LOL, upon entering this bistro/bakery and seeing the amazing display of cakes, pies, desserts and platters of fantastically prepared Mediterranean appetisers (roast pumpkin, beetroot puree, grilled vegetables, hummus etc) I knew I was gonna spend a few hours there.
Right before ordering I told the waitress not to be shocked because we were hungry. She didn't blink when we ordered everything :-D Guess we weren't the first Ottolenghi enthusiasts.
The first impression was good, it was all delicious and I will definitely go back for much more. I was actually thinking to bring a tent and permanently camp in front of this bakery LOL
PS: the place is very very small, so it's perfect for takeaway, not so great for a party of more than two people, as they only have one large table downstairs, which customers share. If you can, avoid lunch break and weekends as it can get pretty busy.
Very cute bakery in Notting Hill, with a sole big white table at the back accommodating around 10 people.
I was passing by in the afternoon and the smell of good cakes got my attention, then looking at the window I saw a triumph of good looking cupcakes, pastries and cakes and I couldn't resist.
After a bit of indecision, I took a vanilla and blueberry cupcake and it was delicious. I am not a huge fan of cupcakes, but this one had the right amount of sweetness and softness. I sat at the table and around me there were other 5 ladies (all woman in there in the afternoon, was it a coincidence?) having salty foods as well as desserts. I saw some interesting salads at the entrance and there was a menu for salads and mains on display as well, I think 3 salads were £11 and a main + 2 salads £13.5 or so.
The atmosphere is very relaxing as everything is white and there are also magazines and few books to read.
Prices are okay, £4.40 for a cupcake plus service and the waiters are nice. I'll come back soon.
Beautiful pastries! Just looking at the tiered display of baked goods, I could have easily gone overboard by getting too many pastries. Good thing I still have some self-control. We were there during off-peak hours (about 4:30pm) but there was still a good number of people in there who were mostly getting items to go. Seems it was off-peak hours, there wasn't really a systematic line going on but the employees were pretty good in making sure they served who came in first.
The pistachio financier was extremely good. I liked that the cake had a very slight "grainy" texture which was probably from the pistachios. The mini almond bundt cake had the right amount of moist and wasn't dense nor heavy. Another favorite was the pear galette which was baked in a whole rectangle pastry crust. It's priced by weight according to the size of the slice.
I need to return to this place.
Thank you Yelp -- for I have found London's best cookie.
It was a necessary indulgence, I promise. And not only that, but I enjoyed it physically and verbally for about 15 minutes. Best. Chocorgasm. Evahh.
It's dangerous ordering a chocolate chip cookie (seriously kids, watch out) as it's something so simple that is so easily messed up - much like its partner in crime, Miss vanilla ice cream. Something you've been served your entire life, and possibly perfected yourself, is a recipe for pure disappointment.
But not today. This cookie had all the right stuff: great chip to cookie ratio, fantastic crisp outside-gooey (but not too gooey) middle, the perfect Goldilock'ed "just right" ratio where you're not full after eating it, but you don't need anymore to be utterly blissful.
As quickly as I bypassed Ottolenghi's savory options, I duly opted not to sit in the intimate venue, as there was only one thing I wanted to get intimate with at that point. I took my cookie and my "opening act:" the fruit slice, (which I might add was delicious in its own right) outside into the beautiful sunshine. My friend was already fully involved in her passion fruit meringue tart, emphasis on the passion. It was the cookie I was after, and it was to be mine.
I then proceeded to stuff my face. I would highly recommend doing exactly this.
Mmmhmm chocolate. Sometimes you just need a fix. A cookie (double chocolate please), a brownie, or maybe a bit of cake (be it stuffed with Bailey cream or shaped in volcano form). Or in my case when you can't make up your mind why not go for all of them. Excellent life decision.
So needless to say, I can't really comment on any other foodstuffs but I can describe the majority of chocolate offerings in intricate detail. Go on, you say? Why certainly!
First, the cookie. There are usually two types, your regular chocolate chip and the double chocolate. The regular is just want you want for that warm bit of comfort with a glass of milk before bed. Must remember to get some next time and actually save them. The double chocolate was rich and moist with just a hint of crunchiness at the outer skin. It's more dark chocolate than milk so be warned it's slightly bittersweet but that just makes it easier to eat more.
Second, the brownie. Now they really take the term "fudge brownie" seriously as this massive square of chocoholic mana tastes like the love child of my favourite St. Louis fudge and the K&C classic brownie. It's incredibly rich but with a surprisingly light taste of hazelnuts (undoubtedly infused from the roughly chopped hazelnuts that are scattered through this delight) which dances around your mouth before settling on your tongue. One bite and I was in love. Well as much as one can love baked goods. Which is quite a lot as it turns out.
The two cakes I had the pleasure of tasting were both good but unfortunately nothing special. The "volcano" was a chocolate and almond tea cake drizzled with chocolate icing. A moist cake but compared to the chocolate madness I had enjoyed so far was a bit lacking in...chocolateness. The Baileys cream cake was incredibly melt in your mouth moist and would have been a perfect cake except for the overpowering alcohol taste of the cream. It was stronger than a shot of Baileys which was a bit surprising.
Other offerings we tried was a light spongy cake that was well received by the girls although not by me as it was fruit and not chocolate (yes I know I have a one track mind) and a chocolate flourless cake that was essentially a mousse in cake shape.
The wait was a bit long even at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon (about 15 minutes) and the place was packed inside so we took it home to snack on. The lovely waitresses were very friendly and traded jibes about my inability to choose just one dessert. Overall, next time I'm in Notting Hill I'll stop off for a sweet treat (maybe another brownie or I hear they have an excellent cinnamon brioche). It's worth a trip if you have a sweet tooth or two and one of the top confectionaries in London.
I have mixed feelings about Ottolenghi... On one hand, I find the flourless chocolate cake has to be one of the most perfect desserts on the planet. On the other hand, I find the queueing system and clientèle absolutely unbearable.
You will find this rather small space brimming with Eurotrash wannabes and bitchy Notting Hill mummies wasting away their days. My strategy usually consists of putting blinders on, knowing exactly what I want to order, getting my food and getting the hell out of dodge.
Ottolenghi also has amazing salads. But be prepared to dish out a cool £15 for a box of brocolli.
You have to decide if all of this is worth it to you (and to me, the chocolate cake is totally worth it).
Still 5 stars, but special note to say:
THE SAVOURY MUFFINS ARE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO GET IN YOUR MOUTH ASAP. Basil, mozzarella, tomato and pine nuts? It is all kinds of perfect.
Also, for fast-approaching holiday time: the shop has signed copies of Ottolenghi cookbooks (at market price).
Yep this is my sexy food BUT, and there is a but, the queue was out the door and badly managed by the staff. Seriously, all I wanted was a bit of cake, just a tiny teeny bit of cake and they made me fight the rest of Notting Hill for it!
The food they serve here is divine and yes you will want to come back for more, making this place a victim of its own success!
Rave reviews are dangerous things... they practically beg for your disappointment. This is exactly what happened with me and Ottolenghi... I'd heard so many good things, and walked past their windows so many times... both in Islington, and at this outlet in Notting Hill, bewitched, enticed, even driven to salivation, by what I saw and the enthusiastic awe with which people spoke of it. If there was a darling ode to epicure that I was eager to try, the sophisticated Ottolenghi - with its heaps of mosaic salads on staggered platforms and heavenly baked goods looking like sheer sin against that gleaming white backdrop - was it. Everything just looked so *good*... it *had* to *be* good.
And so it was that I arrived at the Notting Hill Ottolenghi's doorstep agog; waiting to be whisked off my little foodie feet... based on sheer seductive looks alone they had a head start on the feet-whisking without me even sampling a morsel... but like most things that aren't what they appear to be, Ottolenghi let me down - hard and fast.
To start - two caveats about the Notting Hill branch:
1) There is no toilet (but they'll let you wash your hands where the counter staff does, right next to the till. I know, I know, you were thinking that this place was supposed to be pretty chichi, or at least chichi enough to have toilets - yes, I did too).
2) There is no wine list... even though their salads and savory nibbles are screaming to be paired up with say, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or even a casual Côtes du Rhône... no, gingerbeer is as hard as it gets.
I will leave it up to you to rank those two caveats in order of importance or relevance to your own situation ... after arriving here one late afternoon to meet a friend, rather cold and tired after a stressful week...they were both of great import and relevance to me.
*Now* onto Ottolenghi's famous food - and this is where it starts to get really disappointing... because, after giving my bladder a pep talk about its need to be patient with me, and ordering some sparkling water in lieu of a Syrah... my consolation was that the food was all going to be worth it.... Ha.
I chose to go with the "small salad" sampler, which allowed me to choose three of the gorgeous looking salads in the front window for just under £10. After plenty of consternation over which salads I should order, when they arrived, I realized I needn't have fretted over the matter so much, because, well, there wasn't enough on my plate to have bothered fretting about.
Now, I'm really not one to quibble on the matter of portion-size... I'm a relatively small eater and can too-often be satisfied with a mere appetizer.... and I never ever mind paying for a small nibble if the asking price is more than worth it... But what came on my plate, however, was an absolute joke... seriously, the mass of the three salads *together* didn't appear much bigger than the size of my (relatively small) fist. I've uploaded the picture of it, go have a look for yourself (keep in mind that the plate was no more than 8-inches in diameter) and gape at the absurdity that I was charged 10 quid for something like 5 pea pods, 3 carrots, and some other token wilted veg miscellany - without even a glass of wine in hand to take the edge off.
Most disappointingly, even beyond the overpriciness of the sampler, was the taste. Both the green beans and the roasted vegetables were too oily and there was nothing particularly outstanding or creative about the flavour - especially not more so than what I come up with at home. The roasted vegetable salad did have a nice addition of fresh cranberries, but it's the holidays, and cranberries are pretty obvious embellishment this time of year, so I don't give them too much credit for the thought. Perhaps the best thing among my three mouthfuls was the aubergine with its saffron yogurt and pomegranates... now, that was a *little* more scintillating for the palette, but just a little.
It was all such a shame, especially since the staff was, to be fair, really nice - but when our waitress offered us dessert, we declined... who cared anymore? Nothing could make up the let-down of the meal.
I would never ever come to Ottolenghi to sit down and dine again... but if I lived in the area... and was in a pinch for dinner... I suppose the takeaway here might suffice... however, if I were in that exact same pinch, and could manage to make it to the Whole Foods takeaway counter... Whole Foods would win, hands down.
I wish I could give Ottolenghi 3.5 stars, especially this branch.
The pros are the absolutely delicious, creative food. The flavours make you stop, chew, and think about what the heck it is that you just put in your mouth. In a good way. My dad even enjoyed a predominantly vegetarian lunch here one day, even though he's a self-proclaimed carnivore. The food is so great that it almost negates the bad, which is:
-Really limited seating, and the potential for being privy to some obnoxious conversation between your table-neighbours (I guess this can be amusing).
-It's overpriced. There's really no way around this. The food is way too expensive (I'd say almost 25% too pricey). But then again, look around at what other shops and cafes occupy this area.
-No toilet. I find this incredibly annoying.
I'll be back, probably sooner than I care to admit, but I sort of hate myself for liking Ottolenghi as much as I do, despite all of its flaws.
Went here about 2pm after a long saturday morning of biking on the old Boris bikes so had worked up quite an appetite. We really wanted to sit down but were told that the queue time was 45 mins and we needed food quick.
So we grabbed 2x of the large take out boxes. We had an amazing selection of salads beautifully presented in front of us and we were like kids in a candy shop. The highlight was the tuna and the beef that is kinda hidden in the lower area behind all the salad and till area. You cant see it when all bustling customers trying to fill there boxes. We only knew it was there as we caught a glimpse of someone eating it in the tiny outside eating area.
After going a bit crazy and filling our boxes we were hit with the bill... £48! yes we had gone overboard. I was quite shocked as nothing was weighed separately and they just seem to cram it in and weigh the whole box? I dunno but I was thinking if the box was full of broccoli then it would be a bit of a bum deal.
Needless to say everything tasted amazing and there was enough for my girlfriend and I to have a delicious lunch on the go and dinner when we got back home! (I wanted to try and make it last all week).
I wanted to try the amazing looking cakes but i think i'll save that for next time I visit!
I am currently savoring a rich but delightful Chocolate and Almost treacle cake. It feels creamy, and heavenly full of chocolate as if there was liquid chocolate in it, but no, it's just melting in your mouth.
There was no line when I went (around 18:00) and the food they had laid out looked delicious as well, making me almost regret my Mexican dinner. Beef and broccoli Western style? Covered in glistening olive oil with almonds ontop?! I also had a very nice staff serve me, despite the cramped area. I want to come here for dinner!
But 'cuse me while I go steal my flatmate's milk.
Third Ottolenghi establishment on this trip to London. The Belgravia and Nothing Hill outlets are similar with great food and excellent service. Go when you're in London, eat in or take out.
I am truly a fan of this place. I accidentally ran across an article about this quirky food haven, and I immediately made plans to visit. While there are a couple of cons about Ottolenghi, I cannot wait for my next visit.
Size - There's a small table in the back that seats about 10 or less. If you get there during off-peak times, I highly suggest you sit, eat and relax in that area. Otherwise, make sure you grab enough take-away to last you the walk back to your office or home.
Price - If you feel like spending under 10 pounds for a meal, you've come to the wrong place.
Menu - They don't have the same menu everyday, so it's guaranteed you can try a new dessert or entree with each visit (although I believe they have signature items like their broccoli).
Appearances - As small as this restaurant may be, it is clean and the displays are tantalizing. I wanted to sample everything that was laid out, sweet and savory.
Quality - The food is as delicious as it looks. I quite enjoy my spice, so I ordered a few things with a kick in them. The salmon I ordered was paired with just the right amount of avocado and spice. The much-talked about broccoli did not disappoint. And the desserts I ordered for take-away were fresh, NOT overly sweet, and lasted a week in our household (we ate each dessert with pleasure, instead of shoving them down our throat in one sitting... ha ha ha).
Service - The staff was speedy and welcoming.
This is a very dangerous place indeed. If the the way the cakes and cookies are stacked in the window don't tempt you, then pop your head around the door and check out the display of enticing salads and meats laid out before the customers. There's something so innocent yet delightful about the chaotic manner the dishes are presented, and everything looks so fresh and exotic. It's almost like the mad-hatter's tea party!
Their philosophy is originality in mostly Mediterranean-style cuisine with the best raw ingredients, so whether it's grilled mackerel with olive and raisin salsa, orange and pistachio marshmallows or upside down pear cake, there is something to delight everyone's taste buds. There is a daily changing menu here, and if you're close perhaps it's best to email or call Hilary for a copy at 11am.
I go to Ottolengui almost every day for their coffee, which is very good.
Pro: Fresh food, beautiful display, good coffee, healthy grub
Cons: Absurdly expensive, high-staff turnover, long waits even when its empty, idiotic clientele, same salads every day and they really screw you on the price when you order your piece of protein, they have a very random way of calculating it, you know you are invariably getting screwed over. They don't have healthy options for breakfast that are not filled with butter, cholocalte, a lot of carb, etc.
The reason for this post? I found a good alternative. You can get a mini pizza and a deep box filled with fantastic salads, plus coffee for under £10 at Daylesford Organic served by smiling hot young men. I think I will be going to Daylesford from now on.
This place has a nice selection of down-to-earth baked goods. I had a simple carrot cake with a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was really small considering its price. The carrot cake was a bit dry but the frosting was nice. But I definitely make a better carrot cake.
Overall, this place was cool and I would totally return on my next visit to London-town. And I give it the extra star mainly because I wish we had more dessert restaurants like this in Vancouver.
Lately, I found Ottolenghi greatly improved. Heck, today, I didn't even recognise any of the salads apart from the perennial rip off, chargrilled broccoli! My quiche was deliciously flakey, although the bacon was a bit grissly and could have done with being unsmoked (so it was a bit less salty). The accompanying salads of squash (with chargrilled corn and goat cheese) and aubergine (with pesto, pine nuts and onion marmalade) were great; the beetroot was melt in the mouth though slightly too acidic and boring (w/ fennel and parsley).
I mainly come here for inspiration, so I'm glad that they have updated their menu somewhat.
Busy with Euro Trash and Nottinghillers and thus hell as usual, so another local's tip here- on a nice day get a take out and walk down Colville Terrace- there is a little park there with picnic benches- much more civilized than waiting for 45 minutes (or do what we do if we eat in- come at 11:30- have a croissant and coffee while you wait for lunch to be served).
I haven't tried the savoury food here, the couple of times we've come there was a massive queue or they were almost closing, so I've just got some cakes to take away. The first time we tried the chocolate brownie (very nice and rich, my partner liked it but brownies are not for me) and the passion fruit and meringue tart, simply amazing. The meringue and the cream inside of the pastry case were delicious, and the pastry itself was perfect. The second time I had a peach and raspberry slice with a meringue top. This one was OK, but not nearly as good as the first, and at £4.50 it wasn't a good choice.
Now they are going to close down for 9 days, to refurbish the restaurant and to make it better to handle the queues, I hope.
One of my favourite all time bakeries! I never got the food here but always seemed to get the desserts or pastries. Their brownies are sinful and the pain au chocolate is one of the best I've ever had. I used to like to get 1 of maybe 5 different desserts to take to friends' flats when I would visit as a sort of 'hostess' gift.
There is usually quite a line but it is worth it. And its best to take your purchases to go as there aren't many places to sit in the back.
Notting Hill seems to be full of gorgeous little finds be it boutiques, cafes or bars and it is without doubt my favourite part of London. Ottolenghi is always my first choice of cafe when I feel a bit posh and fancy a real treat! The vibrant display of scrumptious delights on offer is superb and they serve healthy dishes in addition to beautiful (and calorific!) cakes and brownies of every kind. The portions are just right and if you go in for a look, you won't be able to resist.
I say that I go here when I can indulge in a treat; it isn't quite your everyday coffee and croissant stop in terms of price and does attract the whole yummy mummy type of clientele which is why you can struggle to find a seat even on a weekday afternoon. Plus there is no toilet or bathroom. It is definitely worth a visit though and the service and quality of food is fantastic. After all, you can always buy your food to take away if you can't find a seat or need the toilet! A great place if you are looking for a nice coffee meeting venue.
Ottolenghi is such a treat. Oh, I just love lusting over the cakes that so beautifully adorn the window. It's the place I go when I want to treat myself and spend the afternoon reading a fashion mag and dreaming of things to buy. Set in the heart of Notting Hill, the shopfront really is, in the words of Kate Moss in those Rimmel Ads, 'The London Look', like it's right out of a movie.
With great coffee and a delightful selection of cakes with frosting that will make your heart skip a beat (or maybe it's just the sugar kicking in), Ottolenghi isn't super cheap, but well worth the extra few quid to make you feel that little bit indulgent.
This place is to die for, as a complete foodoholic my eyes where out on stalks, and my belly was groaning for more.
Even the design of this place and the window displays alone are worth a visit for. When I came hear last, there was a group of people outside pointing and staring at the sheer wonderfulness of Ottolenghi.
The best part is, its not overly expensive. Dishes, upon dishes of magnificent food are layered out for you to pick and select your salad bowl, which are priced about £8.90. It is mainly Mediterranean food, however they do take influences from other cultures as well.
Ottolenghi is an excellent place where to have lunch. There are several shops in London, and this one is located on the classy Ledbury Road, in Notting Hill. The white painting of the walls makes the place almost too shiny! I was quite impressed by the mouth-watering pastries from £4...The carrot cake, chocolate cake, cheesecake, and fruit tarts looked just delicious.
In the back, you can have a sit. Seduced by the salad bar, I ordered a mix of four dishes for £11.80: roast romano peppers with gorgonzola, roast baby potatoes, butternut mash with pinenuts, mozzarella and griled eggplant. It was absolutely fresh and tasty, served in a bright pink plate. Yummmmy! But you can also come at teatime, it works too. A little pricey, but it was worth every penny.
We ordered our Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and 2 pies from from the Notting Hill location...it was AMAZING! When we unwrapped the turkey we were blown away by how beautiful it looked and it tasted great! The sourdough & apricot stuffing was delicious and the pecan pie is the best I've ever had!
Thank you for making our first Thanksgiving in London so memorable with GREAT food!
I came here because of the reviews and because it was near Portobello Road (market). I was not disappointed. I got a lemon pistachio cake thingy for about £4 and it was really good.
If you can, this place is worth stopping by.
Mixed nuts in a oily herbs sauce look like nuts in al pesto sauce! You could imagine how it is! I only ate 3 nuts because it's too greasy! Is it a good idea to put greasy nuts in a oily sauce? Pastries and dark chocolate just tasted standard! Lemon tart was a failure (no lemon taste just neutral taste like quark)! We indeed didn't find these items special! Chocolate quality is not at all to compare with (cheaper) Lindt high quality chocolate! Ottolenghi Notting Hill location is tiny and crowded: There is a waiting line for a big table maybe for 10 persons! So, we preferred to take away. Prices are expensive for standard quality products! Ottolenghi guy is a known TV cook and the rule "the trend is yours" is correct! But it doesn't really mean everything is good!
It's a strange, little place to actually sit and eat in, but the food is both delicious and esthetically pleasing. This is my favorite place to go and have a healthy light lunch, and then ruin it all before walking out the door with a sinful dessert pastry, cake, muffin, or cookie. Or all of them.
The food is nice and the staff are friendly but its crazy busy (like 20 people in the line) and a touch pricy.
The food in the window of Ottolenghi gets me every time. The huge plates and bowls of various salads and vegetables look incredible and taste perfect.
The staff on the contrary are rather incompetent and slow, but try not to get too frustrated as the food is worth the wait
There is a restaurant out the back but usually it is rather packed and noisy so I opt for the take away option.
I recently bought the Ottolenghi cook book and cannot wait to start making these dishes for myself.
The cakes in the windows draw you in and make you feel that the wait in the queue is going to be worthwhile. I loved the menu lots of interesting dishes that you can share and it's not pricey at all. Will come back for sure.
The best part of this branch of Ottolenghi is that it is Ottolegnhi! The best salads in the city and delicious desserts. The worst part of this branch of Ottolenghi is that there is NO BATHROOM, LU, LAV, W.C., TOILET. Nada, nothing, no go. Isn't it against the law to have a restaurant without a W.C.? It was killing us as we downed massive lattes. Also, is there no official kitchen there? Did I hear the ding of a microwave? Tiny table, and slightly aloof wait-staff but the food is still amazing. Go to the one on Upper Street though....
Their pastries are to die for and they also make pretty good coffee. The staff are friendly and very polite, but unfortunately the prices are a bit too high for my standards. If I had the money I would be here every day.
Though the place is expensive but the food served here are the best. Specially the dessert leaves you speechless.
One of my favourite restaurant in London if I feel like being healthy.
I went there with my boyfriend and he ordered some chicken and beef but kept eating food I ordered (vegetables!)
Expensive so I don't go there as often as I would like to..:(
This chain really knows how to promote food. How to make people yearning and feel sudden hunger. Just display the greatest treats on the window! I hate walking by this restaurant as I simply have now self discipline!
The downside of this restaurant is just the fact that it is too popular. There is always a queue. First you wait for a table, then for the food and so on. The waitresses end up running around like crazy and forgetting thigs in between. However the food has always been good, I usually go for the pasta and it has been simple and tasty. No gourme experience but concidering the price, a fair deal.
I found this amazing little pastry shop called Ottolenghi when I was strolling around NottingHill Gate. I was attracted to the shop window because of the tempting selection of pastries on display. There was an unusual and excellent display of cakes, as well as the delicious fruit tarts, although the Mediterranean food is a slightly on the pricey side at this café, but I doubt that you can find a place which can serve such well-made or tasty food as Ottolenghi's. Their carrot cake with pieces of walnuts is definitely the best of its kind in London moist with just the right amount of walnuts that are pleasant to taste.. The almond croissants are also worth a try- good for the weekend or anytime of the week if you want a special treat.
I love Ottolenghi. The window display itself is impossible to walk past without your mouth watering at the delicious display of salads, cakes and of course thir meringues. It is quite expensive but the produce is all fantastic quality.
A small but exceptional food place in Notting Hill. They prepare cold food (mainly salads) to be mixed and also have some of the best cakes and pastries you can find in London. This is one for the Notting Hill crowd who clearly can afford it as the only downside is the price of all this very very good food. In any event worth trying as your stomach won't regret it.
friend i was bunking with had health-ish takeout in fridge from Otto. fresh salads and antipasti, tasty chorizo-saffron-bufala mozzarella arancini w/ yogurt sauce and savoury caprese (basil, tomato, mozza, pine nuts) muffins. all soooo good i went to restock (nearly) daily.
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