05/06/2012

Luxury gourmet take-away from Ottolenghi

One of my favourite things to do on the week-end is give the kitchen a miss and go for take-away food... Of course by that I don't really mean a kebab or a curry, although sometimes those can do as well, but really my preference goes to gourmet take-aways, and for that there is no better place in London than Ottolenghi

This is my favourite place in London for delicious take-away food, a place where unique culinary talent meets Mediterranean tastes in a most magical way... Although I often find that deli food tends to repeat itself from one deli to the other, the recipes at Ottolenghi are truly special and unique. Of course you can find seared tuna elsewhere, but not with the subtle blend of spices and delicious sauce it is served with here... And the white shops with the bright plates and gorgeous flower bouquets are the perfect environment to build an appetite. 

My favourites also include the roasted aubergines with tahini sauce, and the now classic three bean salad, again mixed with spices for that special kick. It's the perfect accompaniment for the roast beef and is super healthy, which is another reason I love this place: it's easy to eat here without breaking the diet rules. 

Of course if you're looking to stick to the diet I suggest moving swiftly past the cake display, every single one from the mascarpone lemon tartlets to the flourless chocolate almond tea cakes is totally scrumptious, and if you're like me, a "little piece" simply won't do it! And their meringues, well very simply they are the best I've ever tasted, with a shiny crisp outside hiding the yummiest soft heart: I always have them with some home-whipped cream and berries, probably a million calories per serving but for this I'd happily be "curvy" for the rest of my days! 

Here everything is freshly made from local produce in the small kitchens under each shop, with an attention to flavour but also colours and perfumes which is difficult to find elsewhere. It's the ideal drop-in place before a picnic in the park (the shop just off Kensington Church Street, at 1 Holland Street, is within minutes of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, and is packed with picnic-ers on sunny days!) Another lovely thing here is that the recipes you can find are always in season, so you find exactly what you crave depending on the time of the year... 

If you feel like trying the Ottolenghi cuisine yourself, make sure to bring home one of their cookbooks, I've tried a few of their recipes and though I never find my result as delicious as the one from the shops, I've gotten lots of compliments (and no left-overs!) from family and friends. 

I hear the Ottolenghi crowd have opened a restaurant, I can't wait to go and try it! In the meanwhile, here are the addresses for the shops: 

Notting Hill - 63 Ledbury Rd, W11 - 0 207 727 1121
Islington -  287 Upper St, N1 - 0 207 288 1454
Kensington - 1 Holland St, W8 - 0 207 937 0003
Belgravia - 13 Motcomb St, SW1 - 0 207 823 2707

In my experience the least busy one is Belgravia, making it an ideal stop with baby in tow, as the wait is never long... The friendliest service is also here in my opinion: the Notting Hill personnel is a bit too cool for my liking and the shop is a bit crowded, although it has to be said service is always impeccable. 

Now what would be absolute perfection would be if a branch was to open in Parsons Green, saving me (and many other local fans of the little chain!) the trip over to Kensington and Belgravia... although I suspect this would mean my jeans might have to be let out if I had easy access to all their fabulous gourmet treats on a more regular basis!

4 comments:

Mona P said...

Love Ottolenghi, great post!

How was your Jubilee weekend?

The weather was not the best, but the festivities all around were amazing!

LittleS said...

Hi Mona, good to have you back! For us the week-end was so-so, we had bad news and now have to fly to South of France for a funeral... but overall I agree the festivities were splendid.

Mona P said...

Thank you, it is good to be back!

I am so sorry about the funeral, must be a very difficult time for you and your family.

Please accept my condolences.

LittleS said...

Thank you so much Mona for your words, always so caring and kind. I really appreciate it, especially now. xxx