11 Artillery Passage
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Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
We gambled on getting a table here during an impromptu trip to Spitalfields as we had turned up without a reservation. This was on a busy Sunday at midday, so our chances did not look good. Luckily, the very friendly and courteous staff managed to find us a table within seconds.
The initial gentle relaxed hum of the restaurant initially drew us in but we were also impressed by the simple but yet airy decor. The toasters on the table and the hanging sockets (safely outside the reach of young children) added a bit of intrigue to the interior design.
Water was served to us immediately without any request. My breakfast was the Welsh Rarebit. This was served with delicious sourdough bread. Though be warned, it was very salty, so the extra bottle of water was more than appreciated. The two fried eggs and mixed salad were perfect accompaniments.
I would also like to say an additional few words about the exemplary service we received, which was impressive throughout. In addition, at the final bill, there was some ambiguity over our order. A lesser restaurant would have intensely and bitterly interrogated our claim. However, Ottolenghi gave us the benefit of the doubt without any rancour or recrimination. This sense of positive reinforcement means I will gladly come back.
Ottolenghi Islington was one of my first foodie adventures in London back in 2011.
I haven't returned to this branch ever since and after five years the classy and charming feeling was still there. The colourful and vibrant food counters, the minimalist decoration and the friendly service definitely helps,
Ottolenghi is not your daily Pret at Manger as a simple selection of three salads and a quiche for lunch can easily turn out to a mid-week extravaganza. Anyway, it is totally worth it!
Ottolenghi's salads are a masterpiece and even the most simple ingredients are turned into something utterly and creatively delicious. My crunchy roasted aubergine with tamarind yoghurt, my smooth sweet potato with fried kale and my aromatic wild rice with chickpeas with currants were exquisite. The freshness and quality of the ingredients is notorious and that makes total difference to your palate. The goats cheese and cherry tomato was divine too - the subtle addition of caramelized onions let me wonder and dream for a couple of minutes. Even If I try to replicate such a beauty at home, I wouldn't be able even with the most of my efforts.. I guess that's why Ottolenghi is a and the place to come back when you want to be blown away and forget your daily Pret at Manger.
Everyone raves about Ottolenghi so we didn’t really expect to get a walk-up table at this Spitalfields deli branch but we were in luck. We’d like to have had breakfast, which looked delicious arriving at the table beside us, (they took the menu off the door as we arrived. The lunch menu is very straightforward: basically you can have three or four salads with or without a protein-based dish (salmon chicken etc). One of us had four salads (which arrived piled in a pretty, appetising heap, gleaming with pomegranate seeds), the other three salads and salmon. So between us we covered all the bases and everything got a thumbs-up. Unable to resist the unexpected ‘Orange’ section on the wine list, we both had a glass of Rkatsiteli, which was indeed orange, although when we googled it afterwards we discovered that it’s more often described as white. Initially it tasted almost like beer but it grew on us and went really well with all the unfamiliar tastes in those vegetable- and pulse-based salads. So, a success, and we’d be ready to join the rest of the ravers if it wasn’t quite so expensive: with 12.5 % service the bill for two main courses and a couple of glasses of wine came to £51.