The Kitchen Butterfly, Restaurant Review - Opa, Juhu

Home With Heena , 04 Oct 2011
Heena Jain at Opus
Heena Jain at Opus

Opa! I don’t think you can say the name without an exclamation mark and expecting to throw some plates while downing ouzo shots. So I found the décor and atmosphere of the restaurant a bit confusing. The venue is beautifully decorated in warm hues with a very clean contemporary look. It also has a serene waterfall and a koi pond in the back terrace. So, while pretty, I found it to be a bit ambiguous toward the genre of cuisine. For Mediterranean/Greek Cuisine, I picture a more energetic, coastal décor with shades of blue and white. But then again, the décor did reflect the diversity of the menu.

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Opa, Juhu
Opa, Juhu

The menu contains a vast selection of dishes. Ranging from the expected Greek salad and meze platter, to sandwiches, pastas and a tagine. (We sampled a bit of everything to make sure we had the full experience.) For starters we tried the Greek Salad with Spanakopita, Seafood Salad, Cold Mezze Platter, Braised Baby Lamb Chops, Yemini Spiced Ground Lamb Wrapped on Sugarcane, Chicken Wings, Potli of Lemongrass Chicken, and the Prosciutto di Parma con Melone. All of these were beautifully plated and the sight and smell left you salivating.

Opa starters
Opa starters

I think a true test of an authentic Greek/Mediterranean restaurant, is the quality of the Hummus. In this case, Opa passed with flying colors. The Cold Mezze Platter has a trio of dips, including Hummus, Muhammara and Baba Ganoush. The baba ganoush had a nice creamy smoked eggplant flavor (though personally, I prefer it a bit more roasted), the muhummara was perfectly spiced with a nutty roasted red pepper taste, and finally the hummus had a great creamy texture with the right hint of tahini.

Opa Greek Salad
Opa Greek Salad

Unfortunately, the Greek Salad was a bit of a disappointment. While the Spanakopita (little phylo dough triangles filled with a spinach and feta filling) was very nice, the salad itself was bland and the feta chunks were frozen. I thought it required a bit more lemon in the dressing and some crumbled creamy feta. The Prosciutto de Parma con Melone (which is actually an Italian dish) was the hit of the group. The prosciutto (great quality) slices were rolled and stuffed with a creamy herbed goat cheese and well balanced along side the ripe melon and Wine Poached Figs. I also recommend the Yemini Spiced Ground Lamb, which was well cooked and cleverly wrapped on a piece of sugarcane, and the Braised Baby Lamb Chops in a flavorful harrisa sauce.

Opa starters
Opa starters

The Potli (little phyllo dough parcels stuffed with chicken) consisted of a tasty chicken filling complimenting the light crispness of the phyllo. While it was nice, it could be better with a bolder, tangy dipping sauce. The misses included the Seafood Salad and the Chicken Wings. The seafood salad was bland (also needed more lemon) and the Indian salmon cubes were tough and chewy. As for the chicken wings, they were a bit stringy and the flavor of the sauce was a bit incomplete and left you hanging.

Opa Mains
Opa Mains

Next we tried a variety of mains, including the Vegetable Lasagna, Lobster Risotto, Fettuccini in Spicy Meatball Sauce, Vegetable Tagine with Couscous, Vegetable Moussaka, Cajun Spiced Tiger Prawns, BBQ Pork Ribs, 4 Whistle Braised Lamb Shank, Charcoal Grilled Lobster, Tandoor Cooked Jamaican Jerk Chicken and a side of Mashed Potatoes (we were hungry! ;)). Again, everything was artistically plated and looked fantastic. Upon trying, they pretty much all tasted fantastic too.  The Vegetable Lasagna wasn’t your typical lasagna but was well cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. The Vegetable Tagine consisted of hearty vegetables cooked atop a fluffy bed of couscous, in the traditional way and flavored with deep warm spices.

Opa Mains
Opa Mains

The Vegetable Moussaka had a great rich tomato sauce but unfortunately only included eggplant.  I would have preferred some other vegetables and potato slices, which are typically included in Greek moussaka. The Lobster Risotto and the Charcoal Grilled Lobster were both favorites of the group and are highly recommended. They were both properly cooked and had perfectly balanced flavor. The mashed potatoes were soft and creamy mixed with buttery garlic, a great accompaniment to any dish. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken was cooked and seasoned perfectly and the side of barley risotto was a nice addition.

Opa Mains
Opa Mains

Unfortunately the least favorite dishes were the Pork Ribs, Meatballs and the Lamb Shank. Both the pork and lamb dishes were not well cooked and the flavorings were a bit off. While the fresh fettuccini was cooked al dente with a slow cooked tomato sauce, the meatballs themselves were too mushy in texture to hold up to the pasta.

Opa Mains
Opa Mains

Finally, we end with the desserts. I can’t give this a proper critique since they did not really have a listed dessert menu yet. Though they still presented us with a wide selection, including a Chocolate Cake, Jack Daniels Mousse, Tiramisu, Crème Brule and some other items.

Opa Desserts
Opa Desserts

Unfortunately, not many of these really stood out. I would recommend the Tiramisu, Chocolate Cake and JD Mousse (though quite potent!) as being the better of the bunch. I would really like to see a baklava, or something of that sort, on the menu once they have the proper dessert list sorted *hint hint* ;)

Opa Desserts
Opa Desserts

While enjoying this wonderful meal, we also tried many of their Mocktails (it was a dry day). They were all VERY delicious and not overly sweetened. I’m sure their of-age sibling’s, the cocktails, are even better.

Opus Drinks
Opus Drinks

Overall, for having just been open for a month, I rate Opa 3 stars with potential for 4 as they work through the kinks. I plan to return and sample their impressive breakfast menu. Until then, Opa is a great place to catch up with friends over a refreshing cocktail and tasty meal, before heading out to many of the nearby lounges/clubs for the night.

Follow @ktchenbutterfly on Twitter.

Opa Restaurant
Next To Royal Garden Hotel

Opposite Reid & Taylor Shop

Juhu Tara Road, Juhu,

Mumbai – 400049

Tel: +(91)-(22)-67699966

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