With the opening of Oppa, the restaurant scene in St Andrews continues to expand across new cultures and flavors. I remember my days as a first year, looking at the limited restaurant options in St Andrews. I remember feeling underwhelmed, when eating out meant having only a burger, pizza or the occasional curry. Now, only three years later, the change in this town is well noticeable. St Andrews now offers foods from Scandinavia to Japan. You can find yourself in a quiet intimate restaurant or just as easily in a vibrant pub with live music. We even have an all plant-based restaurant. I never saw the day we would have that. Considering the mere size of St Andrews, these changes are incredible. It truly feels like the town is beginning to reflect the diversity of the population it caters to.
Oppa is just one of the many other restaurants contributing to this change, bringing the tastes of Korea and Japan to St Andrews in a new, lively setting.. It offers both an extensive take away and sitting in menu, both of which bring new food opportunities to St Andrews. In terms of take-aways, Oppa possesses a variety of sushis, sashimis and poke bowls readily available in their fridge, and made fresh daily. In addition, you can make your own sushirito, customize your own poke bowl, or request a variety of buns. So next time you’re queuing at Pret for the millionth time, know that you have Oppa right across the street as an option to spice up your lunches! Oppa also offers a diverse and exciting sit in menu. There you can order Korean classics such as Jjigae, Bibimbap and Mandu. Not familiar with these dishes? That’s alright! The waiters are very helpful. Not very good with spice? They can accommodate! Not sure how to eat it? They’ll give you advice! There are a variety of steaming hot rice bowls, sushi, noodle soups and more.
It has been a tradition with my extended family to get Korean food whenever we meet up. We’re not even Korean, just huge fans. So when I heard there was a new Korean sit down restaurant in St Andrews, I could hardly believe it. The first time I went, I tried the pork belly jjigae. I was off the walls when I read that they had one of my favorite Korean food on the menu. This is a spicy stew with a variety of vegetables, tofu and/or meat. It is a salty and savory broth with an orange red color. It is served in a hot bowl. Whenever jjigae comes out from the kitchen, it looks almost menacing, something to conquer. That is exactly what I did, or tried to at least, and it was delicious. With this soup, along with many other of their dishes, they ask you about the level of spice you want. I thought I was pretty good with spice, so I confidently asked for a medium spice level. Warning: it was pretty hot – temperature and spice wise. I was fully sweating and my nose was running, but don’t let this discourage you. Even though my mouth was on fire, the broth was so flavorful . My friend next to me was in the same sweaty, runny nose state as me. So this felt like something of a bonding moment. If you like spicy food, this will definitely be the meal for you. It comes with a side of purple rice that pairs very well. Portion wise, the piping hot bowl I received was pretty substantial. I took the rest home and added ramen noodles to it for lunch for the next day..
Every time a waiter brought food out from the kitchen, I couldn’t help but turn my head to every outgoing dish. With that in mind, Oppa is one of those restaurants where there are so many appealing options on the menu, that you already know you’ll be coming back to try more. I vowed to myself that when I return, I would try the bibimbap. This is a Korean rice bowl with an assortment of vegetables and meat in a beautiful, multicolored arrangement. However, I also told myself I would try their assortment of noodle soups, as well as their sushi variety. So it looks like I’ll be making many trips to Oppa.
Another new element that Oppa brings is its ambiance. It gives off a modern and hip vibe. The walls are decorated with urban artwork and hanging plants. The music is very fun and lively. During dinner hours, the restaurant is usually packed with groups of students, all enjoying the various options. I highly recommend it as a great place to try new foods amongst friends. Oppa definitely has a lot to offer. If there’s one thing for sure, you’ll definitely be seeing there.