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From Yotam

Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Nopi, Feb 22nd, 2011

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    22/2: Two more days at 50% and things are running a little smoother. We’re not complaisant but there is a sense of greater confidence in food and service. And the pomegranate looks great!

  • Nopi, Feb 21st, 2011

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    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!

  • Nopi, Feb 16th, 2011

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    16/2: restaurant set for last dinner of friends and family soft run. Tomorrow we’re open to the public for 50%. Looks calm but we are all so over worked.

  • Nopi, Feb 14th, 2011

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    13/2: And then they - Ottolenghi staff and a few friends and colleagues - sat down, had a cocktail or two, some nibbles and lots (!!) of food (photographer apologizes there’s no food in the picture; he was a bit tipsy). Who can blame them? it was all free. The general feedback was a resounding thumbs up. But we have a lot of work now, and we mean a lot. Many little adjustments are obviously needed (how did we not see them before?) to menu, kitchen organisation, wash-up point, service procedures, bar, did we mention menu?

  • Nopi, Feb 14th, 2011

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    13/2: The moment we have all been waiting for and never quite imagined we’d get to: Sarit shuts the lift doors on the first dishes to leave the NOPI kitchen. Kohlrabi and beef brisket fritters they were.

  • Nopi, Feb 13th, 2011

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    13/2: John, pre-first real service: ‘the whole of nature is a conjugation of the verb to eat, in the active and the passive.’

  • Nopi, Feb 13th, 2011

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    12/2: The night before we actually let customers in, albeit non-paying customers and mostly Ottolenghi staff, we simulated a mini-dinner service for 12. How important that little exercise proved to be! Service structure, communication lines between kitchen and floor, portion size and plenty of other things surfaced as immediate issues to solve. It was fun but it means we are all getting together today at 11am to make some serious decisions. Noam must smile again!

  • Nopi, Feb 11th, 2011

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    11/2: This was the day when all staff - floor and kitchen - got to try everything! Food, wine, cocktails. Nice for us, no? Well, before we know it we will have to go back to the real world, actual bookings are coming in thick and fast.

  • Nopi, Feb 10th, 2011

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    10/2: Can we just say - THE SIGN IS UP! What else does a restaurant need?

  • Nopi, Feb 9th, 2011

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    9/2: We are testing breakfast today. And lychee sorbet which was sweet and creamy. Next: brioche toast.

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