Ever since our Greek holiday in June, I’ve been trying to find opportunities to fill my face with spanakopita and manouri here in London. I hadn’t been very successful in finding decent Greek restaurants though, partly because I was being strict (if falafel was on the menu, it was automatically discounted) but also because I felt like I was only reading bad reviews. Eventually the need for koulouri was too great and we caved and went to a restaurant in Notting Hill. It was one of the worst meals we’d ever had.
But then this past week I’ve managed to have two nice Greek meals here in our capital. TWO! The first was at The Greek Larder in King’s Cross on Monday (as mentioned in this post here) and the second was at Marylebone’s Opso on Friday night.
Spanakopita, tzatziki and pitta
I wasn’t intending to review Opso (hence the terrible pics – sorry!) but as the meal progressed I knew I would need to blog about it simply because I want you to know that THIS IS VERY YUMMY FOOD. And if you’ve been craving velvety fava offset with crispy capers than it’s well worth a visit.
Spanakopita, served at room temperate, not too salty, just right.
Katie had chosen the restaurant and we went as a four, sitting outside as it was one of those rare August evenings where you’d actually want to. We were advised to order lots of small plates and to share, but we supplemented these sharing plates with a couple of dishes that we’d already pre-agreed weren’t for sharing: “If you’re expecting to actually have any of this saganaki, you should probably order your own”.
Opso describes itself as being “modern” and “Greek-inspired” as opposed to traditionally Greek. This means you’ll find things like salmon burgers in squid ink buns and snails ‘n’ chips on the menu, albeit alongside your taramas and souvlaki. The vegetarian dishes are more on the traditional side, although the dakos (SO VERY GOOD) came served more like a panzanella. I really liked it like this.
Fava, dakos, koulouri and saganaki
I’m struggling to think what my favourite dish was. Perhaps the fava? Or was it the fresh goat’s curd sprinkled with unrefined Greek sea salt and melting into the warm koulouri? The saganaki had the exact tang I’d want it to have. Then there was the hand cut chips with melted feta and tomato. You wouldn’t be able to blame someone for saying the chips were their favourite when they’re this good…
My kinda cheesy chips
The dishes came out in stages, a concept that usually really winds me up but as we were sharing everything it actually worked really well in this instance. There was always a decent number of dishes brought, whereas I’ve been to a few places recently where the waiter would triumphantly bring one tiny plate for four people then disappear again for another 15 minutes.
As well as everything veggie-friendly that we shared, we all ordered a couple of bits just for ourselves so that the carnivores wouldn’t go without. The pastitsio ‘noodle box’ was apparently incredible: traditional hylopites pasta with slow cooked pulled beef cheek, tomato & béchamel sauce. The souvlaki got a repeat order. Whilst not very big at all, ST really liked his salmon burger with tomato jam and aioli.
While the others tucked into their dishes, I had a veggie koulouri (grilled zucchini, aubergine, red onions, red peppers, mushroom and tomato jam in a sesame covered milk bread) which was nice but I probably wouldn’t order again as I think I’d rather have just eaten more cheese. In fact I’m really annoyed we didn’t order the metsovone, a smoked fried cheese served with homemade rhubarb jam. An excuse to go back? Definitely.
We left room for dessert because we’re not idiots and I’d advise you do the same as they were just as special as the previous dishes we’d enjoyed. We shared a ‘Bitter Chocolate Madness’, which was like a chocolate lava cake with clementine zest and vanilla ice cream…
Bitter Chocolate Madness
Then I “had to” try the moustokoulouro ice cream sandwich – a soft molasses and chocolate cookie with walnuts and butterscotch sauce and salted caramel ice cream…
Moustokoulouro ice cream sandwich
Yep, it was spectacular.
Whilst we were sitting outside, it’s worth noting that the interior of this place is proper #pinterestgoalz. It’s a gorgeous restaurant and I’ve read some newspaper reviews (albeit from a couple of years ago) that accuse Opso of being style over substance, but that wasn’t our experience at all. Yes, it was a stylish place and a modern menu but the food was REALLY good. And that was the opinion of four people, over many dishes.
We only had one bottle of wine as we’d been drinking in the park previously (did I mention it was the perfect evening?!) but with service it was £154.69 for four people. We had 19 dishes in total.
I will definitely be going back to Opso and I am intrigued to see what it’s like as a lunch venue. They also do brunch on weekends which I’d be curious to try.
All in all, VERY nice. And I am annoyed I’m not in there stuffing my face right this second.
If you have any other Greek restaurant suggestions for me – or delis – please throw them my way. I’m a bit obsessed now…and until I next get on a plane I’m going to need to have some more London options.