ottolenghi is a simply delightful food and pastry shop located just around the corner from our home in kensington. i'm not sure if they are french or italian or british but i'd guess italian perhaps from the name. ottolenghi's philosophy is one of hand crafting all their food from raw, natural ingredients without the use of additives or preservatives.
on my way to the gym every other day and usually on weekends, i am very tempted by the meringues, clafoutis, puddings, cakes and tarts that adorn the shop window. it's a real effort on my part to not give in to the incredible temptation. i feel like i vicariously gain all the calories just from the eye candy pleasure!
it was only last weekend that i discovered the savory side of ottolenghi - you walk inside the store and they have a wonderful array of freshly made foods on display like a buffet. you choose a small or large box and then can hand pick your take-away meal from a variety of dishes from couscous salads and crunchy organic roast root vegetables to ricotta ans spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms. they even have a nice selection of soups and sandwiches.
what with the sun shining for more than a few hours on sunday, h and i decided to inaugurate our terrace with an ottolenghi lunch. i brought home cauliflower, celeriac and parmesan soup along with a few cold salads and organic potato and apple gratin with gruyere and thyme. we enjoyed our lovely lunch on the terrace and just as we were packing up, the sun disappeared withing seconds and it started to rain heavily. within twenty minutes, the sun was peeping through the clouds again and it was bright and sunny. london - the weather is really weird. no wonder the english are so obsessed!
ps - ottolenghi has eat-in facilities at their notting hill and islington locations.