Opium, Glasgow City Centre
We decided to visit Opium in Glasgow the other week to have a quick dinner before we visited the List's launch party for the 2012/13 Eating and Drinking Guide. It had been on our "to visit" list for sometime, and it was a tweet from a visiting Edinburgh personal trainer (@tracygriffen) who described it as delicious and fresh that really got me moving to finally visit! We were welcomed and seated at a great table right at the window. I'd already decided to go for dim sum (or yum cha as it's called in Australia, I'm not sure why) because eating lots of plates of small things is my preferred way to eat! Most other tables in the restaurant seemed to be going for the pre-theatre menu - 2 courses for £14.80.
While we were deciding we nibbled on some prawn crackers. With help from the waiter, we decided to go for 5 dishes - he was honest and said that 6 dishes between 2 people might be too much. I think that's the first time any one has told me to order less rather than more! His honesty was greatly appreciated.
Hopefully this pictures give you an idea of the food - it's SO fresh and colourful and I was really impressed by the presentation. Mostly though, I was impressed by the taste. Everything we ate was really lovely and there was nothing I wouldn't order again.
This dish was so spicy, but really light and fresh at the same time. A perfect amount of squid to share between two people.
I cannot resist a dumpling - another one of my all time favourite foods. These dumplings are a world apart from the ones we make at home (something to aspire to!) and were steamed to perfection.
I ordered this thinking it would be like San Choy Bow (from Googling, it seems that San Choy Bow is the Australianised version of a Chinese dish) but it wasn't. I really enjoyed this though - the filling was underneath the sticky rice and was really delicious.
These were the highlight. I've never had a better pork bun in my life! I've never actually even really liked pork buns, I've always found them too sweet. The filling in these, combined with the sweet bun and vinegar was all perfectly balanced. I would happily return to Opium just to eat pork buns.
When it came time to leave, the waiter came over to check we'd eaten enough and whether we though 5 dim sum were a good amount. Our bill ended up being around £30 for the 5 plates, plus a couple of drinks each which I thought was reasonable. They have the loveliest staff here, I was really delighted to meet such welcoming and warm people.
I love that feeling of leaving a restaurant and thinking about the meal for days afterwards - that's how you know you've found a winner. I'm still thinking about the pork buns.