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Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour

Home > London > Bars | Nightlife | Restaurants
by Caroline Haack (subscribe)
Fine art student and freelance writer from Paris, living in London. carolinehaack.wixsite.com/home
Published April 15th 2017
An surprising Chinatown bar

When you think of Chinatown, casinos, restaurants and souvenir shops come to mind. Nevertheless, the old Hollywood movies come to mind and a Chinatown cliché would rather be a little illegal bar, hidden in a shady building. To fulfil your envy of this gangster movie atmosphere, you can go in the Opium cocktail and dim sum parlour in Chinatown. Even its name makes you understand to what you're heading.

To begin with, don't forget to take a reservation, especially on a weekend when it is quite busy. The customer base that goes there is a wealthy businessman on a date to tourists coming especially to experience this place. Arriving there, don't be afraid if you don't see a front, you'll only have access to a staircase, guarded by a bouncer checking on his talkie walkie if your table is ready. He'll redirect you to one of the several lounges on the different floors. Each one has its own ambience and ornamentation, as a slight incense odour floats everywhere in the building. The music can sometimes be really loud, so you'll have to speak loudly with your friends.

Installed in a cosy, gloomy interior, you will be invited to choose from a large variety of their cocktails, as well as from platters of their famous dim sum. Some of the ingredients of the drinks can be unknown to you but it is part of the mystery that you can feel in this place. Trust me, these cocktails are amazing, with such a diversity of flavours, they are definitely worth the price. The most famous one is simply called Opium Cup and is known to be a smoking dry ice drink in a calabash. Its taste is a bit special as it is composed of olmeca altos tequila, cactus, pimiento, ginger and oolong tea. The whole thing is still very impressive - try it if you want to brag about going to fancy bars on social media.



From what I tested: my favourites are "A rose by another name" and "Dragon Lady" but as they are all very different and special, choose as you feel. Also, maybe try the mysterious Yam Sing shot, which is cheaper because of its quantity but still a real mixture as it changes depending on the fresh ingredients.



For the food, I would recommend taking the classic dim sum platter to share (or not), as it is a mix of all the standard flavours. You can also try the more exotic ones, like the Spicy Duck Dumplings or the Mushroom and Truffle Dumplings.



Check out their whole menu on their website.
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Phone: 44 20 7734 7276
Where: The Jade Door, 15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE
Cost: Cocktails from £11, dim sum from £6
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