Scores: GFG 4/ Z 25/ H 2
Yotam Ottolenghi is well known for his cookbooks, TV work and chain of 3 Ottolenghi deli/ cafés (RIP Holland Street, W8). These establishments produce some very nice but expensive deli style food as well as some lovely pastries and deserts. I have grabbed take away food from these before and it is always surprising how some cold tuna/ beef, some veg and salad can rack up to £15 or so!
Nopi is Ottolenghi’s first attempt at a full restaurant and is situated in ‘trendy’ Soho. It is a very casual modern styled restaurant; it is slightly reminiscent of the delis as some of the cold dishes are displayed towards the entrance. Downstairs there is a communal table while upstairs has the traditional setup.
We ordered some of the small plates from the menu and shared. Twice-cooked baby chicken, lemon myrtle salt, chilli sauce (£8.50) was slightly overdone and I was not a fan of the sweet chilli sauce which also lacked spice. Conversely, grilled quail, black pepper caramel, turnip tops and picked daikon (£12.50) was very good, the quail was very tender and the rich sweet coating worked well. Ottolenghi tends to do veg well and here green beans, freekeh, shiitakes with miso dressing (£9) were all well cooked and the miso dressing was a good complement.
Sea bream, mustard seed potatoes, rasam (£12.50) was possibly the standout dish, the fish and potatoes were well cooked and the sweet, sour and slight spicy rasam was very tasty. Seared scallops, apple, radish with chilli jam (£12.50) contained two large scallops that were cooked fairly well; the fresh and sour radish salad on the side was refreshing. A side dish of Chargrilled tenderstem broccoli, mustard vinaigrette, almonds (£4.50) was also well executed.
Overall this is good place for a quick bite, although I would not be in any hurry to spend most of an evening here. This is very much an extension of the Ottolenghis and is you like those you should like it here. The service was okay; in general a bit cold, and I am also not sure why they offered to take the people in front of us’s coats but not ours, or our very obvious large bag!