OPA caused quite the fuss in Alexandria when it first opened in Casino El-Shatby, with its beautiful scenic seaview, and striking Santorini-styled ambience. That’s why when we heard that OPA had made it to Cairo, we were pretty keen to go check it out. The Greek Restaurant is hidden away in Eden Mall, a newly-opened mall in the insides of Sheikh Zayed. Most of the stores haven’t been occupied yet, so OPA seems to have the whole mall to itself at this point.
It boasts a spacious outdoor area and a smaller area indoors, surrounded by glass walls with an overall Greek theme; blue wooden furniture, bright-coloured faux flowers, and navy-blue door fixtures. It was somewhat chilly outside on the evening we went, so we opted for an indoor couch, where we got the menu and began to browse the dishes.
The first thing we noticed was the limited range of Greek dishes on offer. Other than that, Opa has a selection of what any other café in town offers; pizzas, pasta, salads, and various mains. We decided to get the Fried Calamari (71LE) as a starter; served with a tasty tartar sauce on the side, the portion was fairly sizable, the calamari was of good quality, and the batter had a good crunch.
After some thought, we finally settled on our mains; we got the Greek Beef Souvlaki (86LE); Greek-style pieces of beef with pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce. This was a controversial dish; the meat was rather rubbery with no distinct taste, and the pita was a bit on the doughy side while the tzatziki also wasn’t particularly tasty; it could easily have been mistaken for regular mayo. We returned the dish, but the staff were very nice about it and offered to remake it or replace it immediately- but we were okay just to return it.
Our second dish was the Seafood Cocktail (240LE)- shrimp, fish, calamari and crab tajin with alfredo sauce topped with mozzarella cheese. The plate was beautifully presented in a big clam sided with white rice and French fries. The quality of the seafood was excellent, and it was perfectly cooked.
To end our meal, we took a glance at the dessert page and picked the Crunchy Munchy (66LE)- chocolate molten cake stuffed with hazelnuts, covered with Belgian chocolate and chocolate sauce. This dessert had its ups and downs; the chocolate filling was rich and creamy with a side of vanilla ice-cream; however, the cake itself was a bit dry on the outside.
While our food experience suffered a couple of mishaps that could happen anywhere else, OPA’s setting still has what it takes to attract Cairenes; a wide range of options, a friendly and helpful staff, and an atmosphere that is worth trying.