Saturday, 18 June 2011

Ottolenghi Manna

Su has well and trully redeemed herself - Nopi was an excellent choice!
Underwhelming cocktails were outshone by a delicious little dish of roasted celeriac and yogurt puree with good bread. Simple but arresting flavours which was the theme for the whole meal - a succession of gorgeous dishes (and we sampled 16 from the menu, 4 from each section) most of which made us all go mmmm....
Highlights for me were the skordalia and broccolini (untempting-sounding, but divine); all 4 fish dishes, including an unctuous prawn and tarragon stew; chicken with myrtle salt.
All puds were lovely, as was the wine - a minerally white from Etna, and a juicy red from Campania. 9/10.

Nopi is YESpi.

The room was beautifully simple and the staff friendly and relaxed which both boded well. Su and I sat gazing at the amuse bouche and eventually had to have a small sample which also promised greatness. A rather damp Ti and Ju then arrived and we swiftly ordered cocktails. These were fine, not great but, as it turned out, the one false note in a near faultless evening. The veg dishes were all very strong on flavour and skill, the only minor exception might be Ti's choice of tomato salad but I reckon this was excellent but just paled a little in comparison to the other dishes which were divine. The fish course was if anything even better. My scallops were perfectly cooked with a gorgeous chilli jam to go with them,the soft-shell crab may have been the best ever and the octopus and prawn equally tasty. The meat dishes and the puddings were of an equally high quality and we all agreed that of the 16 dishes we sampled every one was simple, unusual and heavenly.

I give it 9.5out of 10

The Bill