Reuniting with two of the lovely ladies I went with to Kefalonia last year,  the consensus was that Greek food would be a fabulous idea, and so it was. E had discovered Opso, a relatively new restaurant (about 9 months old now) hidden away in the hinterlands off Baker Street. Paddington Street appears to be something of a Little Greece, as you pass the Hellenic Centre and a couple of other Greek restaurants to get there (including The Real Greek, a firm favourite of mine).

Opso bills itself as ‘Greece inspired, London made’, and claims to focus on both traditional and modern flavours. Inside it’s a long, narrow room (there’s a bar up at the front) with a communal table running down the middle and tables off to either side, and more room downstairs. It’s bright and buzzy, and there is an inventive cocktail list (we tried the Paddington Street: London dry gin, pistachio-vanilla syrup, pineapple chunks and fresh lemon juice – delicious; and the Perfect Thyme: Ouzo, thyme liqueur, violet liqueur, fresh lemon juice and basil leaves – unusual and refreshing).

But it’s the food which triumphs. It’s a mix of small plates and larger ones, and we shared a fair few. Flavour rules here; everything is either delicate and subtle, or hits you over the head with a big, bold, brash taste. Here’s what we had:

We started with ‘barrel-matured creamy feta cheese with grilled sourdough’ – this was feta which had the consistency of butter – it was very spreadable and not crumbly like feta usually is, served in herb infused oil.  Very moreish. Alongside that we shared a pale but delicate taramasalata, served with long, thin crackers, and a slab of spanakopita – served cold – which was more like a spinach torte. This was also pretty good.

But it was the mains which really impressed. We stuck largely to meat, ordering a lamb shank ‘cooked for 15 hours’ with tomato orzo, slow-cooked chicken drumstick with potato puree and a lemon and oregano sauce, and pastitsio. This is normally served in Greece as a type of baked pasta dish, but here it was kind of deconstructed, with the minced meat in a tomato sauced served on top of flat pasta, covered with bechamel sauce. It was creamy and delicious.

But I reserve my finest praise for the lamb and the chicken. The lamb literally fell off the bone; it was tender, young, and melted in the mouth; we kept tearing at it, like savages. The chicken was aromatic, flavoured with more thyme, and the sauce was just tangy enough. We mopped everything up. Feeling brave/stupid we decided we could make room for a couple of desserts: Galaktoboureko was balls of custard deep fried in filo pastry – insanely decadent – and we had a dish of red berries with vanilla creme anglaise. Washed down with two bottles of a really good, fruity Mountain Fish Pelopponese red, it left us stuffed but wishing we could eat it all again.

It’s not cheap, but the cooking is very good indeed, and I’d definitely go back. Can I go tomorrow?

Value for money: 7.5

Food: 8.5

Atmosphere: 8