When & Where:
Opa! is located at the terrace/ roof top of Hotel Peninsula Grand, bang opposite Saki Naka Metro Station. It is a very convenient location in terms of accessibility and visibility. We went to opa on a weekday evening and it was moderately crowded.
Opa is located at the roof top and being rainy season it has been temporarily covered for rains on the top. The breeze at the roof top is wonderful and refreshing. As you exit the life on the roof top, you are greeted at the reception of opa. The entire place has a beautiful Arabic décor. The beautiful arches boasts of the Arabic touch with dim lightings to add that extra touch – artifacts largely sourced from Dubai. The entire area is divided into two sections – one for Lounge and for dining. The lounge area has couches and bar section. The décor is similar except for seating style. In dining section, the tables are studded with stone engravings. Even the chairs are heavy and procured from Jaipur, thus being very artistic. There’s also a section which appeared very Royal – placed on a higher platform with curtains on four pillars giving it that exclusive Royal touch. The entire décor of the place takes you back to Arabian Nights! There’s also a cabinet filled with items sourced from Turkey such as chillams and cigars, also available for sale.
We started with the famous Arak shots – a middle eastern speciality liquor – that looked crystal clear and had a Flor of aniseed. It had a unique way of taking it – take the shot but before gulping it down. This leaves an after taste that stays for a long time. Pretty amazing actually.
Opa 300 was a special cocktail with whiskey base and passion fruit syrup. Interestingly it had a bottle of jamaican breezer held upside down in the drink that slowly poured into it. The overall taste was on the sweeter side with flavor of lime, making it very refreshing.
Opa Special was made out of Bailey’s liquor based in coffee syrup and cream, resulting into a nice coffee-chocolaty taste with aroma of coffee. Pretty neat.
The specialty of Dubai marks the famous Pita Bread and Humus and thus we opted for Cold Mezze Platter. Apart from Pita Bread and Humus it also had variety of dips such as Baba Ghanoush – fine and pulpy – made out of eggplant that tasted okay as I’m not a great fan of eggplant, another dip was a hot pepper dip called as Muhammarah which was quite tangy to taste, humus was good but slightly on the bland side and Labneh dip made of yogurt and olive oil that was slightly sour. Overall, not very appealing to our palette.
Brie Fritters were particularly delicious. These are basically your jalepenos crackers – jalepone and brie cheese mixed together and deep fried resulting into a crunchy crust and melted cheese and jalepenos stuffing inside. Must try.
The Hot Mezzer Platter was a great selection of non veg starters as well as pita bread and humus. This humus, made of crushed chickpeas and olive oil n tahini, was great to taste and we totally loved it for its smoothness as well as balanced salt. The pita bread accompanying it was soft and warm too. I particularly enjoyed the Shish Taouk Kebabs which were well marinated grilled chicken cubes served on a skewer. The marination and cooking ensured that chicken cubes were juicy and tender, capturing the tangy and spicy taste. Totally lived it! Even the Adana Kebabs were smokey and delicious to taste. The Falefals that accompanied this platter were quite dry and tasteless. Quite avoidable actually. The french fries, however, were awesome and we enjoyed it. Overall a decent quantity and taste.
Chicken Sheefas were basically minced Chicken stuffed in round breads. I found this quite dry as the dip accompanying this dish was garlic flavor and not too delicious.
Main Course: Fish n Chips – This comprised of beer battered pomfret fish that was deep fried and served with French fries and tartare sauce. The fish was tender but din quite enjoy the dish – lacked the wowness overall.
Chocolate Expresso Fudge was chocolate pastry with the flavor of coffee that added a slight sweet bitter taste to it. The pastry was moist and fresh with each bite melting in your mouth. On the side was hazelnut icecream that went well with the dessert. Overall, a great presentation and taste – both!
Baclavas are again an Arabic sweet that consists of cylindrical rolls of unleavened dough, layered together and becoming a crusty exterior to a mixture of chopped nuts held together with honey syrup. The original baclavas I had in Dubai were much better though.
The staff is very courteous and friendly. Their head chef and PR Sneha recommended their house specials and also explained the recipes. She also explained how Opa came about which was quite interesting too. Overall, we had a fun filled evening as the atmosphere was vibrant and great!