44-46 Southwark Street
London SE1 1UN
‘O ver styles itself as an authentic Italian restaurant serving up Neapolitan street food. Wait a sec, this sounds very familiar… Indeed, ‘O ver is continuing the revival of Italian eateries in London, but what makes it different? Pizza dough made with ‘pure’ sea water gathered from the middle of the Mediterranean. Though this might sound contrived, the use of sea water in cooking was historically common. The proof was in the taste, which was absolutely divine.
Food: 7 / 10
Spaghetto “Sciuè Sciuè” – Gragnano spaghetto n°5, Italian Piennolo tomatoes, organic olive oil and fresh basil
Gragnano pasta is essentially the dry pasta. The Gragnano label is legally protected, and only given to pasta made in the Gragnano town to exacting standards (think Champagne). The pasta itself is delicious, but falls short when compared to the fresh pasta competition. The accompanying ingredients, though simple, were all fresh and bursting with flavour.
Pizza Margherita – “Fior di latte” mozzarella from Monti Lattari, San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh basil
This was the most anticipated moment of the meal. Is the ‘pure sea water’ dough a gimmick, or the real deal? The answer: it was unequivocally delicious. The pizza base has a perfectly crisp crust with a light chewy centre, married with a complex mineral flavour. The toppings complemented the base well – full of flavour with good balance.
Pizza Parma – “Fior di latte” mozzarella from Monti Lattari, prosciutto San Daniele D.O.P. aged 18 months, organic rocket and Parmigiano cheese aged 24 months
As before, the pizza would be delicious even without any toppings. This particular combination was crying out for some tomato sauce to cut through the heavy flavours.
A special that piqued my fancy, but didn’t deliver. Though the brûlée was well done, the crème was bland.
Service: 8 / 10
All the staff we interacted with were friendly and polite. The maître d’ added a nice personal touch by recognising and addressing by name one our group that had previously dined at ‘O ver.
Price: A bit more than the high street, but worth it
In conclusion: Whenever someone raves about how good they think Franco Manca is, send them on the path to enlightenment to ‘O ver. The pizzas are fantastic, with both high quality, delicious ingredients and good technique. I would love to see this set a new bar for pizza in London – either with the competition stepping up their game, or more ‘O vers popping up around the city.
One thought on “‘O ver”
Thanks for sharing this discovery. This kind of place is right up my “strada”. I’ve been looking for an Italian place like this…. with simple, good food using high quality ingredients. I’ll be sure to check out ‘O ver the next time I’m in London.