Date of review: December 15, 2016 | Reviewed by:
Ensconced in a quiet corner of Bangsar, this cosy neighbourhood restaurant draws a mixed clientele of the corporate, white-collar crowd and ladies of leisure. Every inch of its space including the shaded patio is put to good, practical use. Besides a small lounge upfront, most of the dining space is taken up by orderly rows of white clothed tables and black chairs. The décor is kept to a minimum and comprises shelves of wines and a row of wall-mounted photographic prints.
Start the ball rolling with the highly recommended Opus special combo platter. The crowd-pleasing curtain raiser of baked scallops, deep-fried baby squid, sautéed mushroom, smoked salmon rolls with rocket salad, asparagus beef rolls, and fried chicken tenders is ideal for sharing.
The varied pasta list offers 13 variations for ardent pasta fans to agonise over but the signature spaghetti a la Opus is the one to go for. Its enduring appeal stems from perfectly al dente pasta, lightly coated in fresh tomato sauce, augmented by the delicious accompaniment of succulent seafood.
Meaty options are aplenty and should prove satisfyingly noteworthy. The medium rare doneness of the air-flown, chilled grain-fed rib-eye (300gm) steak is spot on. Served with rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes and steamed vegetable, the tender steak is juicy and luscious to the bite when complemented with the rich and creamy gorgonzola sauce.
Another noteworthy main – grilled NZ rack of lamb – is a house specialty. The meat is deftly cooked to perfection and the rosemary-scented red wine sauce that comes along with the three sizeable cutlets provides the dish a slightly heady nuance.
For the finale, try the gelato espresso and panna cotta, which are guaranteed to end your meal on a sweet note.
The wine list contains an impressive array of Italian wines alongside a handful of labels from the New and Old World. Opus Bistro is one of the few restaurants in town that offers house-pouring wines by the glass, carafe (450ml) or bottle.
Dark cherry and plum notes prevailed in the medium-bodied Villa Rossi Rubicone Sangiovese, making it an amicable partner for the red meat dishes. While it lacks a lingering finish, it complements the food choices well.
The house selection of hot, cold and non-alcoholic beverages should keep teetotalers adequately hydrated.
The frontline team seems to be always in their element. From their effusive welcome to the moment they bid guests farewell, they are friendly and courteous without being overly fawning. A noticeably cohesive team, they collectively pull their weight in helping to set tables, keep water glasses constantly refilled, and remove empty dishes and soiled cutlery. Conscientious yet discreet, the whole team is eager to please and ensure diners’ various requests are quickly attended to.
The price at Opus Bistro is pretty fair considering the quality of Italian fare that features the mostly imported ingredients and top-notch service. At RM30++ per head, the three-course executive set lunch is an absolute steal. There is 20% discount on house-pouring wines during lunch too. Advance reservation is advisable during dinner as the restaurant is busy in the evenings.