Obicà, Soho

The Blurb

Restaurants and bars line the streets of Soho, giving it a constant buzz day and night. Yet, when I find myself tasked with choosing somewhere to eat, my reply is often: ‘I have no idea where to go.’ Sometimes, too much choice is the enemy. Luckily, I may have finally found my go-to spot, Obicà. The Italian restaurant sits proudly on Poland Street, serving fresh Italian delicacies, including a wide selection of cheese, showcased in its ‘Mozzarella Bar’ offering. In fact, the word Obicà actually means ‘right before your eyes’, which the restaurant likens to ‘like freshly made Mozzarella, still dripping from its brine and ready to be eaten’.

Since 2004, when the first Obicà Mozzarella Bar was opened in New York, the restaurant has been capturing foodies’ hearts with its deliciously fresh cheese – there are now over 20 restaurants across the globe, from the UK to Italy, and as far as Tokyo. They operate on a seasonal menu, and we were there to check out the new summer one, which launched last month.

The Style

Obicà describes the design of the restaurant as ‘pure, warm, and inspiring’ – referring to the food and the interiors. The colour scheme is black, red and light wood (warming), and the many plants lining the restaurant definitely bring a sense of purity. It’s comfortable and not too fussy, but I guess that’s the Italian way: simple but effective – their ethos in cooking too. There are two floors and a few outside tables as well. We sat near the pizza oven at the front of the restaurant, which was perfect for people-watching.

The Crowd

Soho attracts people from all walks of life, from tourists to work colleagues, friends and couples. I dined on a Thursday evening and, surprisingly, it wasn’t too busy – although maybe 7pm is a little early for Soho-goers!

The Food

As always – Italian or not – I ordered a Negroni to start, sipping on the bitter cocktail while I browsed the menu. Of course, we had to get some cheese, so we chose the ever-creamy stracciatella, which was served in its purest form, in a very healthy portion. We doused it in golden olive oil, added a little salt and piled it on top of freshly made warm focaccia. We continued doing this until the bowl was empty, whilst nibbling on a very generous portion of bresaola – my favourite. We also had the grilled octopus with mini bresaola, gazpacho and breadcrumbs, plus a large bowl of truffle pasta, swimming (in the best way) in butter laced with truffle. The octopus was a little flaccid – it didn’t really feel like it had seen the grill all that much – but I enjoyed the combination of the cool gazpacho and burrata. On the other hand, the truffle pasta was delicious and we savoured every bite. To finish, we shared a small coconut panna cotta with caramelised peach, plus a measure of Montenegro each – classic Italian bitters.

The menu at Obicà certainly has something for everyone, and the new summer menu boasts everything from the famous cheese to freshly made pizzas, pasta, salads and even a burger, which comes with a burrata on top – a perfect Italian touch.

In a Nutshell

I feel like some Londoners can turn their nose up at chain restaurants – I can be a culprit of it sometimes. But, if Obicà is good enough for Italy, it’s certainly good enough for London. It’s great value for money and uses true Italian ingredients. I’m coming back for the Mozzarella Bar.

19-20, Poland Street

W1F 8QF London

020 3327 7070

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