11-13 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1RH
Price: £40 per person (drinks excluded) – worth it all!
There are many reasons to love London. One of the most recurring and justified is its wide rage of choices. You can find everything you want in London. Samuel Johnson, one of the fathers of the English language, has been accredited with the following quote: “A man who is tired of London, is tired of life”. I agree.
Hence – even a non-nostalgic Italian like me, sometimes needs to taste the flavours of fare-away home and needs to dare, choosing among all the options the city offers, to actually find the one that will actually taste like home.
Obicà is definitely one of these. “Obicà” – pronounced “ɔːbikkæ'” in Neapolitan dialect means ‘here it is’. It has several variations according to cities and to plural vs. singular. Anyhow, I find that the name well preserves the actual presentation of fresh ingredients and 100% Italian elements the restaurant offers to its customers.
I will reserve the starters for last as I believe they were the nicest surprise of the dinner.
The service was quick and pleasant composed by smiling, international staff.
In order to try the most out of the menu, we ordered a pizza and a pasta main. The pizza was served with burrata and nduja, two well known ingreditents to the Italian palates but that I had never seen brought together. Burrata is a type of creamy mozzarella I will talk about later while nduja is a strong, spicy spreadable Italian salami. The two perfectly balanced each other on the pizza, almost exploding in your mounth in a mix of spiciness and freshness. I also had Tagliolini with smoked sword fish. This is another test for italian restaurants, if they manage to get pasta with seadfood right, three quarter of the dinner job is done. And Obicà made it. Cooked to perfection, with a hint of pistacchi and sundried tomatoes they were a real delight. A well realised attempt of fine Italian cuisine.
We also had a mix of three desserts: pannacotta, tiramisù and chocolate cake. The first two did not excite me, they were pretty mass-production tasting. The chocolate cake however was good and friable, although I think it could not keep up with the rest of the menu.
And finally, the starters. We shared a platter of salumi (mixed meats) where prosciutto di parma did taste like prosciutto di parma. We had a nice and fresh smoked mozzarella with it and then…and then we had the Queen of all mozzarella in the world: burrata.
Burrata stays to Italian cuisine like Marcus Wareing’s custard tart stays to English cuisine. Burrata is a soft, creamy, melting mozzarella, so soft it needs to be served in a bowl and you can have it with a spoon. It must be absolutely fresh – if it dries out it is lost. In my opinion, this is one of the best pieces of Italian food you can have in your life. I congratulate Obicà for being able to have it delivered and served in such freshness. And I am thankful to the restaurant, for bringing me back to a real Italian table.
So, go ahead and enjoy London. Enjoy its Indian curries, its Thai mixes, its Sunday roasts but don’t, do not miss the chance of enjoying a real, sublime, Italian burrata at Obicà.