Skip to main content

Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour in West End, London

The Jade Door, 15-16 Gerrard Street, Chinatown, West End, London, W1D 6JE
Cuisine: Dim Sum
Tel: Not on file | Email to Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour | Transport: Leicester Square | Write review

Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour Review

Book a table at Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour

Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour is featured in these Guides:

Best for: exquisite dim sum; Oriental cocktails; a night to remember.

Great: place for dates; interior design; at raising excitement.

In day-to-day life, I’m excitable. There only has to be a whisper of a new type of super soft fabric softener and I’m quivering.

But, despite its many restaurants and bars, when it comes to eating in London, I am rarely excited, often finishing an evening feeling deflated. Perhaps my job has spoiled my enthusiasm.

That is until I heard about Opium, a cocktail and dim sum parlour in the heart of central London’s Chinatown.

A place that draws inspiration from the opium dens of the 19th century? Exciting! Whilst I don’t want to suck on a pipe and get high, it is a never-lived nostalgia that has me forgetting about my fabric softener, excited instead about a place that before even passing through its door has encouraged me to daydream, unlike the modernist and sterile restaurants London seems to spit out at an unfathomable rate these days.

Opium pulls me from Chinatown’s colourful streets via a jade door and immediately that all too foreign feeling hits: excitement. Opium is designed to assault all the senses. In the dark of the stairwell, candles or incense must be burning as the first thing I notice is the smell, and then the warmth. It’s surprising how the instant temperature increase has me (here it is again) excited; and it feels almost humid, like the Orient.

Up to the third floor, I pass through the Train Carriage. Through dim lighting I can make out a mix of couples and small groups of friends invading the intimate nooks and crannies, lounging in floral chairs both grannies and East End designers would appreciate. Needing a reservation to get in, and using a discreet entrance, this is the ‘in the know’ crowd. Everyone is cool but not in a scenester way; these are interesting people having interesting conversations about art and literature and politics (I assume). A modern parallel to the alchemists reclining in the Chinese dens of past, discussing mythology, spirituality and religion.

Past the Train Carriage I perch upon a high stool at a large table known as the Bartender’s Academy which is where Opium really shines. I’m very much still excited. This is where I find cocktail expert Dre Masso who, along with bar entrepreneur Eric Yu, is the mastermind behind this parlour.

Unlike the Train Carriage with its alcoves, this space is lofty with its exposed beams, and intimate conversations are pushed aside in favour of conversations with whomever will care to listen. Here, the stranger next to you will become your confidant within 10 minutes.

Watching the contortions of Dre’s bartenders as they mix, shake and stir with what I think is called ‘pizazz’, I order my first cocktail: Opium Cocktail No.1, a drink which has more theatre than the entire West End. This cocktail is served in a traditional tea gourd, and Dre adds a ginseng capsule to the absinthe and rum base, activating a mist of dry ice. An ‘oooh’ escapes my lips. It’s short and that’s probably a good thing; the effect of its potency is probably what has those in the Train Carriage reminding me of opium den dwellers.

Back to the second floor to fill my absinthe-lined stomach and into the Chinese Apothecary where the shelves behind the bar are filled with identical looking bottles, the contents identified only by Chinese symbols. Another faultlessly designed room; my excitement hasn’t let up yet.

Deciding on what to eat isn’t hard, the dim sum menu is concise and I want it all. Not quite the whole menu but a more than ample cross section of delights including sesame and poppy lobster-prawn toast, crab and samphire dumplings, and scallop, coriander and pea dumplings. If you think you love dim sum, you have no idea. Opium will make you a dim sum snob. Through the use of delicate and fresh flavours and a unique twist on fillings, Opium has managed to make dim sum sophisticated. It is to dim sum what Hawksmoor is to steak.

Although my excitement hasn’t died, time has, and as much as I want to reside, permanently, at Opium, I still have to leave. Opium is a new idea born from an old age but never has it seemed so relevant at a time when most of what London regurgitates is soulless and uninspiring. Opium is what I would call a destination: you don’t go for one thing, you go for the whole experience, an experience which is, yep you guessed it, exciting.
...read more

Leave Your Review of Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour

Your name:
Email address:      
Home Town:
Atmosphere:
Value for Money rating:
Quality rating:
Your review:

Characters remaining: 2600

Subscribe to the Fluid e-newsletter: Get the hottest special offers, bar info and restaurant news first. You can unsubscribe at any time. We take your privacy very seriously and will never share your details with third parties witout your consent.
Complete

Your review has been submitted. Once you have verified your e-mail address, it will be displayed on the site.

Additional Information

Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour Food & Drinks

Email Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour

Name *
Email *      
Phone
3 + 2
Please prove you're not a machine by adding this simple sum.
Subject
Message
I agree to the Terms & Conditions
If this is your first message through the Fluid London, before your enquiry is sent to the venue, you will recieve a message asking you to confirm your email address. This is to prevent fraudulent enquiries and bookings.

Sending...

Mail sent!

Your review has been submitted. Once you have verified your e-mail address, it will be displayed on the site.

Please note that Fluid London has no affiliation with any venues listed on our websites

Send a link of Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour to a friend

Your Name *
Your Email *  
Send to email  
  Confirmation Code
Enter the number shown above:
Message
I agree to the Terms & Conditions
If this is your first message through the Fluid London, before your enquiry is sent to the venue, you will recieve a message asking you to confirm your email address. This is to prevent fraudulent enquiries and bookings.

Mail Sent!

A link to Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour on Fluid London has been sent.

Send another message

Please note that Fluid London has no affiliation with any venues listed on our websites

Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour Map

Nearby Venues

Nearby Pubs & Bars

Nearby Restaurants

 

Loved

"Hi guys, I come here with my friends and have very good time. I like your place very much and is very good times. I come back when I can soon. Thank you very much." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Dreadful pub, run by people who have zero idea about hospitality or running a pub. Upon arrival we sat in the back garden that only had one other table occupied , when we tried to order off the lunch menu..." Which venue is this?

Log in to Fluid London

Login with a Fluid username and password
Email:
Password:
Remember Me

Forgot your password?
Register as a new user?

Or login using FaceBook

Login with FaceBook
;