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A new Greek-inspired restaurant from the Manteca team; opening Spring 2024.

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Have you eaten at Oma?

2-4 Bedale Street, London, SE1 9AL

Oma Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Oma Restaurant in SE1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Oma restaurant.
Hugh N
some spectacular moments in a great meal. t...
Reviewed 16 days ago

"some spectacular moments in a great meal. the simple bread and dips are to die for. "

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What the Newspaper Critics are saying

Evening Standard

Back on more familiar positive-review territory, Jimi Famurewa enjoyed some “surprising and utterly scintillating” cooking at David Carter’s “twin-pack of blockbusting Borough Market openings”, a Greek-inspired upstairs-and-downstairs pair which “draw their power from a kind of sophisticated primality”.

Although Agora (meaning market) is “almost illegally fun” on a Friday night, Jimi feels that its food sometimes lacks direction. “In my view Oma, the Greek word for ‘raw’, is the one to go for.”

The occasional intrusion of non-Greek elements – XO sauce from China, ceviche from Mexico – showed that Colombian chef Jorge Paredes was more interested “gently heretical capturing of culinary essence” rather than authenticity. All the better, in Jimi’s view: “the combination of ancient Greek simplicity and definably London gastronomic rule-breaking is nothing short of, well, epic.”

Jimi Famurewa - 2024-05-05

The Times

Giles Coren wins the ‘review of the week’ award for his rave over the latest
Borough Market hotspot, which he rates as “hands down, pants off, run around screaming, slam-dunk best-of-the-year-so-far joint in central London”.

Conceived by David Carter of Smokestak and Manteca – “who sounds like Garry Sobers”, a fellow “Bajan genius” – Agora is “Greek in spirit but Turkish, Yemeni, Italian, Lebanese, not fusion, not parodic, not taking the piss…”

The bread alone brought out the lyrical best in Giles. The acma verde is, he said, a sort of Greek bagel “in the sense that the Parthenon is a kind of Greek shed” – it’s “a pureblood prince among baked loops of dough”, while the “stop all the clocks” spanakopita – melted sheep’s and goat’s cheese and spinach, herbed and spiced, with a square of flaky-sticky Yemeni flatbread – had him riffing on W.H. Auden: “Cut off the telephone. Stop the dog from barking with a juicy bone (we actually had the juicy bone ourselves, right at the end).”

In short, Giles suggested, “there is nothing else like it” – certainly in London, and probably in Athens.

Giles Coren - 2024-05-12

The Guardian

Grace Dent added her vote to another contender for “opening of the year”, the “laid-back but gastronomically highfalutin” upstairs half of the new Athens-inspired operation from David Carter that is part of Borough Market’s recent push as a proper dining destination.

“Oma is different from most other places round these parts. It is a nerdish, painstakingly thought-out, relaxed but high-end Greek-ish space-age taverna up a flight of stairs, and overlooking the melee outside.”

The hummus, Grace says, is “showstopping”. “That’s what happens when David Carter of  Smokestak  and Manteca and Ecuadorian chef Jorge paredes, formerly of  Sabor in Mayfair , spend 18 months tinkering with the recipe before serving their hummus masabacha-style – that is, much smoother and runnier than you may be used to. Crunchy chickpeas swim in this silky custard, which is topped with a spicy, bright green coriander zhoug.”

Grace’s other menu tips are the deconstructed spanakopita, which is “frankly obscene”, while of the clay pot offerings, the wild red prawn giouvetsi with orzo and deep-fried prawn butter is already causing a stir as “a glossy, set, incredibly fishy puddle that teeters on the brink of too much”.

Grace Dent - 2024-05-19

Daily Mail

Tom Parker Bowles took his turn in heaping praise on the latest venture from David Carter of East London stars Smokestak and Manteca, “one of those rare restaurateurs who cannot seem to put a foot wrong”.

“The cooking is nothing short of inspired,” he said of the menu put together by chefs Nick Molyviatis (ex-Kiln) and Jorge Paredes (ex-Sabor). “It’s Greek food, Jim, but not as we know it,” with elements of Mexican, Italian, French, Chinese and Italian gastronomy all making an unlikely but delicious contribution. 

Tom Parker-Bowles - 2024-05-26

The Times

Acknowledging his late arrival to the party, Tim Hayward noted that “All the critics and the entire digital gossip shop seem to have spoken of little else” since this new Greek place opened a couple of months ago. “Rightly so, it turns out, because when I finally got a table, and even though the waiter couldn’t stop telling me how thrilled he’d been to serve ‘both Giles and Grace!’, the food was bloody marvellous.”

The menu was familiar enough: hot breads, babaghanoush, red pepper dip, sea bass, Greek salad, charred squid, grilled lamb and spanakopita – all done unbelievably well. “They did a clementine gimlet that reminded me of being in love… The sea bass was a crudo that would have made a sushi master fall on his yanagiba.”

Tim reckons David Carter and his team have succeeded so spectacularly not by taking Greek food away from its stereotypes, but by adopting the same strategy that Gymkhana and Dishoom applied to Indian cuisine: “find the comfort zone the Brits have created for themselves, execute to an exceptional standard and charge fearlessly. They have taken what we think we know and are feeding it back to us, albeit with smooth and costly glamour.”

Tim Hayward - 2024-06-16
2-4 Bedale Street, London, SE1 9AL

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