If you like dinner AND dancing then this London hotspot is the place for you!
Opium Bar London - Restaurant Review
Cuisine: Japanese and Mediterranean Fusion
Style Points: 5/5
I recently had the opportunity to dine at one of the newest additions to London’s high-end nightlife scene located in the heart of Soho on Rupert Street.
Opium London is the fourth venue, and first international location, to a portfolio of world-class nightclubs and restaurants owned and operated by Barcelona-based hospitality group, Costa Este Group, who own a plethora of trendy hotspots including the renowned Pacha Barcelona.
The group has been defining the nightlife scene and was recently awarded ‘Best Nightlife Business Group 2018’ by The International Nightlife Association.
Although my clubbing days are well and truly behind me, I was excited to see what the nightclub-cum-restaurant had to offer in terms of atmosphere, cocktails and food.
The venue itself is quite an unusual dining space in that it combines a restaurant, bar and nightclub into one space so guests can enjoy dinner and then continue to party long into the night.
The venue is super sleek and boasts all the modern features of a nightclub including futuristic LED lighting, reflective black marble floors, white leather booths, and of course, glowing purple pyramid-shaped light displays. My guest and I immediately knew this was not going to be a normal restaurant dining experience.
We asked the bartender/mixologist what he would recommend for a rum based cocktail and he suggested Ebony’s Confection - bacardi anejo cuarto rum, creme de figue, mozart black, cinnamon syrup and chocolate bitters. The cocktail was fantastic and was a great way to start our dining experience.
We were seated right in the middle of the dance floor/dining area right in front of the DJ playing a host of electric and trance anthems and mixes. As we were the only diners it did feel quite surreal but also quite cool and definitely made us feel super trendy and ‘hip’, if that’s still a thing!
The Portuguese head chef, Diogo Amaro, has envisioned a menu of Mediterranean cuisine with Japanese influences drawing upon his experience working at London’s top restaurants including Novikov and MNKY HSE. The food menu includes fresh sushi and sashimi and we were impressed by the presentation and taste of the Prawn Tempura rolls and California rolls which we had to start.
I had my doubts about how good food could be in a nightclub, especially something as delicate and unforgiving as sushi, but my doubts definitely disappeared after the starters. The Prawn Tempura rolls were presented beautifully and made with avocado, mayo and tibiko, and the California rolls were equally beautifully with a filling of kingcrab, avocado, yuzu and cucumber.
Next up, we had the Iberian ham croquettes, Crispy Calamari with lime mayo, and Vegetable spring rolls. I absolutely love cured Iberian pork and the flavours within the croquette were great. By no means an insult, the taste reminded me of Findus cheese and ham pancakes which I had as a child and I absolutely loved those so it was a great trip down memory lane!
The crispy calamari was sweet and plentiful and went perfectly with the creamy tangy lime mayo. I must admit I’m not the biggest fan of spring rolls and often find they taste quite one-dimensional. These were nice enough but ultimately didn’t change my mind about ordering them in the future.
For mains, we tried the Truffle and Mushroom risotto and the Sea Bass with almondcream. The risotto was perfectly cooked and rich with the complimenting flavours of mushroom and truffle.
The generous portion of truffle shavings on top of the risotto really elevated the dish and it was a joy to eat. The delicate Sea Bass was also cooked to perfection and, although I was skeptical at first, the sweet, nutty and creamy flavour of the almondcream complimented the fish perfectly.
To finish our meal on a sweet note, my guest and I shared the Vanilla Brulee with caramelised banana. The dish was presented beautifully and the brulee had the hard caramelised sugar top which is always a delight to crack into.
Inside, the vanilla creme was smooth and sweet with the taste of fresh vanilla beans. The buttery crumb sprinkled around the dish was a great addition and the banana was expertly caramelised to end the dinner on a high.
As you can expect, dining in a London nightclub is no cheap feat and you can expect to pay premium prices. The Prawn tempura and California rolls were around £17-18, the Ham Croquettes and Vegetable Spring Rolls were £7-8, the Truffle and Mushroom Risotto was £30 and the Sea Bass was £26.
Although by no means cheap, you do get a decent portion with each dish and you could easily share all the dishes between two people. Cocktails are around £13 which is the average price in a high-end London venue.
I was genuinely impressed with the food Opium London has to offer. As I mentioned, I did have my doubts about how good food in a nightclub could be but Diogo and his team have done an impressive job of bringing Japanese and Spanish flavours to London’s nightlife scene.
If you are a bit of clubber and want to dine in style before drinking and dancing the night away then Opium London is the perfect place to do all three.
Find our more on Opium London’s website:
Address: 9 Rupert St, London W1D 6DG
Closest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus
Special thanks to Opium London for their hospitality!
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