Ottolenghi’s Nopi: Vibrant, Sophisticated and Clean Cuisine #FoodFriday
I couldn’t wait to enjoy some cocktails, delicious food and girlie gossip to celebrate the end of exams and the start of summer; but, as always, I was apprehensive about eating out with my food intolerances – after fifteen minutes at Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi, all of my worries had vanished!
Ottolenghi’s Soho-based restaurant combines his trademark deli platters with a more formal dining experience to offer fresh produce and bold flavours to produce an innovative and exciting menu. What is truly refreshing about Nopi is that they take health, nutrition and food intolerances seriously.
On arrival we were greeted by platters of vibrant salads, all of which are gluten-free. At the bottom of their menu it nicely requests you to inform them of any food allergies. I reluctantly did so, expecting to feel like the ‘difficult’ customer and to be told of all of the delicious sounding options I could no longer enjoy. My scepticism was misplaced.
I was offered a choice of gluten-free, nut-free and lactose-free menus. Being gluten-free and slightly dairy intolerant I looked over the gluten-free menu and was amazed to find exactly the same dishes and only four less options than on the main menu – no plain vegetarian salads that purely consist of leaves, which is so often the case!
After a coriander and ginger martini made by the energetic barmen, we devoured the sharing dishes of scallops with apple, nettle and lemon puree, spiced grey mullet wrapped in banana leaf and pineapple sambal, courgette salad and a mouth-watering plate of aubergines and almond yoghurt (dairy free) topped with pickled chilli.
However, the star of the show had to be the Tau fu fa pudding topped with mango and toasted coconut. The East Asian, dairy-free and vegetarian take on crème caramel is an allergy-free, silky-smooth delight; whilst the dish may compromise the traditional ingredients, it certainly doesn’t compromise flavour!
Head chef Ramael Scully’s food at Nopi was cooked to perfection, full of flavour and left us feeling satisfied and comfortable. The staff are friendly, accommodating and hugely knowledgeable about all of the ingredients that goes into their food. In short – what more could you want from a dining experience?
Tau Fu Fau
Delicious dairy free dessert
- 10 pandan leaves
- 1 litre unsweetened soya milk
- 40g caster sugar
- 100g palm sugar, crushed into 1cm chunks
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3cm piece ginger, peeled and julienned
- ½ small mango peeled and cut into 2mm slices
- 1¾ tsp Vege-Gel
- 2 tbsp coconut cream
- Tie together six of the pandan leaves in a knot and put them in a medium saucepan with the soya milk and caster sugar.
- Cook for five minutes on a medium-high heat, until it just starts to simmer, then set aside. Once cool, tip into a bowl, cover and leave to infuse in the fridge overnight.
- Put the palm sugar, salt and ginger in a medium saucepan with 50ml water. Over a medium-high heat, cook, stirring from time to time, until the sugar dissolves. Boil for two minutes, then add the mango and remaining pandan leaves.
- Lower the heat and simmer for eight minutes, stirring once or twice, until you have a thick syrup. Remove from the heat, cool and pour into a bowl. Cover and leave to infuse in the fridge overnight.
- Line a sieve with a clean J-cloth and strain the soya milk infusion into a medium saucepan. Transfer three tablespoons-worth into a small bowl and whisk in the Vege-Gel.
- Return this to the pan, whisk and place on a medium-high heat. Cook for five to six minutes, stirring all the time, while the milk comes to a simmer and starts to thicken.
- Remove from the heat, spoon off the surface bubbles and ladle into six glasses. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour, to firm up: you want it to be set but with a good wobble.
- Put the coconut cream in a small bowl, add a tablespoon of water and stir until just runny enough to pour. Refrigerate until required.
- Half an hour before serving, take the pineapple from the fridge. Spoon two tablespoons each of the mango and sauce on the set milk, dribble coconut cream on top, serve and enjoy!
The recipe is taken from Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest book, ‘PLENTY MORE’. Opening the window even further onto the ever-expanding world of vegetables, grains and legumes, this book is perfect for vegetarians and allergy sufferers.
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Extreme Tech Challenge - Healthcare IT
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CIS Excellence Business Innovation Award
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Food Allergy Awareness
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