The Fresser

Bank holiday eats: Ottolenghi Bicester; Wilde’s Jewish deli pop up and kosher Israeli-style bakery

Get your teeth into: Ottolenghi’s latest opening; NY-style deli food in Kentish Town and a hot new kosher bakery/cafe in Golders Green


Photo: Ottolenghi

With Pesach turning up late this year the coming long weekend is an unusual chance to do some extra feasting.

Here are some options:

Ottolenghi opening

Oxfordshire’s food lovers can do a happy dance with the arrival of fast-expanding chain, Ottolenghi.

Until last week, you wouldn’t have found the Israeli-inspired, banging flavours north of Islington nor west of Notting Hill.

But last week the deluxe deli/restaurant chain took a huge leap over the home counties to open a huge new restaurant and retail store (their ninth site) at designer shopping outlet, Bicester Village. And the best news is that unlike most of their current stores there’s bound to be plenty of parking.

With 85 covers indoors and a covered terrace seating 60 more, I’m guessing there won’t be too much trouble finding a seat to take the weight off tired shoppers’ aching feet.

Hard core shoppers will be able to eat all three meals there as they’re open from breakfast until dinner. The morning menu (which has already inspired me to plan a designer day trip) includes cinnamon brioche pretzels; halva and chocolate Danishes; shakshuka and scrambled tofu.

After that there’s plenty more of their trademark Israeli influences with za’atar and tahini popping up all over the menu: mac and cheese is flavoured with za’atar pesto and feta; a pasta bake boasts burnt aubergine and tahini and grilled salmon is smothered in both tahini and za’atar.

There’s even a chance to pick up some of founder Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks, tableware and packed products to feast on at home.

More info here.

US deli menu fans will want to head to Kentish Town to feast at pop up, Wilde’s, which is currently on at the Rose and Crown pub.

Ashkenazi food fan and self-taught chef, Ollie Gratter has created a delicious menu based around his amazing salt beef — which has already been attracting plaudits from local celebs including David Baddiel and John Torode.

Open some evenings and every weekend, on offer — as well as the salt beef sandwiches (not kosher) are crunchy golden latkes — with sour cream and apple sauce naturally; frickles (a crunchy coated freshly fried pickle in batter) and chocolate babka, as well as a range of special sandwiches.

All Ollie’s food has a creative and sexy spin — the smoked salmon bagel gives Japanese fusion vibes. The bagel is topped with furikake seasoning (Japanese sesame and nori seaweed) and the salmon is layered with a wasabi schmear and pickled ginger, crispy seaweed and a ponzu (citrus) reduction.

There’s also a challah bun filled with chive-spring onion-mint-sherry vinegar crushed potatoes, egg salad, USA cheese and smoked paprika.

Wildes only has a few more weeks at the Rose and Crown (until 28th April) so rush there and make sure to order ahead via their Instagram account.

More info here

OvenEat Israeli-style bakery (kosher)

Israeli-style bakery, Oven Eat has now officially launched. The shiny new store, on the corner of Armitage Road and Golders Green High Road has been four years in the planning. When I visited, Israeli co-founder Meni Vantora told me that they signed the lease in 2020 — before the pandemic. The four founders are hoping to build a chain of Israeli-influenced bakery cafes from this one.

At the time of my visit in February, they were still playing around with the range. On offer that day were za’atar scattered flatbreads; puffy sambousek (triangular breads smothered in sesame seeds) with various fillings — melting cheese was my favourite; bourekas — crafted from dough rather than puff pastry; pizza-style focaccia and Turkish-style, boat-shaped pizza, filled with tomatoes, cheese and eggs plus regular pizzas. All the usual Israeli condiments are present including spicy harissa and zhoug.

There were also flaky croissants stuffed with fresh cream and strawberries; syrup laden individual knafeh (a test run) and a range of sweet-stuffed pastries, filled or topped with nuts; apple and cinnamon; chocolate or blueberries. (There were more — but from this point my pastry blindness kicked in blocking further recollection.)

Pick your bread, choose your fillings or salads to go on the side and once ready — if it needs heating — it will be brought to your table.

The breads all come out of the huge taboon oven. Vantora tells me the dough is made to their specification in Israel. Co-founder and chef, Moshe Edri, is behind the counter supervising the deliciousness and testing out new menu items.

There is also a huge counter of salad options — either with your pastry or instead of — plus coffees; teas; juice drinks and smoothies.

More info here.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive