The Friday after my biryhday I got to celebrate becoming a year older together with my London based friends. We met up in the bar The Living Room after work and enjoyed a few drinks, and then we crossed Regent St and went for dinner at Nopi, a new restaurant from the team behind Ottolenghi.
Our table was a large communal one in the basement just outside the kitchen. On the ground floor is was a different atmosphere with small tables of two and four and busier than downstairs. We enjoyed being left alone a bit and to enjoy each other’s company.
To start with we were served homemade nice bread and the most amazing carrot dip. It was all orange (of course) and we could taste lemon and cumin in it. A great start to the meal, and a dip I definitely want the recipe for!
We were a group of eight, and therefore had a group menu, consisting of eight dishes all in all. We started off with two vegetarian dishes, both absolutely fantastic. The first one was a tomato salad with wasabi mascarpone. It sounds simple and it was, but the flavours were lovely. The tomatoes were great produce and the mascarpone dressing had just a hint of wasabi, enough to flavour it but not enough to make it spicy.
The first of the hot dishes to arrive was grilled mackerel with lentils. My sensitive stomach can’t really do lentils, but I had a forkful anyway and it was really nice. A very fresh and summery dish.
The nicest dish (I think we all agreed on that) was one of the simplest ones; broccolini and a most amazing mash. I have never had such a good mash in my life time, and yet my own versions are quite good.
Next was the meat dishes, like this smoked duck breast with nectarines, beetroot and a sweet sauce. The meat itself was perfect and had a lovely smoked flavour, but I didn’t tink the necatines and beetroot was a great match, not for each other and not with the duck.
I am not that keen on coffee, but this was just a hint and it worked really well with the pecans. The maple cream was superb and after a while we came up with the ultimate way of eating this dessert (i.e. getting as much cream onto the financiers) by dipping the whole little cake into the sauce bowl. Yum!
We were full in a nice way when leaving the restaurant just before midnight, and I definitely want to go back. The food feels quite healthy and I love the Middle Eastern spices.Nopi 21-22 Warwick Street
London W1B 5NE