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Opium
Ranked #42 of 2,520 Restaurants in Glasgow
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Opium specialises in oriental fusion cuisine, offering a mix of traditional Dim Sum and fusion dishes. We're open everyday and look forward to welcoming you here at 191 Hope Street. Located in the heart of Glasgow city centre, Opium is great for a working lunch or to catch up with friends. As night falls our interior transforms, it's perfect for an intimate dinner or a celebration with family and friends.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Falls between Chinese and Thai and does neither particularly well. It is also a shade expensive for what it is. Wide range of starters and mains but nothing stand out that would make you say...must try that. Service a bit slow as well - surprising as restaurant was it was midweek and restaurant not particularly busy.

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Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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767 - 771 of 1,209 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2013

We had wanted to try this restaurant ever since we read Joanna Blythman's positive review in the Sunday Herald. It's on the site previously occupied by the Peking Inn and, for those as long in the tooth as we are, La Bucca. The decor now is very tasteful, the host couldn't have been nicer and more welcoming, and the service was efficient and friendly. So far, so good. Then we noticed the prices. Perhaps not over the top for those with large wallets, but too expensive for us. We decided to have dim sum. These were delicious, tasty, and very well presented. So, this restaurant scores very highly, and perhaps it is unfair to comment on price alone, but this is after all a review site that's intended to inform. We won't be back, but that is down to price alone.

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1  Thank Hugh L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Have been here a couple of times, is nice for a special meal out, a little expensive but worth it. Food delicious and fantastic atmosphere. Very modern décor adds to the experience.

Thank GlasgowGal123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

glasgowfoodgirl.tumblr.com

Sometimes you find out about a restaurant by complete chance. I met my friend Jayme randomly on the street last week. She had been travelling all over Asia and has some incredible stories and food memories to share. Having visited Shanghai and Beijing a couple of years ago, I have an ever-growing interest and taste for Asian cuisine and was over the moon when Jayme told me about Opium.

One of my problems with oriental cuisine in this country is our inaccurate perception of what it is. We are so used to our local takeaway menu that there are less and less similarities between our most ordered dishes (no, fried rice, chips and curry sauce doesn’t count) and what is eaten regularly in the provinces of China and beyond. Visit Opium and you will certainly get a taste of Asia…

I called up to make a reservation late on Friday afternoon to be told that there were no available tables until 9pm. This had to be a good sign, so I patiently waited with a cracker and cheese until 9 o’ clock rolled around.

The restaurant itself is stylish and modern, with the large front windows acting as a free advert for the packed dining room. Opium is an independent restaurant run by brothers who are exceptionally attentive and passionate about their food. I had been told of the excellent Dim Sum (Small Eats) and was keen to try a selection.

One of the most important things when visiting Opium is to order in the way intended. It is a fusion experience with dishes from many provinces and places in the east. Pick a few Dim Sum and one main dish and share everything. It is the way I ate food in China and is definitely the way the brothers intend their diners to eat.

One of the brothers Dinu Li explained the attention to detail in preparing the dumplings for their Dim Sum, particularly the Har Gau; made with king prawn and bamboo shoots in a wheat and spinach pastry. Each morning, their chef tests the air outside to adjust how to prepare the pastry for that day. It’s a traditional method that the chef will not train anyone else how to make. He’s been making them since he was 16 years old in Hong Kong so who can blame him.

Myself and the other half started with a couple of Opium’s own cocktail creations, an Opium’s Den and an Oriental Mandarini. These were absolutely delicious and not to be ignored. Along with prawn crackers (not the takeaway kind) and (I think) homemade sweet chilli sauce, our appetite was building.

The Food...

Har Gau - steamed king prawn dumplings. I cannot recommend these highly enough. They were absolutely perfect to the point of not needing to be dipped in Soy. Eat them on their own and enjoy!

Roast Duck Beancurd Roll in a Black Pepper Sauce - The beancurd, or Tofu, is rolled so thin it almost melts in your mouth. The duck is beautiful inside and the sauce brought back a lot of memories for me from my trip. Amazing.

Sichuan Won Ton - Fried dumpling of chicken and prawn with a spicy Sichuan dipping sauce. I normally don’t like fried dumplings, but these were light, crisp and fresh with a perfect filling and complimenting sauce.

Chilli Salt & Pepper Ribs - These are wonderfully spicy and warming. The meat falls off the bone but has a satisfying dry spice rub to numb your tastebuds. Sichuan peppercorns are used here and if you haven’t tried them - you should. Dinu Li told us: “they are addictive”.

Onto the main dish which arrived separately to our above Dim Sum plates. One side dish of rice or noodles will feed two people along with the main dish. I felt that the amount of food we ordered was the right amount. If you are particularly hungry - add another Dim Sum or side.

Monkfish Claypot- Fillets of Monkfish simmering in a chilli soybean sauce with shitake mushrooms and morinaga tofu.

Steamed Jasmine Rice

The monkfish was an incredible dish. Piping hot and full of flavour. Not too spicy if that is a concern. This cuisine is so complex in flavours it is almost an exam to figure out what is in each dish. The morinaga tofu was incredible and like all of the food in Opium - MSG free. The flavours are real and fresh. It definitely has an addictive quality to it. We genuinely couldn’t stop eating it.

Summary

We finished off with a final cocktail - try the (Parma Violet) and took some time to chat to the brothers. What comes across is their work ethic and passion for this food. I was so impressed by this restaurant and really would encourage you to visit. It’s a rare find in Glasgow and sent me back to the orient. It’s one of the few places I have visited where I couldn’t find a fault with food, service or atmosphere.

Make Opium your next Oriental experience.

GFG

Ratings:

Value For Money - 5/5

Food Quality - 5/5

Service - 5/5

Ambience - 5/5

Price per head - £30/35

Contact:

Opium Restaurant, 191 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 2UL,

eat@opiumrestaurant.co.uk or opiumrestaurant.co.uk

Tel: 0141 332 6668

http://glasgowfoodgirl.tumblr.com

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Thank glasgowfoodgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Found this restaurant by reading other reviews and they were not wrong. The food was excellent with generous portions, the service very good and not rushed. Great decor and nice atmosphere. Will definitely visit again if back in Glasgow.

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Thank Jonathan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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