Review: Officina 00, Old Street
PUBLISHED: 14:22 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:22 11 November 2019
Fresh pasta and creative flavour combinations from different Italian districts are on offer at Officina 00, which opened on Old Street back in September.
Towards the end of our meal at Officina 00, I paused to observe the couple at the next table along.
Not in an intrusive way, but because they'd just been brought a plate of Fried Raviolo (£2) and I wanted to catch their reactions. There was confusion about how best to eat it at first - the lady reaching for her knife and fork, the gent tentatively nibbling at the sides - but then, sure enough, the words I had expected: "oh, that is delicious."
The Fried Raviolo is one of a selection of sharing plates that grace the Officina 00 menu, which comes finished off with a choice of around seven slightly more substantial pasta mains.
Opened in September by Elia Sebregondi and Enzo Mirto - lifelong friends and natives of Napoli - this restaurant / pasta workshop on Old Street reaches in to many regions of Italy for its inspiration. The menu changes regularly but the pasta is always freshly prepared via an open 'theatre kitchen'.
Officina's Bruschetta (£5.50) is topped with spicy nduja balanced with a cooling influence of stracciatella cheese and a drizzle of mint, while the Burrata (£6.50) combines shavings of fried zucchini and crumbled tarallo with fresh and creamy cheese.
Another highlight for us was the Raviolo Bergese (£12), with its mushroom and black truffle encased in a light pasta shell. Dig in at the centre and watch the golden egg yolk trickle and ooze and then seep into the pasta - it's a thing of beauty.
A shout out must go to Officina's very lovely and knowledgeable team. Service here is seamless, with staff pleasantly introducing each dish and offering loads of pointers if you, like us, need some help picking wine to complement the food.
For mains, my Pappardelle Ragu (£11) featured yet more exquisite pasta, burrata and crispy meatballs, but our highlight was the Pumpkin Gnocchi (£8.50), a glossy dish served with brown butter and gorgonzola.
Officina - which translates to 'workshop' - and 00, named after the grade of flour used in their pastas, is still new but it's already popular; the restaurant was buzzing upon our visit at the weekend, with all tables and stools next to the open-plan kitchen taken up by around 8.30pm.
To finish, the Tiramisu (£6) comes flecked with orange zest and Cointreau, while the Profiteroles (£4.50) have choux pastry served below glistening chocolate and lemon sauces.
I've read this back and it seems like I ate an enormous amount of carb-heavy and indulgent foods at Officina 00, but at no point did I feel overwhelmed by these rich ingredients. Each plate is suitably sized so that it doesn't feel like too much, and in choosing to operate with a sharing-styled menu, you're able to fully appreciate the range of flavour combinations that Sebregondi and Mirto have so brilliantly transported from their homeland to Shoreditch.
Officina 00, 156 Old Street, EC1V 9BW. For more details, click here.