The first thing to note about Obica Mozzarella Bar on Poland Street is that it’s not your typical Italian restaurant. This is a place that takes its mozzarella seriously, with an emphasis on quality ingredients and inventive dishes that showcase the cheese in all its creamy, melty glory.
The eatery that first graced Poland Street in 2013 has recently undergone a substantial renovation, with a focus on enhancing the customer’s dining experience. Labics Architecture Studio has fashioned a novel space, where the essence of Italian piazzas and arcades is palpable. This is done through the clever use of raw materials such as brick, metals, and other outdoor elements. The solid wood tables, boasting a distinct texture and grain, are augmented by a profusion of greenery that lends a welcoming and worldly air to the venue. The restaurant interior is spacious enough to accommodate 120 seated diners, whilst a snug terrace with 24 covers makes for the perfect spot to enjoy a spritz and watch the world go by.
The menu at Obica is divided into sections, with a focus on antipasti, pasta, and, of course, mozzarella. It’s a good idea to start with a few small plates to share, such as squid and baby octopus stew with fennel, parsley and anchovy dressing, or cauliflower and chard gratin with Parmigiano Reggiano DOP fondue. The standout dish, however, is the burrata with cherry tomatoes and basil. This is mozzarella’s richer, creamier cousin and the version at Obica is truly exceptional. The cheese is so soft and velvety that it practically melts in your mouth, while the tomatoes add a burst of sweetness and acidity. It’s a simple dish, but one that’s executed to perfection.
Moving on to the pasta, the standout dish is the tagliolini with mushroom and sausage. The pasta is cooked al dente and coated in a rich sauce full of earthy umami flavours. It’s a hearty, satisfying plate of food that’s perfect for a chilly evening. We also enjoyed a classic lasagne, which was rich and unctuous, and left us fighting over the last piece.
But the real star of the show at Obica is, of course, the mozzarella. The restaurant offers several different types, from the classic fior di latte to the more unusual smoked variety. One of the most enjoyable ways to experience the cheese is in the form of a mozzarella tasting platter, which allows you to sample four different types. The platter includes fior di latte, bufala, smoked, and burrata, all served with a different accompaniment, such as sun-dried tomatoes or pesto. It’s a fun way to try a variety of cheeses and get a sense of their unique flavours and textures.
Obica also offers a wide variety of pizzas that showcase many of the fabulous cheeses on offer. The restaurant offers both traditional and modern toppings, but the standout is the pizza with burrata, cherry tomatoes, and basil. The pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven, resulting in a crispy, slightly charred crust that’s the perfect vessel for the creamy, dreamy burrata. The tomatoes and basil add freshness and brightness to the dish, while the cheese itself is the star of the show. It’s a pizza that’s both classic and innovative, and it’s not to be missed.
Overall, Obica Poland Street is a delightful addition to London’s Italian dining scene. The focus on provenance and inventive dishes sets it apart from other Italian restaurants in the city, and the emphasis on mozzarella is a real treat for cheese lovers. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty plate of pasta or a pizza topped with creamy burrata, Obica Poland Street has got you covered. It’s a place that’s well worth a visit for those wanting to escape to the Mediterranean without leaving London.
To discover more, visit obica.com
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All imagery courtesy of Obica Mozzarella Bar.