Less than a year ago, I watched food writer and stylist Rosie Birkett interview Yotam Ottolenghi at Stylist Live about the predicted 2016 food trends. Every world class chef is certainly passionate about their cooking, but Jerusalem born Ottolenghi is also a wise, humble and funny gent. I was immediately inspired by his love and dedication to the kitchen, as well as his experimentation and fusion cooking. I wondered why I hadn’t yet visited one of his six restaurants in London.
This was my second visit to the Spitalfields branch on Artillery Lane and it was equally as good as the first. Brilliantly coloured Mediterranean and Middle Eastern salads greet you at the door, as well as a selection of exceptionally good looking French pastries. The restaurant is clean, bright, white and inoffensive. And the long sharing tables, featuring personal toasters, create a canteen style environment.
The service was seamless on a busy Saturday brunch, with the host finding us a table for five instantly. I ordered the same choice as my first visit: Shakshuka. A staple North African dish made from tomatoes, peppers, baked eggs and labneh (greek yoghurt). A simple dish, but full of rich, spicy flavours, balanced by the yoghurt.
The brunch menu is reasonably priced too, with all dishes under £10. It certainly won’t be my last visit.