We came here by mistake. On an August’s summer morning our route driving down to Brixton was disrupted because RideLondon – one of London’s many sporting events – meant there was road closures of all of London’s main bridges, meaning we couldn’t get south of the river. So, we parked up around Knightsbridge tube station, ready for some Sunday brunch and family bonding time.
Ottolenghi , a Mediterranean influenced deli is based on Motcomb Street, in the affluent area of Belgravia. Cakes, pastries and other delicious treats dress the window, inviting strangers to gawp through, with eyes bigger than there bellies. The inside is small but perfectly formed, the dishes on the menu that day (summer salads and mains) are laid out in delicatessen format, on show to tempt the passing trade. As marketed on the website, it is more suited to being a takeaway shop but we were lucky enough to have a sit down meal at their communal table outside on a beautiful summer’s morning.
We came here by mistake – but it is a mistake we’d like to make again and again.
The deli, owned by Israeli-born chef Yotam Assaf Ottolenghi, is very much built on the concept of fresh, natural food free from preservatives and colourings, which we is something we register with and try to abide by in our daily diets. The dishes are healthy and wholesome, each with different natural ingredients which provide delicious and interesting flavours.
The dishes we had were as follows:
Lemongrass beef burgers with sumac and lemon sourced cream sauce, accompanied with roasted aubergine with taramind yoghurt, spicy seeds and pickled lemon and roasted cauliflower with saffron, sultanas, crispy capers and parsley. The beef burgers were perfectly good and the sauce to go with was also lovely, but once I’d tried the quiche I did have major food envy which made me wish I’d gone for that instead. I also really enjoyed the sultana’s added into the mix, giving it an occasional sweet flavour with many different textures.
Beef lasagna and a side of mixed green beans with confit garlic, broad beans, spinach and chilli, on a bed of basmati and wild rice with chickpeas, currants and fried onions. The beef lasagna was cooked to perfection, and didn’t feel to heavy or carb-filled. The broad bean salad accompaniment were light and fresh.
Seared tuna with sweet chilli, soy and sesame sauce, with roasted sweet potato with masala yoghurt, fried kale and barberries and roasted cauliflower with saffron, sultanas, crispy capers and parsley.
Flourless lemon polenta cake. The icing to this had a real kick to it, with a real zing of lemon coming through, which I really wasn’t expecting. It had a mix of currants inside as well giving it a lovely texture. Lots of people are always worried that flourless gluten-free cakes are going to be dry, but the sponge had a good moistness to it.
Roasted tomato quiche with caramalised onions, goat’s cheese and thyme, with the choice of two salads:roasted aubergine with taramind yoghurt, spicy seeds and pickled lemon and roasted sweet potato with masala yoghurt, fried kale and barberries. The quiche for me was the best part of the meal – it was really homely tasting. The roasted aubergine with the taramind yoghurt had a lovely rich purple colour to it, and well you can’t really beat roasted sweet potato can you?!
The staff were super friendly. When we had finished our mains we went back up to the counter to have a look at the cakes, the waitresses showed a genuine interest about what we had decided on in the end and whether we enjoyed it. Our waiter was also really attentive and talkative, making it a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
The price averaged at around £25 per person, as our bill came to £100 for 4. We all had hot dishes with two salad choices, a cake from the front window, a lemonade each and a tip for our waiter. I will admit, if I was paying that for lunch everyday from the deli counter, I would find it expensive, but for a sit-down family brunch the price was reasonable.
So, if you’re looking to eat out somewhere that runs perfectly – good food, service, atmosphere – then choose Ottolenghi. We know we will be coming back here for more.
If you’d like any more information on this restaurant, or any of the other restaurants we have reviewed, please free feel to contact us.