The real star of the night was the mozzarella cheese that was served up every which way. Favourites included the deep-fried mini mozzarella ball, shredded mozzarella in cream and the thin crust pizzas with generous chunks of cheese. Bread baskets were scattered everywhere and there was definitely not a lack of food. The menu centres around the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP in the form of classic, creamy burrata or smoked.
Obika is a restaurant brand out of Italy which has opened outposts in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and now Toronto. The majority of the tables are on the outdoor 'patio' of Brookfield Place across from Marche and space is at a premium. Make sure you call ahead for a table to ensure yourself a seat. At the back of the restaurant is a private dining room. I had tried out the Obika in Florence and it was a hip and modern space with a moody, lounge vibe with St. Germain playing in the background. It's a great place for dinner or even after-work cocktails and a few cheese appetizers to share.
The Classic Mozzarella
Smoked mozzarella wrapped in grilled zucchini. The cheese is smoked for only thirty seconds in a barrel to achieve that campfire taste. It's definitely a must-try.
The beautifully designed salad bar
Fresh sliced proscuitto station
Mini-desserts from opening night (above) and some of the guests we spotted (below)
Obika Mozzarella Bar, Toronto - www.Obika.ca, opens officially on Monday.
Inside Brookfield Place @ 181 Bay Street, 416-546-1062