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Monthly Archives: December 2011

  • Nopi, Dec 30th, 2011

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    24/12: A huge and final goodbye to Sarit Packer, the most fab exec head chef, who set up our kitchen, almost built it with her own fair hands. Today was her last shift. Good luck Sarit, THANKS for being so incredibly incredible. And of course, good luck to Scully and also David.

  • Nopi, Dec 27th, 2011

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    24/12: A few of the people that worked on this very special NOPI Christmas Eve. The rest managed to get the day off. Lucky buggers… Merry Christmas!

  • Our Christmas, 2011

    Some of the people who made this another gorgeous Ottolenghi Christmas. # #
  • Nopi, Dec 23rd, 2011

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    23/12: a minute to Christmas, we’ve been sampling some new salads for 2012. Prepare for more fresh veg on our menu, and counter!

  • Jerusalem on a Plate

    So many positive feedbacks after the Jerusalem documentary on BBC4! I can’t tell you the number of warm emails and tweets I received. Working on this project with James Nutt, the director, was fun and challenging at the same time but meeting all the beautiful people of Jerusalem was only uplifting and touching and delicious. If you live in the UK, you can catch the show on the BBC iPlayer here. At the moment it is only available with a sign language interpreter. BBC4HD will air it on the 31st December and after that you will be able to watch the original on iPlayer. People have been particularly interested knowing about the restaurants featured in the programmes. So here they are, and here’s to falafel, za’atar and harmony! Machneyuda – that’s the last restaurant featured in the show, with the service and all the madness. Arcadia – where I was shown a deconstructed baba ganush and stuffed potato cakes (Ezra “my-first-name-is-salad” Kedem). Majda – read all the way down to get the details. This is the restaurant belonging to Michal and Yaakov, a mixed couple, but more importantly – stunning food. Azura – the incredible kubbeh place where I go to “work” at 5am. Jaffar – the Knafeh place with the pistachios and all that orange colour. Sweet and meaty. Zalatimo – the place where Jesus visited regularly and the old man rolls pastry paper-thin. The most delicious sweet in the world, a Zalatimo. Hummus – so many good hummus places (any of the ones listed is top!). Though I couldn’t find a link to the one featured in the show (“They took our land, now you ask me about the dish?”). It’s called Al-Akarmawi and if you leave Damascus gate from inside the walls, cross the busy road and start going up the street coming off it, it is on the right hand side. Kadosh – the café and bakery making those mouthwatering krantz cakes that I made so badly. And a few other great places that I wouldn’t miss but didn’t make it to the final cut: Rachmo, Barood, Ramas Kitchen and Shaheen. To my surprise there has been a lot of discussion about the music, so here's a list of the artists and songs. Balkan beet box with; Gross, Joro Boro, Smatron, Gypsy queens, Balcumbia, Baharim. Shantel with Fige ki ase. It also featured music from Tristin Norwell.
  • Nopi, Dec 12th, 2011

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    12/12: We now have a pre-theatre menu that is deliciously priced!

  • Nopi, Dec 9th, 2011

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    9/12: quails - after smoking with hibiscus - marinating with lemon grass, coriander seeds… That’s NOPI treatment.

  • Christmas opening hours

    Slightly complicated, but here are this year's holiday season opening hours: Kensington will be closed 24th December to 5th January. Notting Hill, Belgravia and Islington December 24th 08.00 – 16.00 December 25th closed December 26th closed December 27th 09.00 - 18.00 December 28th normal December 29th normal December 30th normal December 31st 08.00 – 16.00 January 1st closed January 2nd closed (Islington will be open 09.00 - 18.00) January 3rd normal
  • Basque country - food and rain

    A very short weekend in the Basque cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian was a living proof of the extreme abilities of the human stomach to expand endlessly and the incredible power of mother nature to inflict all its might – gale force winds and quantities of rain not seen since Noah – on a bunch of people that just wanted to... eat. There was the minimum dose of the obligatory culture at the Guggie in Bilbao, but that wouldn't have sustained us for very long. So off we went to San Sebastian, the culinary capital. On the way, in the mountains between the two cities, was the absolute highlight of the trip: a meal at Etexbarri. This is where we had the best chorizo, the best jamon and the absolutely best charred beef we have ever tasted: fatty and moist and very very beefy. This is worth the biggest detour. We skipped Arzak and all the other big names in San Sebastian in favour of long hours in the hotel – rain, rain, rain – and hopping from one pintxos bar to the next. The pintxos (Basque tapas) are so varied and complex that you need to go and sample the specialties of each bar to really get the full experience. A few pointers: Paco Bueno in the old town does beautiful gambas. Have it with Vermouth. Borda-Berri, also in the old town, is for the octopus. In the new town Meson Bidea Berri does sensational piquillo peppers. And the most fantastic coquettes in the world are at Gaztelu-txiki. Never had anything like them, particularly the mushroom variety. And then it rained so badly, that we had to run away, which is good, since our bodies would just not tolerate one more gram of fat.    
  • Nopi, Dec 2nd, 2011

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    2/12: these scallops have been on the menu for a while and are getting popularer and popularer. Fennel purée, apple salsa and calvados reduction.

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