The name implies a louche 1920s’ Hong Kong den, although some think this dog-eared kitsch pile resembles a ‘waiting room in a Mao-era backstreet clinic’. Set behind a ‘jade door’, on the upper floors of a rambling, incense-infused Chinatown residence, Opium is open late for drinks and dim sum – so park at the bartender’s table or hide away in one of the dimly lit parlours. Whether co-owner Dré Masso’s crafted fancies are a sweet or sour experience depends on your take on oriental ideas such as Opium No. 3 (two rums, apricot brandy, white peony tea syrup, peach and lime juice with cinnamon essence) or fragrant Danxia rose – a Campari-infused drink that could double as an exotically perfumed body wash. At £10.50, you may prefer well-executed occidental classics. Either way, this yin-yang shebang merits inspection.
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