This is a “Do” with multiple exclamation marks, underlined, bolded in neon pink, and maybe sprinkled with some glitter. I love NOPI. You may have read my previous post praising Ottolenghi for a morning must-do, well, here’s their grown-up sister, an amazing restaurant for a truly wonderful evening out.
Head to Soho to find many Yotam Ottolenghi masterpieces, served as small, colorful, sharing plates in a beautiful setting. The Middle-Eastern inspired restaurant is known for its intense flavors packed into these high-veggie, quality dishes. Everything is truly outstanding and you don’t feel overly-stuffed or guilty afterwards!
This was my second time dining at NOPI. Once again, I remind myself I need to go more often. The main reason I don’t is really due to my husband. While he can appreciate all the amazing tastes and flavors, he considers NOPI a place to take the girls. He, like many men, is a section eater that prefers a giant steak and a big cheesy or potato side. He thinks that women appreciate the tapas-style, little bite, a thousand-ingredient dining over white wine more than men do, and that he should be exempt from such experiences. So now, I take my girlfriends and enjoy saying “OMG”and “I can’t even” after each taste of one of the 5-6 recommended sharing plates per couple.
When I returned to NOPI this weekend, I was again impressed by its clean lines and simple, modern decor. The white ceiling and walls keep the place bright, but still soft with tactful uplighting and rich gold adornments. The place steals the show, that is, until the food arrives.
After a couple signature cocktails and later settling on a nice wine, my girlfriend and I chose to share three small plates and one main. Everything was outstanding and we declared each dish our favorite at some point in the night. The courgette fritters were perfectly crisp outside, but had a moist, soft interior that almost reminded me of the best Thanksgiving stuffing you’ve ever had–with a Middle-Eastern twist. The burrata helped me feel less guilty about not having room for dessert. Served with a plum wine sauce and nectarines, it ticked the sweet box. And the Valdeón cheesecake. This rich quiche was held in a Parmesan crust and topped with beets and almonds. It was a showstopper. When we thought we had enough, out came our chickpea pancake. A spicy end to an amazing feast. We finished our meal amazed at how so many flavors can stand against each other and come through so boldly in these four vegetarian dishes. Truly works of culinary art.
The entire experience was amazing and the icing on top was the fantastic service. Fergus was a charming and knowledgeable server that never seemed flustered. He managed his large section with a relaxed confidence and knew just when to check in with our table. It was pretty great considering great service is hard to find in London.
Once again, A+ for NOPI. This is a London Checklist must-do of the highest caliber. So, head to the Soho hot spot and see for yourself. Enjoy!
21-22 Warwick Street
London W1B 5NE