Dinner at NOPI

February 23rd 2011

dinner at Nopi

Nopi is a new restaurant from the team behind the much-loved London chain Ottolenghi, headed up by chef and Guardian columnist Yotam Ottolenghi. Poke has designed both their websites, so it seemed right that a couple of us go check out the new venture…

Located NOrth of PIccadilly (hence the name), Nopi is an all-day brasserie serving modern food with a Middle Eastern-Asian slant. Another Ottolenghi – with its simple clean flavours – this definitely isn’t: the dishes here have been refined by the chef team over months and months, and it really shows in the tasting. Small plates designed for sharing are perfectly formed, really getting to the ‘essence’ of an ingredient, whether it’s super-concentrated lamb belly or an intense tomato sauce with grilled prawns. Happily it wasn’t just heaven for carnivores, with a whole veg section of the menu for me to pick from.

Here were some top hits:

dinner at Nopi
Butternut squash ‘hummus’ served with sourdough bread was an amazing start to the meal. You wouldn’t think squash and tahini would work but it really did, and was extremely moreish. I sneaked the recipe from the waiter, so will be trying this at home!

dinner at Nopi
Carrots braised just so, served on mung beans with smoked labneh and crispy toasts. The smoked labneh (a Middle Eastern yogurt cheese) really made this dish. Probably my favourite of the night.

dinner at Nopi
Savoury blue cheesecake managed to be both rich and light, with slightly bitter mushrooms and a sweet glaze on top to cut through the dairy. In the background, the warm winter greens with yogurt was a lovely accompaniment.

Puds were a hit as well, the cardamom-rose rice pudding being my favourite, and cocktails and wines were excellent too. The decor is light and bright with plenty of luxurious gold and brass, and special attention was paid to the acoustics so the ambience is buzzy but relaxed. (Bonus: the octagonal mirrored toilets are simply incredible.) It’s quite expensive, yes, but you’re paying for the obsessive attention to detail, the expertise, and the time that goes into making sure everything is just right. If you’re looking for a rather special and unusual meal in central London, I’d certainly recommend it.

Nopi on Urbanspoon Share this entry with this shortURL: http://whatkatiedo.es/nopirestaurant

Comments (9)

  • Jessica

    February 23rd 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Would really like to try this place. We've just got Ottolenghi's new veggie book, Plenty, at our house and it's absolutely brilliant.

  • Little Lj

    February 23rd 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Oo, I still need to get my ass over to Ottolenghi (so slow).. but this also looks like somewhere to try!

  • Winkypedia

    February 24th 2011 at 9:21 am

    I agree. The dishes are well prepared.
    It is a lovely restaurant to share dishes with friends. We went last weekeend and we tried 16 of them! (we were a little peckish) Here is what we have eaten http://wp.me/p18zw1-Pu

    Don't forget to check out the toilet!

  • Crystal

    February 25th 2011 at 3:56 am

    That hummus looks amazing! I love squash.

  • viri

    February 25th 2011 at 10:35 am

    Any chance you sharing the hummus recipe? Squash and tahini are my big favourites….

  • vicki

    February 27th 2011 at 6:54 am

    a must for the next-time-i'm-in-London list! V x

  • tamsin

    February 28th 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Alex and I definitely need to go here!

  • Martushka

    February 28th 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I was recently walking next to NOPI and have to admit it's the nicest looking restaurant I've seen in a while in London that the place to go for sure expetially if Ottolenghi is behind it.

  • Sasha @ The Happiness Project London

    March 3rd 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Man this looks looovely! Having being raised by a heavily meat-eating Yorkshire mother, I rarely ever have a veggie meal but this looks absolutely wonderful and really healthy. I'm adding this and Mildred's to my list of places to take my veggie friends!

    Sasha @ The Happiness Project London

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