Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Celebration of Flavors at Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine

An affirmation, exclamation, and declaration, a pronouncement of celebration, and the celebration of life itself...the familiar Greek expression "Opa!" captures it all in just one word. And it's a fitting name to describe the celebration of authentic Greek flavors at Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine...

Specializing in traditional Mediterranean cuisine, the flavorful confluence of rich Eastern Mediterranean, Southern European, and North African culinary influences, Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine serves the best of the region's rich culinary flavors.

Located at the second floor of the elegant Somerset Millenium in Makati's Legaspi Village, Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine's central location provides easy access to authentic Greek cuisine while at the Makati CBD. The spacious layout, with its clean and pure white tones, evokes a rustic and cozy vibe, and you immediately feel at home.  

Vibrant splashes of color from paintings by local artists add warmth to the crisp white interiors. Managing Partner Len L. Santos and her partners behind Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine supports the local arts, displaying different pieces by noted local artists on a regular basis, allowing you to feast with your eyes before your meal. 

A refreshing Cucumber Yogurt Cooler (P 220) starts my Mediterranean dining experience at Opa.  The creamy and tart yogurt is balanced by the mild notes of the fresh cucumber, clean flavors that open up your palate for the coming feast. Managing Partner and Chef Joubert U. Yao offers a full range of healthy smoothies, coolers, teas and other beverages to complement their menu.

Chef Dennis T. Edillon then fires up the kitchen, and the appetizers are served. Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine's Crab Brandade (P 350), crisp and tender pan-fried crabmeat and potato patties drizzled with spicy roasted pepper aioli starts the celebration of flavors. The delicate flavors of the crabmeat are juicy, with a comforting crisp layer for contrasting textures. The creamy spicy roasted pepper aioli adds the finishing touch with a layer of rich flavor. A side of salad completes the fresh flavors of the dish.

In between, Chef Dennis T. Edillon served his Tapenade Dip (P 175), Provencal dip of pureed olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil, served with warm pita and crostini. The simple and rustic dish captures the sunny and bold flavors of the Mediterranean with the sharp notes from the olives, capers and anchovies, perfectly balanced by the nutty olive oil. Soft and chewy pita or a lightly toasted crostini, the tapenade simply works well with both.

Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine's hearty Double Mushroom Soup (P 165), a comforting thick and creamy button and shiitake mushroom soup topped with refreshing yogurt is then served. The rich blend of button and shiitake mushrooms combine for rich flavors, and the yogurt adds that hint of creaminess for even more flavors. The thick and grainy texture, with its "double mushroom" blend, adds that distinct bite for pure and fresh flavors. Spoonful after spoonful, the smooth flavors keep you going for more, and soon, all you'll see is the bottom of the bowl.  

A trio of grilled dishes are then served, Opa's Chicken Souvlaki (P 325), marinated in seasoned olive oil and char-grilled, served with a crisp and fresh vegetable salad, garlic yoghurt dip and choice of pita or rice...

...the Lamb Souvlaki (P 350)...

...and Beef Souvlaki (P 385), each perfectly grilled with tender and juicy meat complemented by the creamy garlic yoghurt dip. Simply take a piece of warm pita, place a skewer in between and gently pull, add a dollop of garlic yoghurt dip and some fresh onion rings, olives, tomatoes and lettuce, and repeat. Each skewer has its own distinct flavor, with the mild and delicate notes of the chicken, the clean flavors of the lamb without the gamey hint, and the bold beef flavors. Chicken, beef or lamb, all winners. And there's more...

Chef Dennis T. Edillon then brings out a simple yet elegantly plated dish with a beautiful slab of pork. After quick work on the remaining Souvlaki, I was hungry for more. Nothing quite like a slab of pork belly to start you up for another round. Opa's signature Pressed Pork Belly (P 320), tender pork baked with garlic and white wine on roasted eggplant mash, served with a side of garlic rice. Pure eye candy.

I used a regular knife, not even a carving knife, to gently slice a thick piece of the juicy pork belly, and the sound of crisp crackling whets your appetite even more. The pork belly is perfectly tender and juicy with a layer of light and crisp crackling, with buttery flavors. You don't need any sauce at all, this one's perfect as is. The smoky roasted eggplant mash provides creamy flavors complementing the richness of the pork. Extra garlic fried rice? Absolutely.

But Chef Dennis T. Edillon isn't quite done yet. Nope, not by a long shot. There's more. Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine's Carbonara di Mari (P 450), a rich pasta dish with prosciutto, salmon, shrimps, mussels, and mushrooms in cream sauce. The medley of fresh flavors, from the clean and buttery notes of the salmon, the sweet and briny shrimps and mussels, the nutty mushrooms, and the sharp and bold flavors of the prosciutto are balanced by the rich and creamy white sauce.

Finally, Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine's Quattro Formaggi is served, (P 395), a rustic style pizza topped with Mozzarella, Parmesan, Blue Cheese and Edam. The sharp Edam adds that flavorful punch, along with the Parmesan, for bold, upfront flavors, while the Mozzarella and Blue Cheese leave a mellow and creamy mouthfeel that lingers. Pure, balanced flavors in every slice.

Cap your meal with one of Opa's signature desserts, like the indulgent Creme Chocolate (P 275), Creme Brulee (P 275), and Blueberry Panna Cotta (P 225). Perfect with a robust cup of coffee.

And in true Mediterranean style, have a traditional digestivo after your meal. A shot of chilled Limoncello, made from the zest of lemons spiked with just a hint of vodka is just what you need after a Mediterranean feast at Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine. 

From starters to mains and desserts, experience a true celebration of Mediterranean flavors at Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine, a cozy and sunny spot of the Mediterranean in the heart of the bustling Makati CBD.

Opa! Mediterranean Cuisine is located at the Second Floor of Somerset Millenium, 104 Aguirre Street, Legaspi Village, Makati or call 556-5905 for inquiries and reservations.

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  1. wow great find! Food looks good and the price is very reasonable. The family loves mediterranean. will definitely recommend this.

    1. Hi Stacy, great food and great prices, definitely a must try!


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