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Ottolenghi

287 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 2TZ

If the fame of celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi doesn’t pull you in, the irresisitible mountain of work-of-art meringues in the window will. Most people know what to expect of Ottolenghi by now – fresh, seasonally changing food with a creative twist, suffused with the warmth of the Mediterranean sun. This chic, sleek, chatty spot, the largest of Ottolenghi's four London locations, doesn’t fail to deliver. Dishes such as seared scallops with butternut squash or lamb kofte with pistachio are full of “noisy” ingredients and robust flavours, presented on small sharing plates from a daily changing menu. The take out counter is a bustling spot at lunchtime – Ottolenghi’s salads are always excellent (try the roasted aubergine with turmeric yoghurt and pomegranate seeds) and few people are able to resist those meringues. It’s also a good place for breakfast (the cannellini stew with chorizo and bacon will set you up for the day), and, especially for weekend brunch. Ottolenghi is a sociable place and not the best location for a romantic date – there are a couple of tables for two, but you’ll probably have to share one of the large communal tables. Bookings are accepted for dinner only.

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