The only thing Greek about Opa, the newly opened eatery in Juhu is its name. A common Greek expression for celebration, Opa gastronomically travels beyond the Balkans, covering everywhere between India and Jamaica to Britain and Lebanon. How else would you explain the Brun Pav Kibbeh, Couscouse Upma, Kokum Sorbet, Potli of Chicken, Shepherd’s Pie and Jamaican Jerk Chicken that rub shoulders with Moussaka on the menu.
The first thing you notice, besides the warm, wooden decor is the verbosity of the menu, which may either leave diners intimated or eagerly curious. The day we went, the famous Greek aniseed liqueur, ouzo wasn’t available. We tried the Tamarind Martini (R 450), the sourness of which made us wince with every sip. But surprisingly, the sweet start came from an appetiser. The rich, gooey Red Wine Poached Figs topped with Camembert Crème Fraiche was spectacular to say the least.
Another focal point at Opa is its food presentation. The Rotella of Chicken Salami came with cold cuts wrapped with a creamy tapenade with radish leaf (R 350), reinforcing the opinion that Opa’s sure got the right look. The light starter was good enough to whet our appetite too.
The mains that followed, however, were less impressive. And the vegetarian meal seemed to score over its meaty counterpart. The Spud Gnocchi (R 450) tossed in gorgonzola cream sauce was so soft, it melted in our mouth. But the roasted hazelnut and wilted spinach flavours were missing. Opa has great ideas but lots of room for improvement. Just like our Florentine Duxelle Stuffed Chicken Breast Blue Cheese with Porcini Sauce (R 525), which sounded like quite a mouthful, but was overcooked and left us chewing a rubbery bite.
What we don’t like
What we like
Presentation of dishes