What happens when you cross the rituals of ancient China and the its courtesans with the legendary clubs of 1920s Shanghai? Not something you probably think about that much, if at all ever. That said if you were to, the answer would be a dim sum and cocktail bar in Brixton – who’d have thought?
Relaunching this September, Courtesan will weave together ancient and vintage feminine aesthetics with a futuristic thread. Neon lights, bright red graphics, jade velvet booths and large silk lanterns will sit alongside Chinese artefacts. Leading you down to the late-night venue will be a geometric neon-lit Sayagata patterned staircase and designed to confuse the senses the space will feature mirror installations and optical illusion art which we imagine will only be heightened once you’d had a cocktail or three. Championing women, all the wines and spirits will come from female producers and growers and well make use of Asian ingredients such as poppy liqueur, jasmine tea and beetroot powder. Making use of all of these will be the Opium, made from poppy liqueur, Alchermes, Martell VSOP cognac, Lapsang Souchong tea and beetroot powder.
Led by experienced dim sum chef Feng Juan Xue, the kitchen will be run by an all-female chef team who’ll be cooking up a menu of dim sum, noodle and rice dishes and bao buns. Expect the likes of Gujurati spiced pumpkin filling in a turmeric flavoured bao bun; king prawn and bean curd Cheung Fun and spiced rice with jerk chicken breast pieces steamed in a large lotus leaf parcel.
Not just for cocktails and dim sum though, Courtesan will also host a series of shows, live jazz music, parties and West End performers – highlights include burlesque every Saturday night and The Courtesan Club, vintage jazz on a Thursday.
Stop by for dim sum, settle in for a night of cocktails, watch a show with your friends, dance into the early hours, open seven days a week, Courtesan is your new go to place.
Courtesan 69-73 Atlantic Road, Brixton, SW9 8PU