What’s it like?
This modern Greek eatery sits on the second floor of the ultra-luxe Fashion Avenue in Dubai Mall. With sweeping views of the Dubai Fountains below, it’s the perfect spot to impress guests – who we’re sure will be wowed by not only the stunning cityscape sights, but also the fantastic food on offer. Translating from the ancient Greek word for a delectable morsel of food, “a delicacy”, OPSO was brought to Dubai by young Saudi entrepreneur, Faisal Al Mandil, as an extension the London-born eatery based in Marylebone. Celebrating modern Greek roots in its cooking, OPSO serves up classic dishes with a contemporary twist in true Dubai fashion (I’m talking 24k gold dust and smoking dry ice – but more on that later). The outlet is divided into three main areas; OPSO Dining, Privé and Social. OPSO Dining, the main dining hall, boasts beautiful blue and gold interiors with attentive service; Privé is an exclusive indoor Sheesha lounge with a special bites menu; and Social is the perfect pit-stop for a freshly-brewed coffee with friends or colleagues.
What are the food highlights?
As we take our seats on the terrace, hunger pangs begin to set in – and our waiter, Michael, tells us that Executive Chef Mark Taquet has prepared a selection of dishes from the new menu for us to try. To my delight, dishes begin to arrive very soon after. One of my favourite aspects of Greek cuisine is undoubtedly the starters – and nothing quite satisfies a rumbling stomach like freshly-baked pittas and a selection of dips. We begin with tzatziki and red pepper and feta hummus, which we gladfully mop up with chunks of sourdough and pitta bread.
Next up is a selection of salads, and our offering includes the duck salad and watermelon and feta. Michael tells us that the duck has been slow-cooked for 12 hours prior to serving, and it’s certainly had the desired effect, as the meat is beautifully tender and melts in the mouth. Served in a stunning glass cube with pomegranate, orange and balsamic dressing – not forgetting the golden, caramelised and crunchy walnuts – it’s a must-try. Our second salad arrives on an impressive looking bed of dry ice (have your phones out ready for that Insta-moment) and comprises of small, bitesize watermelon balls and plenty of crumbled feta, which makes for a deliciously refreshing dish.
For our choice of hot starter, chef serves us the traditional spanakopita – a homemade spinach pie with mint and feta, served alongside a Greek yoghurt dip. Golden, flaky pastry and a gooey cheesy filling – it’s a true Greek delight and a firm favourite from our evening.
Mains are divided into grills, “traditionally flavoured”, and sharing platters. We try the chicken souvlaki skewers (though there is also the choice to have beef tenderloin or minced lamb, should you prefer) which is served on a sizzling platter to the table alongside charred veg and tzatziki. The chicken is well-cooked and has that smoky, just-off-the-barbie finish to it. We also try the grilled lamb rack from the sharing platter, which I cannot recommend enough if you’re a truffle lover (the aromas are enough to excite us before the dish even arrives at our table.) The lamb is tender and well-seasoned and sits atop a bed of mouth-watering wild mushroom risotto, finished with truffle oil and grated graviera. My advice: do not miss this!
To finish, we try the stunning three-tiered 24k rochet – OPSO’s homemade take on the Ferrero Rocher. It’s listed as a sharing dessert for a minimum of 2 people, but it could certainly serve more after a large meal. Three gold dusted chocolate shells, the size of tennis balls, are filled with vanilla ice cream, Feuilletine and hazelnuts, before being topped with a rich chocolate sauce, to create the ultimate sweet feast. I only wish we could’ve done it more justice!
The bottom line: OPSO is a stunning venue offering top-quality, well-presented food with fantastic views. The venue is not licensed but offers an abundance of refreshing mocktails; the “Tinylicious” is my personal favourite.