21/2: It has been so manic the last few days, since we started the soft opening, that there was just no time to write. Where to start? First 3 nights - all free food and drinks to Ottolenghi staff and others friends and colleagues - went ok-ish, but proved to us just how much more there was to be done. Service procedures had to be reconsidered and streamlined and the kitchen was caught completely off guard. We just didn’t know how complicated it is going to be. Scully and Sarit in the kitchen and Basia on the floor were working non-stop to train the teams whilst serving the customer. All were/are exhausted! No days off! We had to throw away loads of beautifully printed and laminated menus that were thought through for months, in favour of a much simpler version. It is amazing how little you know before you are actually in the space, serving the food, feeling your surroundings. So no vongole, no barley risotto and no bites. No breakfast (for now) and no dining downstairs (temporarily). But the biggest calamity of all was losing Amber (lucky Aussies!), our angel of organisation, the one that managed to see us through this period with a unbelievable efficiency and endless charm, the one that helped each and every one of us by taking a dozen little chores of their hands, the computer genius who controlled the credit card, reigned in the office and spent millions at Nisbets. Amber, we’ll miss you!