Walking into the wide, spacious dining room at Opa Kipos is like taking a breath of fresh ocean air. This newest Greek restaurant in Mumbai could possibly be the prettiest in town. The experience starts at the bright blue doors fringed with bougainvillaea. A lush and dimly lit garden complete with a swing leads to a spacious dining room flanked with terracotta pots and the Greek colours: blue and white.
The decor at Opa Kipos
Spread over 8000 sq ft, Opa Kipos is well laid out with private booths and tables. The best seats in the house, however, are a few flights up in a balconied space with low seating and beautifully lit wall niches. The bougainvillaea cascading down the walls, flickering candles and wicker chandeliers further add to the Mediterranean vibe.
Opa Kipos is an international brand with outposts in Dubai and Saint Tropez. The main menu has been conceived by Timothy Newton who is the group executive chef. In India, Rohan D’Souza, Culinary Director of Silver Beach Entertainment & Hospitality, (the company that has brought the brand to India) has added his flourish to the menu.
Foods we loved
We started with the Opa Hummus, which shakes us awake with the heat of romano chillies but is balanced out with the crunch of pine puts, the freshness of mint and the richness of crispy lamb. It’s served with grilled pita bread to mop up the silky hummus. Vegetarians can completely skip the lamb.
The Greek salad here is overflowing goodness—the oregano vinaigrette adds an umami punch to the tomatoes, peppers, olives and feta. Next, we ordered the crispy fried calamari—the bite-size pieces disappear faster than popcorn! The startling contrast of crunch from the crumb and the sweet, succulent baby squids within, makes this classic dish a must order at Opa Kipos.
The main course dishes at Opa Kipos are meant for sharing. The rigatoni pasta comes stuffed with lamb, coated with walnut pesto and blanketed with béchamel sauce. There is not a single element out of place, and better yet, the lamb is flavourful enough to cut through the layers of sauces and cheeses.
The seafood linguine is another stellar dish here. Long threads of pasta are coated with a vibrant tomato sauce and studded with perfectly cooked tiger prawns and calamari. This dish hits more notes than an electric guitar!
If you have the appetite for just one main dish, I highly recommend the Canadian lobster that arrives on a bed of orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and seaweed butter. The soft, delicate and sweet lobster is offset by the savouriness and bite of the pasta and is guaranteed to take your breath away.
Alternatively, you can try the peinirli, a Greek version of pizza, like the Turkish pide. I see the flatbread bubbling with cheeses and think, “I won’t be able to eat the whole thing.” And then it’s gone. Opa also does a peinirli with freshly shaved truffle and another one with meatballs. I’ll reserve those for a future visit.
Opa Kipos makes sure guests drink as well as they eat. The gin-based Opa Signature cocktail with clarified coriander cordial and gherkin brine is a flavour bomb. There is an extensive wine menu as well, with selections from Greece, Italy, France, Australia and Chile.
End the meal at Opa Kipos with a touch of theatrics. Order the Chocolate Piato and watch in awe as a huge bowl of chocolate filled with honeycomb, sour cherries, mousse, brownies, cookies and ice cream is shattered on your table. But it’s the Opa Baklava Sundae that is the Instagram contender. A crispy phyllo cup comes bearing a selection of baklava and ice creams. After we are done taking pictures and swooning over the composition, we greedily dig into the flavour ensemble that is crunchy, sweet, creamy and oh so delicious. If you are torn between the two desserts? Life is short; ask for both.
What didn’t work
My maiden meal at Opa Kipos was not flawless. A heavy-handed drizzle of truffle oil overwhelmed the delicate Tuna Tartare. Moreover, the dish had no trace of the greek yoghurt as promised in the menu and the crispy koulouri (a type of greek bread) was absconding. Portion sizes at Opa Kipos can also be slightly misleading. Some of the starters (like the tartare) may seem too little for sharing while the others (linguine) would have you rethink your ordering acumen.
Somewhere in between all the eating, drinking and swaying to the Greek-inspired playlist, lights are dimmed and the wait staff performs the traditional Zorba dance and there is plate smashing all around you. That’s our clue to get up and start dancing and smash some plates ourselves. After all, ‘Opa’ is the word that people shout in Greece when a plate is smashed – either on purpose or accidentally!
Address: Wadia International Centre, Worli, Mumbai, 400025. Tel: +91 - 7208881161/62/63
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 12 pm-4 pm
Price for two: Rs 4000 (including a drink each)