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Monthly Archives: November 2010

  • Nopi, Nov 27th, 2010


    26/11: Great, if a bit rushed, tasting at Scully’s. Was successful. Even more than that. Lamb chops a la Ottolenghi with labneh (here, comically drained in a tea strainer) and preserved lemon was almost perfect. Rose veal carpaccio - too good.

  • Nopi, Nov 24th, 2010

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  • Nopi, Nov 24th, 2010

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    21-27/11: Food tastings have been put on the back burner, but just a little bit. This is Thanksgiving week and Ling at Motcomb St just doesn’t have the space to accommodate Scully with all his sauces and garnishes and generally felt presence. So for now, Scully is cooking at home… The pictures are from last week: sweetbreads, crostini, milk pudding.

  • Nopi, Nov 22nd, 2010


    22/11: playing with bruschetta.

  • Nopi, Nov 21st, 2010

    Unbelievable, but yes, finally we’ve got a name. It is NOPI. We mainly like the sound of it, which is short, memorable and light-hearted, and it also relates to the location of our restaurant, north of Piccadilly.

    Sounds simple, No? This was one of the longest name deliveries in recorded history, with so many ideas being put forward, chosen and then briskly retracted - due to some unforeseen but always mega-crucial reservation - that we started doubting whether we are ever going to get there. It became an obsession. Almost every social event, particularly around Cornelia and Peter’s dining table, turned into a debate club, culminating in emotional, over-heated exchanges.

    You see, names are like food, everybody considers themselves an expert on the subject; everybody has something to say. It’s very long or too short, it is trivial, it’s original; it sounds like a profanity or it doesn’t mean anything at all; it is old-fashioned, it is too English, it sounds like a Japanese restaurant or like a brothel. There’s no end to it.

    The best of minds were put to the task. Helen’s David, who came up with Plenty and always a busy man, worked long into the night going over our shortlists and longlists, finding faults and merits, analysing connotations and associations. Cornelia’s Peter, a master of humorous verse, extended our option pool into less predictable areas such as David Bowie tracks or old English titles. Sami’s Jeremy came up with some deadpan comical options. We considered Latin and ancient Hebrew, various acronyms and every possible ingredient on the face of the earth.

    At the end, we were so worn out by indecision that we just had to remove this question from our hands and from our minds. So we asked Caz, who does our graphics (www.heredesign.co.uk), to visualize a couple of options for us, to turn the sounds into images. It worked. The chosen name came out as an easy winner and we could all finally breath out a huge sigh of relief… NOPI.

  • Nopi, Nov 17th, 2010


    17/11: Yotam’s dining table with glass selection. Too many options.

  • Nopi, Nov 16th, 2010

    12-15/11: Breakfast time

    John (pastry master) and Sarit have been working on the breakfast menu intensely. We wish we could expose it all - some say breakfast is the best sounding part of the menu (!) - but there is some tension here between Yotam and Sarit, let’s say, a priority clash. He rushes to reveal it all and tempt everyone in, while she has the surprise element at the top of her agenda. Oh well, the happy middle is below: our amazing pumpkin pancake with yet undisclosed topping, and, underneath, Sarit and John discussing brioche and financier shapes and sizes. Sshh….

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  • Silly Season

    Please please excuse what may seem like a shameless, brazen and cynical promotional attempt, which we normally don’t do, but there is just so much at the moment that we just can’t wait for everybody to slowly find out. First, we have our holiday menus, where we offer you the opportunity to work a little less at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Basically, you can order from Ottolenghi any part of your holiday meal – starters, mains, sides, nibbles, sweets, condiments – or the complete, whole meal . We supply everything packed with clear heating and serving instructions. Then, there’s a range of Iranian products that, as far as we know, we are the only ones in London to sell. They are quite magical. Pashmak (Persian Fairy Floss), nougat and toffee brittle, are all made in Iran. Pashmak is the original type of candy floss / cotton candy, just like the ones kids get in fairs but of top quality. The version we have is hand-spun, and made from sesame and sugar. In this way, it has much more flavour and looks incredible. Although a little expensive, a little goes a long way. Pashmak is served on its own or as an accompaniment to fruits, cakes, ice creams, puddings and desserts, or just as a sweetmeat with coffee. The Nougat is made with manna, (yes, manna from heaven!), a natural sweetner which imparts a distinct sweetness without being cloying. Perbellini Artisan Panettone, Pandoro di Verona Perbellini, Fior d'Albicocca perbellini. This is a range of enriched seasonal sweet breads made in traditional methods and in small batches near Verona. Both flavour and packaging are ultimate examples of Italian elegant restraint. Then there are Ottolenghi Christmas cakes, covered in marzipan, with fruit that has been macerating in rum and brandy since the summer. There’s actually much more, but for that you’ll need to come to us... Happy Holidays!
  • Nopi, Nov 11th, 2010

    11/11: and in the meantime…tumblr_lbqefn9BXc1qd2m59 tumblr_lbqejyp6n91qd2m59

    the site is getting less and less hospitable, with workmen everywhere and constructions blocking any possibility of a decent picture.

  • Nopi, Nov 11th, 2010


    11/11: Cornelia and Yotam spent the morning choosing glasses. Not sure about water glass yet. Will bring to the greater group when getting together tonight for first blind wine tasting of all finalists.

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