Get Blown away with OPA's Mediterranean-Inspired Cuisine

Hidden within the busy streets and tall edifices of the Makati CBD is OPA, a casual-chic restaurant serving up Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Owned and operated by diversiPRO, OPA is the in-house restaurant of Somerset Millennium Residences in Aguirre Street—providing the complimentary breakfast buffet to the hotel guests.

I must admit I would never have discovered this place on my own—Makati just has too many secrets wedged between its corners. Fortunately, I got invited to try the new menu they are launching this week! The food-loving trio of diversiPRO upgraded OPA’s offerings by adding new exciting dishes, which are a mix of Italian, French, and Greek influences.

Entering the restaurant instantly transports you to a place which seems very far from the city bustle. OPA’s ambience is stylish and sophisticated—with white walls lined up with paintings made by local artists; a decorative wine rack; and colorful, intricately-designed vases strewn around, punctuating the classiness of the restaurant.

But while the atmosphere gravitates a bit towards the posh side, dining at OPA is certainly a lot more casual. Open to hotel guests and walk-in diners alike, OPA is a perfect venue for sharing simple, no-fuss Mediterranean food.

OPA’s new menu consists of 15 items. We were lucky enough to have Chef Dennis Edillon himself prepare the food for us. We started with the Tapenade (P195), a dip made of blended olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil, served with crostini and pita bread. I preferred the crusty bread over pita, but somehow I wished the dip were a bit more herby.

The Crab Brandade (P350) fared better—two huge crab cakes with a side salad and roasted pepper aioli. Lovers of crabmeat would definitely love this; but if aligue is simply too evil for you, just munch on the generous portion of greens. However, I couldn’t promise that doing that wouldn’t be boring, haha!

My favorite among the appetizers was the Double Mushroom Soup (P165): a creamy puree of button and shiitake mushrooms. This comforting bowl is satisfyingly rich, with yogurt adding an extra delightful creaminess. It’s awesome as it is, but I bet it would even be more so with … you know, my Kryptonite … TRUFFLE oil!

Moving on to the mains. OPA is introducing three types of souvlaki into their new menu. There was the chicken (P325): tender chunks of lean white meat, flavorful and cooked perfectly; the beef (P385), which was juicy, tender, and smoky; and the lamb (P350), which I found delicious and lacking that nasty gamey flavor, but a bit tough.

Each souvlaki plate comes with two skewers of your preferred meat, a side salad, pita, and tzatziki. The portions were huge and perfect for sharing. Out of the three, my favorite was the chicken.

At this point I was beginning to feel full, so imagine my disbelief when Chef Dennis brought out his new pasta dish: the Carbonara di Mare (P450). Far from the usual carbonara, OPA’s rendition has prosciutto in lieu of bacon—a brilliant recreation if you ask me. Mushrooms, shrimps, mussels and salmon are tossed with linguini, egg yolks and fresh cream, then topped with grated parmesan. I couldn’t think of a possible way to make this dish better.

I was equally impressed with OPA’s new pizza: the Quattro Formaggi (P395), a 10-inch pie loaded with mozzarella, blue cheese, parmesan, and Edam (Queso de Bola). The sharp flavors of Edam and blue cheese result in a bold, intoxicating assault to the senses; I found myself reaching for multiple slices.

But just when I thought I had already eaten enough for a week, Chef Dennis brought out the real highlight of the day: the Pressed Pork Belly (P320). A thick, humongous slab of pork belly, brined with salt and brown sugar, marinated with herbs, garlic, and white wine, slow-cooked, then finished at high temperature to achieve that perfect crispness.

I couldn’t fully express how much I loved this dish, but I can enumerate the reasons why: the contrasting textures from the crunchy skin and tender meat; the meat flavorful enough to be eaten on its own; the sweetish roasted eggplant mash it was served with. OPA recommends it with garlic rice, but for me it was perfect even on its own.

After that wicked encounter, I swear I almost didn’t notice there were desserts. But OPA actually has 3 new sweet offerings: the Crème Brulee (P275), with a creamy custard base and a caramelized topping; the Crème Chocolat (P285), which uses dark chocolate ganache instead of hardened caramel; and the Blueberry Panna Cotta (P225), a creamy dessert topped with real blueberries and blueberry sauce.

Don’t forget to wash down everything with OPA’s exquisite drink selections. I highly recommend the refreshing Cucumber Yogurt Cooler (P220), which cleanses the palate, perfect if you’re sampling a variety of dishes. They also have a Passion Fruit Tea (P175), a concoction made of green tea and passion fruit flavoring.

Ms. Len Santos, one of the owners of OPA, makes a mean limoncello, an Italian liquor traditionally served as a digestif. Syrupy and zesty at the same time, it’s typically served with 15% alcohol content, but you may request them to make it stronger (or weaker) if you wish. Make sure you order a shot after dessert!

With a feast like this composed of bold flavors and playful twists to Mediterranean classics, I have no doubts that OPA’s new menu will be a hit among its guests and patrons. I’ve always told my friends that I was born in the wrong continent—that I should be eating foods like these on a daily basis. Well, luckily, restaurants like OPA do exist, making it possible for me to enjoy a sumptuous meal with family and friends while swapping stories and pouring shots. As for you, all you have to do is look around and make an exciting new discovery.

L-R: Joubert Yao, Chef Dennis Edillon, Len Santos, Alu Aran, and Pepe Samson


~*~
OPA Mediterranean-Inspired Cuisine
2/F Somerset Millennium Hotel, 104 Aguirre Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
02.556.5905
6:00AM – 10:00PM
Email: dprophilippines@gmail.com
Facebook: OPA
Instagram: @opaatmillennium
Menu: click here
Budget: around PhP500-700/head


Where is your go-to place for Mediterranean food?

My meal was sponsored by OPA! Mediterranean-Inspired Cuisine. All opinions, however, are my own.

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