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Liz Ledger reviews the Greek delights of OPA Bath.
Having previously visited for post-work nibbles and early evening cocktails, I'd never considered OPA as a daytime venue before. However after sampling their lunchtime menu recently, my preconceptions were proved to be completely unfounded!
The quirky steps that lead down into Opa (a cellar restaurant) immediately set the tone – you know upon entering the restaurant that you’re in for a very special dining experience.
Once inside we were given the choice of either sitting in the bar area or in the main restaurant – both of which had wonderful features; bare brick walls, arches, and a tasteful dash of Hellenic style.
Tempted by the lovely views of the river, we opted to dine in the main restaurant. Christina (the restaurant manager) swiftly seated us and presented us with a glass of white wine and a mix of appetisers. Freshly made and incredibly tasty, these included Houmous, Mixed olives & Greek village salad. During our visit Christina was an absolute delight and couldn't have been more attentive.
Given the luxurious surroundings the lunchtime menu was fantastic value. A three course lunch was priced at just £12.95 while 5 meze dishes were only £14.00.
As we were reviewing, we thought it rude not to sample as many of the dishes as possible, so we opted for a taster of all the dishes on the lunchtime menu - and boy did we make the right decision! Every single dish was delicious and made with authentic flavours and textures.
You could really tell that the menu had been created with careful thought and the dishes crafted by someone who was passionate about real Greek food.
Over the course of the next hour, we had a continuous delivery of authentic Greek treats to our table. Our joint favourites were the Moussaka (a real test of a Greek restaurant has to be on their most traditional dish) and Bekry Meze (slow cooked pork in brandy, fresh tomato, onion and peppers) both were a real explosion of Mediterranean herbs and spices and were clearly made with care and love.
Christina would have kept the dishes coming and we would have happily accepted if only we weren't so full. However, we did find just a little more room to taste their Baklava which finished the meal off perfectly. We then ordered coffees to wake us up after all the food! Even that had wonderful and authentic, attention to detail and was presented on a beautiful silver tray with a glass of water.
We left Opa feeling somewhat silly that we had discounted it as a lunchtime venue. Bath is well-known for its Georgian buildings and tearooms, so it made such a refreshing change to go somewhere completely different but brimming with the quality you expect from Bath's culinary hotspots.
We were completely overwhelmed by the unique ambience, service and quality of food and Opa is from now on to be a regular for my client lunches.