Obikà, the world’s first Mozzarella Bar and Italy’s most innovative restaurant concept is opening has opened its doors this month on Fitzrovia’s busy Charlotte Street.
Paying Obkiá a visit, we were happily greeted by name and shown to a table where it was insisted my friend and I ordered a cocktail each. Deciding on our tipple, there was a vast choice, some with slightly odd ingredients, I selected the Valentina, purely on the fact it had pink pepper and balsamic vinegar in it! A fantastic autumn cocktail, and as standard between 5pm and 7pm, it was served with a small tasting board of meats, mozzarella and fresh baby plum tomatoes. A perfect way to get your stomach ready for what is to come.
The idea behind Obiká is fresh, artisan ingredients, simple, clean food and great flavours. And they have managed just that, sourcing 96% of their ingredients from local farmers and businesses in Italy, where Obiká is proud to have built personal relationships with most. Throughout the evening we went on to taste a smorgasbord of delights from the starter section, my favourites being the aubergine antipasti and the deep fried basil leaves. With the saltiness of the cured meats, and the richness of the cheeses a glass of prosecco was a great addition to the first course.
To taste the pizza and pasta on offer, we were invited to move downstairs to another part of the restaurant. Upstairs the decor is clean lines, low lighting and a slight Japanese feel, using raw materials and fabrics, downstairs mirrors this, adding candlelight for a more intimate setting. There is also the opportunity to sit at the mozzarella and meats bar, and watch the food being prepared whilst you graze; all sections being bookable at the point of reservation.
My favourite dish we sampled downstairs was, hands down, the Porcini and Truffle Risotto. Rich, creamy and interestingly created without onion or garlic, something you’d think to be staple ingredients in Italian cuisine, but in fact neither are used in any dish served in the restaurant.
Pizzas were light and crisp with a great choice of toppings, and dispute having little to no room left in our bellies, out came a trio of desserts including the Italian classic, Tiramisu, along with a little extra – a pear cheesecake. NOM!
All in all, Obiká serves great fresh food, in an ambient setting. It’s not your most traditional Italian but it dismisses the idea of having the oh-so-fashionable gimmick that so many restaurants have at the moment. The cocktail list is really unusual and the hospitality second to non. It’s a great place to take a date, to impress your mother in law, or to catch up with good friends. Oh, and if you eat as much as I ate, you will leave resembling the shape of one of their Italian mozzarellas!