Chinatown has come a long way since the Opium dens of the late 19th Century: enter Dre Masso and Eric Yu’s Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour. Sprawling over three floors of a historical townhouse, with nine distinct rooms, this Opium is a den for the more salubrious pursuits of fine dining and drinking.
Behind a jade door is a cornucopia of flexible drinking and dining spaces: lounge seating, for grazing and sharing; intimate boudoir-drinking-dens and open-plan bars. Centre-piece of the second floor is the Chinese Apothecary bar where 'mysterious' liquids are identified by a coding system of Chinese characters.
Above via a carriage-saloon reminiscent of the Orient Express, is the attic Academy where cocktail connoisseurs can watch Dre and his team work their magic at the 'bartenders table'. The concise cocktail menu based on premium spirits will evolve seasonally with the ingredients discovered locally – in Chinatown. Dre will be running a training school for aspiring mixologists.
The 'humble' dim sum has been updated with the finest sea food such as Razor clams, Scallops and Langoustine and even Poppy seed lobster toast. We also recommend the Legend of St John, a new take on Siu long bao promising to marry Shanghai street-food and Michelin-star dining. Special cocktail and dim sum pairings include Lobster dumplings with XO dipping sauce where the zing of horseradish is balanced by the richness of Cognac.
The design, by Office Sian & Kai Design, features ornately-carved furniture, tones of rich red and porcelain blue, opulent prints with metallic finishes, tinted glass and mirrors playing with the perspective.
Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Parlour,
15-16 Gerrard Street, W1