'It is a restaurant that is undeniably lovely, and a few of those dishes honestly were something else'


Mon—Fri midday—11pm, Sat 10am—11.30pm, Sun 10am—6pm

A few nights ago, I was thrust into a heated debate concerning the methodology of the assignment of ratings under a one-to-five star system. A few nights ago, I found myself pondering what to think about a place that triumphs as often, and as conspicuously, as it fails. A few nights ago I went to OPSO.

OPSO is not a bad restaurant, by any definition of the word. The chairs all had legs, nobody attacked me, and when I cut into our fried smoked Metsovone cheese (£8), locusts did not emerge to consume me in darkness. In fact, there was a tremendous amount to be impressed with. Particular kudos must go to the waiting staff, who were courteous, charming, apologetic (we’ll come to that later) and immensely helpful throughout the evening. The restaurant’s décor, too, is ostensibly modern, whilst feeling just the right amount of rustic.

Some of the food excelled: that aforementioned locust-less Metsovone was sublime to the point of ecstasy, the desserts—Galaktoboureko with vanilla and fresh berries (£6), as well as bitter chocolate cake and caramel ice cream (£8)—were commendable, and the cocktails were entirely on point. A few of the other dishes proved almost as good—I’d throw in the grouper tartare (£11) and sesame koulouri bread (£4) as further recommendations—but these in particular seemed to sit comfortably above the rest.

Don’t be fooled, though. OPSO is not a great restaurant either, and our evening was rife with problems. First, and most glaringly, our forty-five minute wait for our reserved table to become free did nothing to endear us to the place, especially considering this all took place at 9pm on a Tuesday evening. As it stands, I am quite sure that we actually owe OPSO a fair bit of rent for the amount of time we spent standing in the bar.

Our typically British quiet indignation, too, became slightly more palpable (that is, actually visibly noticeable) upon discovering shortly afterwards that an entire floor of tables sat, completely unused, beneath us. Those staff may have been as lovely as you could ever want, but somebody at OPSO, I think, was having one heck of an off day on Tuesday.

None of the food was dismal by any stretch, but we were hit with the occasional bout of disappointment. The beef cheek with pasta (£15) felt oddly Italian—possibly because the pasta replaced the restaurant’s depleted stocks of rice pilaf—and just a little underwhelming, while the baffling inclusion of twelve-hour slow-cooked chicken drumstick (£11) to the menu felt as uninspired as you’d expect it to. I suppose the snail and chips with bacon (£13.50) was a little too dominated by vinegar, but at this point I think I’m nit-picking; like OPSO itself, none of these dishes were bad, it’s just that a few of them let down the rest.

I really don’t know how to feel about OPSO. It is a restaurant that is undeniably lovely, and a few of those dishes honestly were something else. But some of those other dishes were whatever the opposite of ‘something else’ is, and the logistical nightmare that began our evening left a lasting sour taste in our mouths, even if the Galaktoboureko didn’t.

I think, honestly, the only way to really know if you’ll like it is to go—though if you do, perhaps just have a drink and try a few dishes at the bar. God knows if you book a table you’ll be spending enough time in there anyway.

OPSO, 10 Paddington St, London W1U; 0207 487 5088; www.opso.co.uk

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