(Pictured: Yotam Ottolenghi, the international chef-God himself)
In a Nutshell: Yotam’s smallest, most charming London branch of stunning daily-changing dishes & sweets
Best For: Gourmands, Sweet Tooth Bandits, Luxe Lovers, Posh Diners, Party of 2, Aspiring Chefs, Intimate Experiences
You know it’s real love once you return the 2nd time and your heart still flutters.
Ottolenghi’s Belgravia location is one of three in London and- though there are others much closer to where I live- I have an allegiance to this tiny, 6-seater goldmine of masterful sweets.
Yes, there’s just one (minimalistic & spiffy) round communal table here. Due to its limited size, most use the take-out service, but I see the in-dining experience as part of the thrill (I was able to easily snag a seat on both visits, including one accompanied by a friend). My expectations were high, for Israeli-born Yotam Ottolenghi is a rockstar chef & author; every true London foodie/amateur chef owns at least one of his international best-selling cookbook Bibles.
Though Ottolenghi serves his signature Mediterranean-inspired food (which I’m sure is sublime), I came for those lust-worthy desserts. On my first visit, I ordered jasmine tea and the lime cheesecake with strawberries. I tasted the cheesecake…then became paralyzed for about 6 seconds.
Creamy, dreamy and deceptively filling- you can truly taste the *thoughtfulness* of the size, the perfect portion of large glazed strawberries, the atypical shape, etc. Yes…I have no qualms confessing that this was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.
Love brought me back a 2nd time recently, testing if it could sweep me off my feet as it accomplished three months prior. I ordered green tea with the Blackberry Financier. I took a breath and took a small edge of the vanilla-almond cake…then proceeded to shout “Hallelujah!” in my head.
I wasn’t eating a cake…I was eating an experience. Rich, sweet vanilla-almond batter with blackberries, marscapone cream and pistachio shavings on top…with a ‘surprise’ stuffing of a raspberry and halved apricot in the center. Every single bite was a celebration.
Desserts are in the £4ish range and is absolutely worth every pence.
Two time’s the charm, Ottolenghi. You are officially one of my top favorite foodie destinations in London.
The ONE major downside: There is no public restroom in this location. But true, unconditional love forgives all shortcomings, yes?
[Image Credits: Clara Molden, Char and Travis Levius]