What’s a Londoner got to do to get a decent Italian around here? Some would say you can’t and opt for the plane ticket abroad for unbeatable antipasti and pizze – but as we discovered, there’s a restaurant in town that looks like it’s mastered a simple and authentic approach to the often misconceived cuisine, ensuring you can get the real deal much closer to home.
Obika Mozarella Bar is a contemporary Italian restaurant founded by Silvio Ursini, a passionate and creative Neopolitan (he’s also the executive VP for luxury brand Bulgari) who knows his food and wants visitors to his restaurants to love it as much as he does. TCé joined him for an intimate menu tasting session at his newly-opened third branch on Charlotte Street where he shared his hopes to not only change the way people eat, but experience traditional specialities from Naples.
There’s a clear emphasis on freshness here (Mozzarella di Bufala from Campania is flown in three times a week) while surprisingly, they avoid using garlic, a mainstay of many an Italian dish which they believe can overwhelm the delicate flavours of other quality ingredients, sourced from farmers and producers back home. We couldn’t tell it was missing. As for the modern twist, this comes from the aesthetics and branding: the restaurant design is inspired by the minimalism of Japanese sushi bars (chequered tablecloths are a laughable no-no) and even the name has got an Asian ring to it (it means “Here it is!”). But put all that to one side and you’re left with an exceptional place to eat where mozzarella is king, the classics taste incredible (we’re still dreaming about the porcini e tartufo nero – mushroom and mozzarella pizza with black truffle) and it’s affordable enough to not break the bank on a night out. Click HERE to check out the rest of our pics from the evening.
For more info, visit: www.obika.com