Readers, you know what “they” say, Chinese food outside of China isn’t authentic and usually is altered to fit into the restaurant norms of the region. Opium Dim Sum Parlour, located in Chinatown, London, defies this stereotype, bringing a deliciously authentic dumpling experience to your table.

Celebrating a wedding anniversary brings desire for ticking the bucket list, indulging in elegant meals, and creating lifelong memories. As I have taken you on a literary stroll through some of our festivities, I could not omit the incredible dim sum meal my husband and I enjoyed at Opium Dim Sum.

Situated in Chinatown, the heart of Central London near Soho, Opium Dim Sum is a dark elite parlour in a 5-storey, doorman-protected walk-up, fit for smoking jackets and cigar-holding patrons.

Opium Dim Sum is the Best in London's Chinatown
Opium Welcome Sign

 

Opium Dim Sum is the Best in London's Chinatown by Fill My Passport
Enjoying the Opium Parlour’s ambiance

Upon arrival, we were seated in a sunken lounge, and ordered two brews of Chinese tea to set the tone for our dinner. They were served in beautifully ornate teapots, steeping as we ordered our meal. The menu had a generous selection of handcrafted dumplings made with various fillings.

 

Opium Dim Sum is the Best in London's Chinatown by Fill My Passport
Teapot and dim sum baskets served up at Opium

We ordered both vegetarian and meat options, served in traditional steam baskets.

They were sublime.

The dumplings resembled meticulously packaged bites artistically-created providing the perfect balance of flavour, texture, and presentation.

Not proficient with chopsticks, I attempted to use them for this meal and since these artistically plump dumplings stayed together, it allowed for this rarity: Chopsticks success! (Believe me. A friend thoughtfully gave me training chopsticks prior to a trip to China, and unfortunately I failed miserably! So this was a rare accomplishment…) Therefore, based on this unlikely achievement, I was indeed proud to be enjoying a full meal without resorting to the shunned westerner fork.

Opium Dim Sum is the Best in London's Chinatown by Fill My Passport
Successfully using Chopsticks

What makes Opium Dim Sum stand out from the rest is its posh exclusivity. The ambiance was a welcome change to the usual “greasy spoon” type Chinese dim sum restaurants. While sitting in such an elite lounge, I felt like a sophisticated dame missing her cigarette and lengthener, awaiting a scotch to wash it all down. My inner-Better Davis felt right at home in this eatery! (Disclaimer: I don’t smoke.)

Opium Dim Sum is the Best in London's Chinatown by Fill My Passport
A selection of gastronomically perfect dumplings served in traditional steam baskets

Two pots of tea and 20 dumplings later, we left with great memories, self-acclaimed clout, and incredibly full bellies. I am a dim sum nerd who loves dumplings any time of day and would highly recommend this parlour to anyone visiting London, wishing an upscale Chinese meal. Located in the heart of Chinatown, after your meal, you will enjoy a leisurely walk beneath the array of lanterns flying above.

Opium Dim Sum is the Best in London's Chinatown by Fill My Passport
Chinese lanterns in the heart of London’s Chinatown, just outside Opium Dim Sum Parlour

So there you have it. My truly honest retelling of this incredible Dim Sum experience. (I even exposed my inner Bette Davis!) I hope when you try Opium Dim Sum for yourself, that you will enjoy it as much as we did.

Have you had a Dim Sum meal worth writing about? Have you tried making them yourself and had success? Tell us about your experiences! We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Happy Travels!

FMP