Food Review: Opa, Juhu

The European restaurant in Juhu is a new hot-spot for the Gourmet lovers. I dined there after a week of its opening and was delighted to see the dishes which looked straight out of a Masterchef kitchen.

The name Opa means ‘celebration’ in Greek and the menu promises to take you on a gastronomic journey beyond olive oil and garlic. If you ignore the location (the traffic jammed road in Juhu) you’ll find yourself in a quiet little restaurant with comfortable seating and pleasant ambiance. They have an open-air section too which is more inviting than the air conditioned one. The al fresco area has a communal bar table and accommodates a group of 10 people. It gets a little noisy due to traffic on the road but then these are the perils of eating at a restaurant in Juhu. The staff doesn’t serve food in this section because of the unhygienic conditions (of the street) but was courteous enough to make an exception on our request. They provide valet service too so you don’t have to worry about parking your car on the busy street.

The drinks menu has an extensive range of cocktails and wines. The bartender has concocted some interesting drinks like lychee and kokum sorbet and, grapefruit and celery cooler. On his recommendation, we ordered a tamarind margarita (Rs 450) which is their speciality. The tamarind and jaggery flavour overpowered the taste of tequila but was quiet different from the regular cocktails.

The food menu has a decent range of sandwiches, salads, starters, pastas and main course dishes to choose from. For starters we ordered marinated artichokes and fresh mozzarella with green and red pesto (Rs 325) and braised baby lamb chops drizzled with harissa (Rs 400). The salad was a good blend of veggies and cheese but could’ve done with more pesto in it. But at Opa our wish seems to be their command because we only had to make a mention and we were given an extra serving of green pesto. Lamb chops were highly recommended by the Maitre d’ and totally deserved to be among the best dishes. The succulent meat cooked in sweet and sour sauce made for a perfect starter. Despite the lesser choice for vegetarians in main course we went for chargrilled vegetable mousakka with feta cream and olive crostini (Rs 425). The dish wasn’t what we expected it to be and too much brinjal made it taste like an Indian sabzi. However, the assorted vegetables and bread served with it were good accompaniments. For the non-veg lovers the lobster risotto is highly recommended.

The dessert menu is not ready but with Jack Daniels mousse on the list it’s something to watch out for. We ordered a lemongrass and ginger crème brulee which was as light as air and had a lingering aftertaste. The food scored full marks on the presentation part and we didn’t have to wait for too long for the service.

In short, worthy of a visit when you are in the mood to splurge on wining and dining.

On the burp scale: 4.5/5

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