Three Different Experiences!
This amazing cocktail bar in Chinatown is easy to walk past so is perfect hidden gem. You have a choice of three fantastic bars, each with a different experience so there is no getting bored here. The drinks list changes seasonally so keeps you on your toes!
Peony is the basement bar within Opium, hidden behind the red curtain. It is cosy and romantic so perfect for a date night cocktail or two. The theme is a journey through China.
We tried the Harbin: Fair vodka, salted caramel, crab apple, sweet spices & single batch hand rolled Oolong Himachal Prades (£14) and the Beijing: Kyro Koskue rye gin, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, vanilla, strawberry, yuzu, quinoa & brown rice. The presentation of both cocktails was perfect. The Beijing was served with a small pot of edible paint and a small calligraphy style pen to draw patterns on the accompanying sugar which could be dipped into the cocktail to make it slightly sweeter.
We also could not resist trying some of the dim sum! We opted for the Dim Sum Platter (£16). This was served with four Siu Mai, two Har Gau, two Char Siu Bao & two seasonal vegetable dumplings. This was a great selection of dim sum packed with filling and flavour (especially with the chilli oil!).
Take a seat to see the action and get involved in the Feng Shui or classic Apothecary menu. We had the Companion from the Feng Shui menu – a couple who love each other tell a thousand things without talking (aww!). This was served with Bols Genever, Mondino Amaro, coconut, raspberry, sweet thai basil, lemon and honey. It was beautifully decorated with a honey dipper and edible bee!
We also loved the Opium n°7 Built from the Apothecary menu. With Olmeca Altos tequila infused with vanilla, cactus liqueur, ginger, agave, black tea & lime served over dry ice, this sure is a theatrical cocktail (£13.50).
Accompanying the cocktails we had tasty spicy duck dim sum and truffle and mushroom.
The Academy is on the top floor with one half set as an old Chinese family lounge area and the other half as The Carriage full of booths leading to the Bartender’s Table. The table is where it is at – you get to be at the forefront of the mixing and can sit chatting to the bartenders.
We opted for the Stiggins Presidente: Plantation Pineapple rum, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, Dolin Dry vermouth, pineapple syrup (£12) which was fresh but not too sweet.
We absolutely loved Opium. The creativity and effort that has been put into the various cocktail menus is second to none. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and will happily help run through the menu and give recommendations. This gorgeous cocktail bar in Chinatown is not to be missed!
East London Girl: Opium
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