Head to Paddington Street in Marylebone, and find The Real Greek. Once outside, turn your back on it and its greasy vine leaves and over-salty feta cheese – because OPSO is right across the street, and it’s a far superior Greek.
OPSO [or ΟΨΟ] is the ancient Greek word for ‘a delectable morsel of food’. This delicacy-focused name therefore set my hopes high for our dinner. I had actually stuck my head into OPSO before, the unusual décor having caught my eye as I passed by. With a hand-laid mosaic floor and white and blue tiling it evokes a Mediterranean feel, but it’s the steel frame that criss-crosses the length of the restaurant, both horizontally and vertically, that is the most striking feature. Wood and marble are used for furniture, with simple brown paper table cloths, and terracotta pots filling the shelves of the frame.
OPSO’s award-winning menu was created by consultant chefs Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nikos Roussos (the founders of two-Michelin starred Athens restaurant, Funky Gourmet), and offers a selection of Greek classics that have been brought bang up to date. Designed to share, they’re packed with flavour and made from top quality ingredients.
There are salads, Finger Food Buns and “delicacies from the larder” to kick you off – Greek Coleslaw, ‘Souvlaki’ pork belly in pita, fish burger in a squid ink bun and Spanakopita (feta and spinach pie) went down well with us.
Main courses are designed for sharing (my favourite kind!). We toyed with the (odd) idea of Snails & Chips, but in the end ordered a 16-hour slow cooked lamb shank Giouvetsi, with tomato & lemongrass orzo, and a Briam of vegetables with Galomizithra cheese, both from the Greek Classics section of the menu. It was the perfect pairing – the succulent lamb, in particular, really hit the spot, falling right off the bone into the surrounding risotto-like orzo.
Come dessert, we decided to take a chance and order Galaktoboureko to share, without having a clue what it was! Vanilla semolina cream with fresh berries and crispy filo pastry, it was decorated with edible flowers and most photogenic.
10 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 5QL