Yotam Ottolenghi has opened his biggest restaurant yet in London’s Fitzrovia today.
Rovi (the name being a play on the site’s location and Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant Nopi) promises to maintain the roots of the chef’s other restaurants but with a different look and feel.
As with Nopi, vegetables remain at the centre of the menu, supplied by small suppliers and farmers such as Brambletye in Sussex (supplying fruit and vegetables) and shellfish from the Ethical Shellfish Company.
Ottolenghi said: “We wanted to develop a new restaurant and bar with vegetables at the core, but treated a little differently. At Rovi, vegetables will be the main event, cooked on the grill. We’ll mainly work with small batch suppliers and farmers, people who respect the environment and the produce, to bring the best quality food to our diners while supporting best-practice agriculture.”
Added to this, the 85-cover restaurant will have a focus on fermentation and cooking over fire.
Typical dishes include: braised and smoked carrots with puffed black barley and pickled herbs; slow-roasted cauliflower with crispy chickpeas, tahini and fermented chilli salsa; confit mussels with hay-smoked potatoes and cascabel oil; and onglet skewers with beef-fat mayonnaise and fermented green chillies.
The interior takes inspiration from Bauhaus, with industrial elements in the dome-shaped dining room combined with natural materials such as pale oak wood and travertine stone.
There will be counter-top seating in the front window reserved for walk-ins only, while the main room will be centred around a large oval-shaped cocktail bar seating 16 guests.
The restaurant has a focus on reducing waste, including using leftover wine to make vinegars. The air-conditioning and ventilation systems have also been designed so that the heat generated in the kitchen is used to warm up the restaurant and the water used on site.
Neil Campbell, formerly head chef of Grain Store, will be head chef at Rovi, supported by Calvin von Niebel, the group’s development chef. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi will act as executive chefs.