New addition to the neighbourhood Opso has opened in what can only be described as Marylebone’s ‘Greek Quarter’. Paddington Street, running just off the top of Marylebone High Street, is already home to The Hellenic Centre whilst Opso is quite literally directly opposite another Greek eatery – The Real Greek.
Named after the ancient Greek word for ‘delicacy’, Opso claims to offer a twist on the classic Greek food you might find across the street – its tagline being ‘Greece inspired, London made’. And its other tagline being ‘social food’. One can conclude that a fair amount of thought has gone into the Opso ‘brand’.
I visited on a warm Saturday evening, armed with my secret weapon – my Greek friend Electra. The interior is light and airy, but just a little bit lacking on the cosy Greek atmosphere you might expect – although I felt this would develop with time, and the atmosphere did come to life a little later in the evening. As we had our first browse of the menu, everything looked authentically Greek to me. Metsovone, dakos, loukoumades. But then what do I know? Everything I mentioned, Electra responded with ‘But that’s not Greek!’, or ‘But in Greece we don’t have it with that!’. But then that’s kind of the point. Opso have put their own twist on a selection of Greek classics, as well as creating their own dishes.
Having relaxed Electra with a ‘Perfect Thyme’ off the cocktail list (both this and my ‘Grape Republic’ were super refreshing) and reassured her that her native cuisine could be adapted without it being a crime, we placed our order with our friendly waiter Sylvestre. It can be hard to figure out just how much to order, as the food really is made for sharing, but with some guidance we were soon underway.
A short time later arrived a selection that included some bread and olives, a spinach pie, a dakos, a taramasalata and a cod tempura. The spinach pie didn’t wow us, but the rest of the food hit the spot – the cod tempura being a particular highlight for myself (served with kordalia spread, roast beetroots and shaved walnut), whilst the cherry tomatoes in the dakos salad were fantastically sweet. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed our meal, and more importantly so did my Greek expert. With little space left, we split a loukoumades between us for dessert – a rich and sticky delight contrasted perfectly by the vanilla ice cream it comes with.
With our meal drawing to a close, I was informed by my company that traditionally they drink a small glass of Mastiha (a liquor seasoned with resin from the mastic tree) at the end of a meal, and we must do the same. Now three cocktails down and once the Mastiha had been depleted, I left Opso feeling as relaxed as someone who had spent the last week on a Greek island, let alone just eaten a Greek meal. With an extensive menu also featuring breakfast and brunch, I’ll certainly be back to explore Opso further.
10 Paddington Street
Nearest Tube: Baker Street/Great Portland Street/Bond Street
Phone: 020 7935 0551