Ottolenghi

Price guide: Expensive

287 Upper Street, London, N1 2TZ

Price guide: Expensive

Toasters out for breakfast

By Jenni Muir, your London expert

I write for AA Travel Guides, Time Out. Read more
#36 of 115
expert-rated restaurants in London
Expert overall rating:4.4 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.5
4.5
Ambience:
4.4
4.4
Service:
3.6
3.6
Location:
3.6
3.6
Value for money:
3.3
3.3
Recommended for:
Couples, Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, Foodies, Mature travellers, People watching, Shopping, Trendiness

Expert review of Ottolenghi

A cool café and takeaway by day, and a bold exponent of Mediterranean fusion cuisine by night.

Best known for vibrant salads and the sort of cakes that emit a siren call, Ottolenghi has a clutch of cafés and takeaways in London but beware: a couple of them don’t even have seating. This Islington branch has room for 50-or-so and is the only one to open for dinner, when booking is essential.

Food and drink: 

Inventive recipes, punchy flavours, precision cooking – gastronauts will love it. Ingredients are drawn from the wider Mediterranean larder (saffron, faro, dried limes, date syrup) but put together in contemporary fashion. Presentation is prettily rustic rather than chi-chi and dishes are designed for sharing: order a total of six or eight for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are very popular here too. I’ve never thought the baking or desserts were particularly good but the rest of London vehemently disagrees with me. Do pick up one of the excellent cookbooks as a souvenir.

Ambience: 

White, white white: walls, Corian communal table, Panton chairs... puts the focus on the colourful food, darling.

Service: 

Good but getting the bill sorted can be frustrating – when there’s a queue of customers out the door you think they’d try to turn tables more quickly.

Location: 

Opposite the Almeida theatre in Islington.

Price advice: 

You may be surprised that a place that runs as a café during the day can be so pricey: a hearty dinner with wine will cost around £85 – not including cook book!

Other useful branches: 

See website for details of the smaller Notting Hill, Kensington and Belgravia branches.

More information on Ottolenghi:

Price guide:
Expensive
Type:
Café, Restaurant, Takeaway
Food:
Fusion, Mediterranean, Modern
Address:
287 Upper Street, London, N1 2TZ
Telephone:
020 7288 1454
Website:
http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/locations/islington/
Serves:
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
Opening times:
Mon-Wed 8am-10pm, Thur-Sat 8am-10.30pm, Sun 9am-7pm.
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Essential at peak times

Have you been to Ottolenghi? Would you recommended it?