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Opium's dim sum & cocktails 9th birthday masterclass

This week on my quest for quirky restaurants and unique experiences in London, I came across Opium and their birthday celebrations in Chinatown.
From the street, all you see of Opium is an inconspicuous entrance leading up to an extremely dark stairwell but at the top, the noise and heavy atmosphere hit me as soon as opened the door. Lit up with lanterns and packed with people, it was dark, hidden, busy; a tiny little place that felt kind of exclusive, like a secret.
Having arrived early, we had time for a quick drink before being ushered down some stairs into a secret bar which was where the event took place. Having flicked through the menu, I knew this place was going to be good. Each cocktail was totally unique and the ones we ordered with delicious. 

There were about 20 people in total, in the secret little bar. Designed to feel like an old school Chinese drinking den it was the perfect venue to host what really was, an awesome evening.

The time flew by as we made our way through three classic cocktails and then their take on each one; paired with some dim sum.

Starting simple with a G&T; their take came mixed with pineapple & cucumber wine. It took away all the usual bitterness of gin and was the first time I've enjoyed it. This light and fruity drink came with a basket of king prawn dumplings which we made our way though whilst listening to an explanation on how gin and tonics got paired. That sort of stuff is always interesting. 

Next was a Mai Tai. We tried the classic and then watched Chef Jeremy make their version whilst he told us about its origin. With the addition of toasted cumin, this drink was absolutely something else, the smell alone took you to somewhere else. Mango cordial gave it an added fruity zing added so much to the original cocktail. We drank those with spicy duck dumplings.

Last was an old fashioned which I didn't like. Whiskey is, just not for me, although, this heavy drink came alongside some Cantonese BBQ pork buns and those were delicious. We actually stayed and ordered some more after the event came to an end - along with some more food and drinks - and would have continued to do so for a few hours had the kitchen not shut.

So yes, a very good evening. Sadly, the event was a one time thing, but if what we ate and drank was anything to go by, then I'll be very keen to head back as soon as I get the chance.

It was mid November so acceptable time to get my first sparkly top of the season out which was very exciting. I paired it with black jeans, leather boots and some new jewellery which I've been gifted via Estee Lalonde at Daisy London. I haven't worn a necklace, or a bracelet for that matter, for years but I did like the way these pieces looked - a simple chain can add so much to an outfit. 


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