Glasgow Far East-themed Opium experts in dim sum
- Christopher Lord
- 7 March 2011
Modern laid-back lounge feel with a slickly designed interior
Far East-themed Opium in Glasgow city centre for some expert dim sum
191 Hope Street, City Centre, Glasgow 0141 332 6668, www.opiumrestaurant.co.uk, £13 (lunch) / £17 (dinner)
This smart new city centre restaurant mixes traditional dim sum with fusion dishes from Malaysia, Singapore, China and Thailand. It has a modern laid-back lounge feel achieved through a slickly designed interior of dark neutral tones, clean lines and classy design motifs – reinforced by a soundtrack of cool jazz-themed music, and an exciting cocktail menu.
Opium's Hong Kong-trained chef Kwan Yu Lee has taught many UK chefs the technical and laborious art of dim sum cooking. Meaning ‘from the heart’, dim sum require lots of care and attention which is clearly evident here in two dozen choices including delicate dumplings of crab, king prawn and chive, and a lotus leaf-wrapped sticky rice parcel with chicken, mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
The fusion concept is successful across the main courses which are grouped into seafood, meat and poultry and vegetarian. Seafood dishes include steamed seabass, Thai red snapper, and a Malaysian dish of tender squid in a thick sauce that balances the tanginess of tamarind and turmeric with the sweetness of cherry tomatoes and pineapple. From the meats – featuring a Thai green curry, Hong Kong beef claypot and aromatic duck dishes – the highlght is classic kung pao chicken, stir-fried with ginger and whole chillis in a potent sweet sauce, and finished with macadamia nuts and served on a giant sampan-like prawn cracker.
Opened in late 2010, already diners are being greeted by name, signalling how fast it has become a place to revisit.
+ Genuinely welcoming with high-quality food
– Little pricier than most SE Asian places