Fancy Greek food by way of Marylebone…
Classy mall dining. Before the enormous Fashion Avenue extension, the concept was largely unheard of. Who’d want to eat fancy food in a mall? As it turns out, Dubai clientele wanted it bad. GIA, L’ETO and Huqqa and The Market are just some of the busy new outlets upping the mall food game, and now new Greek spot Opso has thrown its hat into the ring.
Londoners may have heard of the name before. Its dinky flagship restaurant sits in a very classy part of town close to Marylebone High Street. Opso Dubai is anything but dinky. For one, it’s huge with three distinct concepts: a café, an intimate dining area, and the large dining hall.
So huge is the restaurant that we can only imagine what the staff’s step count must be. There’s also a huge wraparound terrace where diners can smoke shisha and get a front row view of the Dubai fountains.
Opso’s version of the humble hummus dip (Dhs35) was a very enjoyable starter thanks to a handful of dried chickpeas sprinkled on top. A second starter of fried feta (Dhs59) with sesame seeds and thyme honey, had the consistency of the Middle Eastern kunafa dish (crispy on top, soft and gooey underneath), and was the standout dish of the day.
Mains were less impressive, with the same overarching grievance: The food was just too cold. The tepid veg moussaka (Dhs65) with lentil ragout and grilled eggplant, went overboard on the béchamel sauce, and too light on seasoning.
Meanwhile, the lemon oregano chicken, a dish of one chicken thigh, dollop of mash potato, crumbled feta and baby gem, was just OK, and not hot enough – not a mistake the kitchen can afford to make when a dish is priced at Dhs129.
The wild chips (Dhs35) were too chewy. A quicker trip from the frier to our table would sort that right out.
Disappointing first meal, but the menu is really exciting and the flavours are there. Crank up the heat, speed up the service and we hope to see Opso competing with the others soon.
Opso, Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, daily, noon to midnight. Tel: (054) 424 4999. opso.ae