Wednesday 27 July 2016

Opa Bar & Cafe | The Peninsula Grand Hotel Mumbai | Food Review | Restaurant Review

OPA! A word denoting celebration perfectly describes the exclamation sighed by a motley bunch of foodies as we entered Opa Bar & Cafe at The Peninsula Grand Hotel Saki Naka on a Friday evening for review :) It was time to relax and welcome the lazy weekend by indulging in some Mediterranean feast here. This was one place on our radar for quite some time and we were glad to be here at last.

If you have ever read Arabian Nights or seen any of those Turkish serials on TV recently (Fatmagul is worth watching by the way :D) then this place will instantly transport you to that land! It extends till infinity with extremely relaxing couches, intricately carved chairs, colorful curtains and cushions creating a perfectly dreamy ambiance. A beautiful fountain bang in the middle of the Arabic bazaar set up,snazzy lanterns from another era coyly illuminating the environs, the unmistakable tipsy smell of Sheesha and Kebabs in the air. Make sure you dress well (don't dress up for the Oscars, but don't go in a hip-hop garb either :P) as the crowd is classy all around and the place fills up quite well after 7 PM.

Expectedly, the drinks are good as all my alcohol loving friends vouch for that, one of them going as far as to say that the Sheesha here is the best he has ever had. EVER! I am going to take a different route and say that forget everything else,go straight to coffees section and indulge. I know, the word 'Bar' comes before 'Cafe' in its name but trust me, once you go the Cafe route, you will agree that they serve some of the best coffees in the city :) My sister and I absolutely loved Cold Coffee with Vanilla Ice cream as well as their Hazelnut and Caramel versions. Absolutely mindblowing. Compared to these, mocktails seem a bit weak even though they were decent enough on their own :) Wanna be a bit adventurous,then go for the Ferrero Rocher or Belgian Chocolate shake which look like those freak shakes so much in vogue nowadays and taste heavenly too.

Food menu has all the regular suspects plus some unique ones from Mediterranean spread, a bit higher priced looking at the quantity (but absolutely understandable given the location,the ambiance and the star category of the hotel itself) as focus is completely on quality.

Absolutely recommended for all sweet jaw-holders like me is Double Dates (dates stuffed with cheese and pistachios), little sweet and sour balls of deliciousness. A kick of flavors, but not for everybody. Only if you love dates and have a mind for experimentation :D

Similarly, mushroom lovers should go for Mushrooms on Multigrain Toast, very creamy dense and flavorful :)

For all foodies, Brie Fritters and Focaccia Bruschetta are must-haves. Fritters are deliciously crispy from outside, fabulously cheesy from inside and served with Jalapeno Relish while Bruschetta is a wild spread of fresh veggies with melted cheese. Both lip-smacking.

Star dish among the starters is Cottage Cheese Aglio Olio with melt-in-mouth cottage cheese and flavorful herbed garlic chilli sauce,impossible to resist or share with anyone :D 

We have heard good things about the mezze platters here too but keeping that aside for some other day, we went on to Turkish Pide (Flat bread, just like a pizza) with Bell Peppers and Feta Cheese. Sounds delicious? Tasted even better :) 

Finally we were stuffed enough to zero down on Pink Sauce Pasta & Ratatouille with Cottage Cheese for our final main course dishes. Pasta was just like pasta should be while Ratatouille was my personal star dish of the night with a mouthful of fresh veggies, spices and softest Paneer making me fall in love with it with every bite :D Not sure if this is authentic ratatouille or not, but as I have repeatedly said, if it tastes good, if it is good enough to call me back, it is my favorite, authentic or not!

Among the desserts, we chose Chocolate Fudge with Ice Cream which was dense and decadently delicious while for authentic middle-eastern food lovers, Baked Arabic Umm Ali (a sort of bread pudding) might be a good option (I personally don't like bread puddings at all!) Next time, I will be sure to order a Baklava, that's on my wish list :D

A dining experience that made us go OPA! with happiness, Opa Bar & Cafe does complete justice to its name when it comes to ambiance & food and we will surely be back for more Opa-ness soon :)

All Photos Credit : Prachi Shailendra Photography

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