £65 for two, is well worth such a fantastic eating experience, and has to be hard to better anywhere in London. I can only assume that the reviewers who complained about the size of the dishes are not familiar with tapas-style eating - perhaps better to think of this as a chance to sample a number of the best of Ottolenghi's dishes at the price of a reasonable meal. Only complaint, possibly, is that the wine list does not offer very much in the way of reliable lower-priced wines, so this can add substantially to the bill. But overall this is a great restaurant - and I only wish I could go there more often.
Great food.....dreadful service. Lost count how many people came to our table. Not even busy but still had to remind them we were there. Don't appreciate asking about the food to be told, sorry only been working here three weeks. At the prices they charge, expect better.
The food was generally great and very tasty but the portions were really small. 2 of us shared 6 dishes and we felt still hungry afterwards. Specially one fish dish was not worth the price at all. ONE grilled prawn cut halfway with a spoonful of "Thai style herbs" was only a mouthful and that for the price of £ 12 is a bad joke. Staff was very friendly. The tables are too small for all the tiny plates. It was my second visit and I'm not sure whether I would recommend the place or would go again.
Went for dinner. Loved it. Shared 6 dishes with my wife, plenty of food, amazing flavours, beautifully presented. Admittedly one dish we had let the side down a bit, softshell crab was rather too salty with not much else going on flavour-wise, but the others we tried more than made up for it. My recommendation - the Burrata, blood orange and coriander seeds - sublime! Oh and the staff were lovely too. Not sure about those toilets mind.
Food was bland, I left hungry for the first time I have left a restaurant. I went for brunch and I had the beef brisket croquets with Asian slaw and aubergine with double cooked chicken, the chicken was very dry with a drizzle of soy sauce, aubergine moist and tasted was ok. I thought paying high prices would reflect in the quality of food. I was disappointed and really felt like I was a tad ripped off. I enjoy fine dining, and new experiences, but this appeared more imaged based than anything else. In the end I went to china town and ate again. I would have ordered more if I was impressed with the flavours, but I was not; and do not fathom why it has been reviewed as good food? I may not excessively dine out, nor am I food critique, but I know good food when I taste it, it was not bad, but not did it impress or hit the spot for my pallet and I was hungry when I went in.
I would give it 3.5 if possible. We went for breakfast, the food was very tasty but there wasn't a great deal of choice on offer - a few more savoury options would have been nice as well as a list of additionals you could add to your dish. We did this but it was not advertised. The coffee was inconsistent - the first was too milky and weak, the second very watery and incredibly hot. Ottolenghi always get their coffee right. Pastries were delicious but tiny. Staff were lovely. This feels more like a restaurant than a breakfast venue - it's too formal for a weekend brunch. The decor is very smart, the toilets are interesting...
We ate at Nopi on the weekend and were underwhelmed. On the plus side several of the dishes we ordered were very good; the ambiance (we were on the ground floor) was spot on; and the staff very lovely and attentive without being annoying. On the downside the food was overpriced; some of the dishes were only ok; and the meal alternated between times when everyone was picking at one or two dishes and the table being overladen with food. I would suggest you can get a better and more fulfilling meal at restaurants such as the River Cafe for the same amount of money.
Last night at Nopi was one of the greatest meals of my life. The food beats most 3 star Michelin places hands down, for freshness, originality, power of the flavours and all round explosion of taste. Anyone who loves food has to come here, asap.
I can't recommend Nopi, tiny platefuls of snacks, not big enough for one person to get the flavour, cannot be described as 'for sharing'. And at £10-12 each, 3 per person means a £36 main course, kinda dear even for town. Didn't like the puddings, liked the staff but nowadays they don't let you eat the waiter if you're still hungry when the bill arrives. Bread came in tiny amounts and the offer of more came a poor second to simply bringing a decent amount. And the tables are too small for lots of tiny plates, the lighting too ugly, the room too 'magnolia tunnel''. Hated the tricksy lavatories, give me clean walls and loo doors that open wide.
I'm not sure about this place at all. We love the Ottolenghi cookbook so were excited about going. The wine was excellent and the service was very friendly - albeit the regular attenpts at upselling were quite offputting. As others have mentioned the portions are absolutely tiny relative to the cost. Bringing the food out 'as and when' (2 dishes at a time) means that if your partner is eating something you don't like then you can't share them. Worse still, you end up eating things which taste random together. But the biggest beef we have is around the space. The tables are crammed in so much that you might as well join your neighbours for dinner. Which is not so great if they are loud, irritating and drunk as ours were last night. The swede gratin was boring and the chicken was also rather dull. The braised beef croquettes were super and the mung bean and braised carrots were great but 10 quid for what is effectively a side order of veg is a scandal. The cheesecake was more like quiche (12 pounds...). Won't be going back.
Just been to Nopi for a long lunch. The decor is stunning - clean, sunny and glamorous and the food is even better - fresh, varied and incredibly tasty. This has instantly become one of my favourite restaurants in London. And the staff are absolutely lovely. Well done!
Went last Tuesday and really must reinforce the point re portion sizes. no hearty meals to be had here! deliciously prepared and served, but still extortionate. e.g. the burrata dish can be replicated at home for 4 for the same price as in the restaurant. I'd give it 5 for the food, but 3 overall because of the lack of value.