Operating over three levels which provide three very distinct experiences, Opium might be the only, or one of the few, UK cocktail bars to serve dim sum alongside cocktails.
Opium‘s concept is beautiful, modern and fresh. Fine art is a big part of the business’s image and it really works.
It is a Chinatown cocktail bar hidden above Gerrard Street. If you can still find the Jade Door when the hinges are open and find your way up the red stairs, prepare to be transported back to 1920s Shanghai with a twist of modern indulgence.
There are three bars. Beginning with the Academy bar, which is located on the top floor and split into two sections, you’ll find a comfortable and casual lounge experience on one side and a bartenders table on the other to sit and watch drinks being made.
Drinks in the Academy bar include Chasing the Dragon, which is made using brandy, kumquat, chilli, bitter, pineapple, cardamon, quinine and salt.
Moving down to the second floor and you’ll find the Apothecary Bar, which also has two seating areas offering a mix of formal and informal spaces. The feel of this section is an apothecary, with medicine bottles behind the bar containing various concoctions.
Drinks in this space include Cloud of Pearls, which is made using vodka, jackfruit, lemonbalm, yuzu, goji and hibiscus.
Remaining on the second floor is a third bar to discover, the Peony Bar, which is a hidden secret behind a red curtain and is the smallest and most intimate space in the venue able to accommodate up to 30 people and is used as a private function area.
Each of the menus are beautifully designed and are like pieces of art in themselves. Dim sum is served from around 5pm until late weekdays and into the wee hours of the morning on weekends.