Unobtrusively set on a Colmore Business District side street Opus is a good example of Brum’s recent culinary progeny. It’s favoured by the business set who take their Two-Martini lunches here with a side of something tasty.
First impressions on a quiet Monday night were that it’s perhaps a little too sterile. While we sat in the bar with a pre-dinner cocktail it seemed echoey and shiny enough to have dropped out of an 80’s Easton Ellis novel (“Why aren’t we at Dorsia?”), and I worried that the food would be far too nouveau – big white plates with nothing on them except a splodge of sea urchin ceviche.
We perused the menu while we nibbled the fresh breads, some of which were deliciously curry flavoured. We ordered a Malbec from the extensive wine list to go with the red meat and game which are clearly the star of this menu’s show. I had quail then venison while most of my compatriots had the pretty ballotine of rabbit chicken and apricot to start, followed by the fillet steak. Safe to say the food was plentiful and well cooked and presented although the Dauphinoise that came with the steak wasn’t Dauphinoise (I think it was pan fried in butter). The service was pleasant and the maître d’ knowledgable about the food and wine list, suggesting some lovely pudding wines to go with our choices. My chocolate assiette was perfectly unctuous although it could’ve done without the puddle of foam which tasted of cow (this criticism was taken by the maître d’ with good grace).
The à la carte is fairly pricey (I actually wonder whether it’s deliberately overpriced so as to keep out the riffraff like me) although there’s a daily market menu, three courses for £25 including a glass of wine, which is much more reasonable.
There are many potential uses as a venue. It has plenty of room for a standing drinks reception, and there are two large private dining rooms which would be perfect for boardroom style dining but not really for any private social event in my opinion given how shut-away they are. Also, the restaurant has a proper chef’s table in the kitchen so you can get up close and personal to the culinary action.
I’d definitely go back with colleagues for dinner, or for a lovely lunch with friends, but it wasn’t warm and inviting enough for a romantic or a family meal. Not to worry though, it shouldn’t try to be all things to all men, and there are plenty of other places in Brum to nosh at (as per my other reviews qq.v.).