Review: Opso, Dubai: Dubai Mall’s Best Restaurant?
Opso: does Dubai need another Greek eatery?
1 starter salad, 1 main course, 1 small sparkling water: AED198, EUR48, GBP42, USD53
Last summer in Greece resuscitated my appreciation for Greek food. I confess that I had a very dim view of Greek food until Summer 2018 mostly seeing it as inferior to Italian, Spanish or – even – Portuguese food. Greek food was knocked out of the Premier League into another division of Mediterranean dining. But why?
In hindsight, it was a dim view curated by only being exposed to inferior versions of classic dishes served with indifference. One notable travesty was a moussaka served prohibitively hot for human consumption still bubbling like a plated volcano. These sacrificed aubergines and grisly nubs of ground beef were drowned in enough incandescent orange grease to make BP’s Gulf oil spill look like light work. Greek food seemed maligned somewhere between junk food, microwaveable ready meals and “one-pot wonders”.
A decent eatery for Dubai Mall diners looking to escape vapid food court options
Beautiful views overlooking the Dubai Fountains and parts of Dubai Downtown skyline
Attentive staff without being smothering
Enjoyable contemporary Dakos salad
Unclear differentiator vs other Dubai Greek restaurants
Obviously not licensed as it is a mall restaurant
Giant restaurant space can feel lifeless when it is not busy
A Brief Case for Peloponnesus
The Greek islands are beautiful. You must visit them, but so does everyone leaving some areas riddled with island-seeking tourists. If you have been to Santorini, you know that the sunset seekers nest on Oia’s cliffs like locusts landing on tree branches.
Do not just treat Athens as a connection airport destination. Hire a car for 2-3 days and drive to and around Nafplio. You’ll thank me.
The Rise of Greek Restaurants
The Dubai food scene loves a trend. There was the insatiable appetite for pricey Turkish restaurants, especially you know where by you know who. I am afraid to utter its name for I might conjure him like Beetlejuice. Turkish food aside, lest we forget the wave of Peruvian inspired kitchens and courses.
br> Would Opso deliver on family cooking and the abundant variety and breadth of Greek cooking tradition? Could it cut through the cacophony of another Greek opening in Dubai with a clear voice? Would it break conventions or just plates?
Would I return to Opso?
If there is an option for Opso (and it’s peers in Fashion Avenue) to obtain a license, they should pursue this ruthlessly.
Opso is competing with a plethora of other similarly pitched restaurants, save that I am not aware of another Greek restaurant in Dubai Mall. Many have Dubai Fountain views; many offer good quality food in a casual but sophisticated atmosphere. Opso will need to find its unique value proposition to avoid an Attic tragedy.