Marie Claire's Caroline Garland samples the latest the Italian delicacies
Good Italian food is pretty much always on our minds so when the invitation to try a new restaurant near MC HQ landed in our inbox we skipped over the Millenium Bridge to the recently opened Obica St Paul’s.
Opening their first Mozarella Bar in Rome, 2004, Obica now have 5 restaurants in London – Charlotte Street, Poland Street, South Kensington, Canary Wharf and now St Paul’s. The first thing we thought on arrival was ooooh very NY industrial chic, using natural materials to create a minimal modern setting. We were sat down by the most welcoming of waiters who very quickly suggested a lovely chilled bottle of Pino Grigio, Friulanom Pinot Biance – £28.
The mozzarella bar (quite possibly the best idea since tomato and garlic first adorned a flat circular bread) is the only way to start from naturally smoked (Bufula Affumicata – £6) to the rich and creamy (Barata al Tortufo with Black Truffle – £11). It’s good to know they use Mozzarella di Bufala Campana hand made by artisan producers in the DOP – Denominazione di Origine Protetta – of Campania in Southern Italy. It somehow makes it tastes more creamy and luxurious.
Next up the very generously sized Antipasto Obica with Prosciutto Crudo di Parma, Casatica di Bufala Cheese, Salame Felino, Grilled Artichokes, Black Olives, Mozzarella and Peppers Bruschetta, Tomato Bruschett, every kind of antipasto you want to nibble on – £9. We also had the super fresh Tartare di Tonno – Knife-cut Tuna Loin, Taggiasche Olives, Pantelleria Capers, Heirloom Tomatoes, Lime, Chives, Avocado Purée – £10. These two plates together would be a perfect light lunch between two.
By now sharing was the theme of the evening so we ordered a couple of mains and sides to make sure we hit the gym hard the next day Ricotta di Bufala and Black Kale Homemade Ravioli in Sage Butter Sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano – £13, Salmone – Seared Scottish Salmon with Broccoli Rabe – £12, Carciofini Roasted Marinated Artichoke – £6 and Pomodorini e Pesto Datterini Tomatoes, Homemade Basil Pesto – £5. All were every bit as good as they sound, all leftovers making their way into a little parcel to take home
The menu is pleasingly varied and easy to create a light lunch of small plates or (as in our case) settle down to enjoy some of your fav Italian classics or explore something a little unexpected. The prices are very good value with the most expensive dishes being £18 but 2 of those dishes are laced with truffle, most main courses sitting around £12 to £14.
If you’re either working in the City or being a tourist for the day you’ll be in the safest of hands when you walk through Obica’s door.
Monday to Saturday from 11,30am to 10,30pm
Monday to Saturday from 3,30pm to 7pm
DELI: Monday to Friday from 7am to 3pm
Unit 4, 5-7 Limeburner Lane EC4M 7AX – London Tel. 020-3327-0984