20 March 2010

Ottolenghi- the visit!

Having explored the cook book I had to extend my research and see if my baking was up to scratch. I decided to head for the Knightsbridge branch, not the biggest, but very easy to get to with a car park close by and some other pretty amazing shops to hand, Rococo and Christian Louboutin, to name but two.

The window was so inviting with the signature puffball meringues piled high on quirky plates and oranges and chillis lining the window sill. Inside the various salads were sitting on their plinths and people were buzzing in and out, stocking up on patisserie, bread and all sorts of tasty treats. After a short wait for space at the small communal table lunch arrived on a vibrant pink plate. The salads did not disappoint full of interesting flavours, colours and textures that balanced beautifully. I chose a lightly spiced rice salad, a fresh and crunchy green bean salad and a soft and sweet butternut squash dish. In the cook book Yotam Ottolenghi explains how important it is to serve salads at room temperature so that the flavours can come into their own (it's chemistry!) and so all the freshly prepared salad dishes are served this way.
I couldn't leave without road testing the puds and can recommend both the cheesecake and the passionfruit meringue tart. The latter was a brilliant combination of mallowy soft meringue peaks balanced on a sharp passionfruit curd in a crisp pastry case.

Lunch got even better when Yotam walked in and I was able to whip out my cook book for him to sign. He was more than happy to chat as I explained about the cookery book club and the dishes I made for the last meeting.

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