OKKA provides Harpenden with new dining option

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By debbigg | Monday, February 07, 2011, 15:37

Have you noticed the changing face of the café Saportio in to new brasserie OKKA? Whilst the management hasn’t changed the surroundings most certainly have. The environment is casual, yet with an air of grown up sophistication - perfect for breakfast, a morning coffee, a light lunch or an evening meal.

OKKA is aiming to give Harpenden’s diners something a little different to ponder; brasserie-style relaxed eating. All of the food is freshly cooked to order, and much of it is locally sourced.

Saporito was always successful as a café through the day, and particularly renowned for its breakfasts but now OKKA is extending its good value, tasty food offering through to the evening.

The beauty of such a place is it’s fine to dress up to go out to dinner, or equally you’d be comfortable in a pair of jeans and a sweater. You get the impression that this is an easy place to come to. For instance, there’s a kids menu and children are welcome whatever the time of day. Plus, you know they are going to be eating well; for instance their sausages have a high meat content and are sourced from a local producer. A 2-course children’s meal costs £4.50.

The relaxed, inclusive ethos extends from the management and the team, who come together from a host of different countries. Whilst the Manager is Turkish, there’s a Spanish chef and then you’ve got influences from Turkish, English and Italian on the staff too.

The modern European food reflects the cultures of the staff as well. The menu is a melting pot with Sharing Boards, chargrilled dishes, burgers, which are gluten-free, and famous breakfast dishes such as Bubble & Squeak with Poached Eggs and Pancetta, available in two portion sizes priced at £4.25/£6.95 depending on your appetite.

Meat for the brasserie is sourced locally, with beef coming from a Henlow farm, lamb and sausages hailing from Woburn and bacon from Flitton. Eggs are bought from a farm in another Bedfordshire village.

And it’s not just the food that’s looking good here for the manager plans to collaborate with local artists and show their work on the brasserie’s earth-toned walls.

OKKA is open from 8.30am to 12 noon for breakfast, the full menu and a sandwich menu are then available from 12 noon through to last table bookings at 9.30pm, Monday to Saturday. On Sundays they close at 4pm.

Don’t forget if you give OKKA a whirl, you can review the brasserie on our Directory pages.

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