New? Obica opened in March 2016, much to the delight of mozzarella-mad Londoners.
Where? 4 Limeburners Lane, 1 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7AA obica.com
On the menu: A lot of mozzarella plus pasta, pizza, charcuterie – classic Italian dishes.
First Impressions: We dined on a Monday evening and it was relatively quiet even for a fairly new restaurant. Our waiter was very friendly and authentically Italian, complete with accent.
The Look: Slightly industrial but still quite casual and relaxed, al fresco dining space runs along the length of the restaurant. In one corner sat a huge copper stove, with a chef making fresh pasta in a food prep area adjacent to the main kitchen. The bar area has its own island making it ideal for a pre-dinner aperitif.
What We Ate: I love mozzarella, especially burratta, so the Classica seemed an obvious choice. I added Burrata al Tartufo with Black Truffle from the Mozzarella Bar to begin with for something slightly more indulgent. The cheeses are fresh and light but if you’re really struggling with your cravings you can opt for the Treccia; a 1 kg Handmade Braid of Mozzarella di Bufala. We then stepped to part 2 of the menu and sampled a selection of focaccia bread, salamis, pestos and fresh tomatoes; a fun and varied way to try a little bit of everything.
Mozzarella, as you would expect, features heavily throughout the rest of the menu from bruschetta to pizza to salads. After a mozzarella-heavy welcome we decided to ease off for the mains with a Homemade Spinach Lasagna with Grassfed Beef Ragu, unfortunately lacking a little in seasoning. The Ricotta di Bufala and Black Kale Homemade Ravioli was much better and came covered in a lovely light sage butter sauce.
Cheese is back on the menu in full force for desserts – but not mozzarella this time. Instead we see a delicious, creamy ricotta and pear cheesecake, and the winner by a mile; the Semifreddo al Croccante Salato with Salted Caramel Brittle and Zabajone Gelato. The gelato is made from milk curd and therefore tastes like eating milk which I adored. The Tiramisù was confusing as it looked like custard in a little cup rather than layers of sponge and cream as you would expect, it tasted nice none-the-less.
What We Drank: In lieu of traditional wine we opted for cocktails (and wisely so) as Nirvana, a celery-infused gin, elderflower liqueur and fresh citrus mix, was divine.
Go With: Everyone, especially work colleagues.
Final Word: There is an emphasis on fresh food at Obica, with no secrets, as diners can easily see the cleanliness of all the food being prepared at various stations. The food is simple and relies on clean flavours over anything pretentious – and it works.