How, as a business owner, do you decide between setting up a restaurant or a nightclub? It’s a question that Opium, London’s latest arrival on the VIP club scene, found impossible to answer. Billing itself as a luxury event space for everything from fashion shows to Christmas parties and cocktail-making experiences, the venue has mastered the modern art of multitasking. It has already hosted the likes of Nicki Minaj at a private party and Drake launched his new clothing line here.
Opium London (not to be confused with the bar in Chinatown) first opened in late 2018, just a stone’s throw from Leicester Square. But their official launch event was held earlier this month in May. Following in the footsteps of its sister venues in Barcelona, Madrid and Marbella, the Spanish-born venue looks more than ready to spice up the capital’s nightlife. Boasting more VIP areas than any other high-end venue in the capital, Opium also has three on-site bars, 10 LED screens and a total capacity of 500 people.
The menu offers an eclectic array of Pan-Asian and Spanish dishes. There is, quite literally, something for everyone. ‘Luxury’ is the mot du jour here: the ‘raw bar’ offers not one, but two, types of vintage caviar and the ‘chef’s platter’ features a foie gras nigiri. Unfortunately for us, there was no sign of caviar or beef tartare. We were, however, treated to a delightful spread of Spanish and European starters including Iberian ham and burrata. Of course, it wouldn’t be a launch event without canapés, and the ones on offer didn’t disappoint – the spring rolls had a good crunch to them and the bite-sized vegan tacos were incredibly moreish.
Tasty as these dishes were, nothing quite stood out from the crowd until what I’m going to call ‘The Sushi Room’ was revealed from behind a partition. There were a few surreal elements of the evening, but this glass-sided box with a psychedelic geometric patterned ceiling definitely stole the show. In the middle of the room stood a banquet table upon which were served platters of handmade sushi adorned with pretty edible flowers. As a huge fan of Japanese cuisine, I’m probably a bit biased, but the sushi was as divine as it looked.
As you would expect of a VIP venue, alcoholic beverages were in plentiful supply. Upon entry, we were handed a refreshing peach cocktail, and all four corners of the main event space featured buckets of wine bottles. There was a cut-off time for free spirits and cocktails but beer and wine remained free all evening.
The nightclub itself was officially ‘opened’ by a procession of waiters with sparklers. Upon entering we were greeted to pulsing music with an accompaniment of podium dancers in LED costumes. Seating was plentiful, with tables and plush cream sofas for those who got tired of boogying. The VIP areas were cordoned off, but a quick peek told me that they were just as luxurious as one would expect. A photo booth positioned near the bar upped the fun factor, though it was unclear if this would be an Opium staple.
The restaurant is open from 8:00pm – 12:00am on Tuesday to Saturday and from 8:00pm – 3:30am on Wednesdays and Thursdays (presumably to give you the option of dining and then dancing the night away).
The club is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 11:00pm – 3:30am. If you go early (though I’m not sure what constitutes as ‘early’), entry is free. Standard entry is a hefty £20, though for the exclusive atmosphere and prime location, I’d say this is reasonable. Table prices start from £1,000 minimum spend for mixed groups. VIP tables have a £2,000 minimum spend.
Given its diverse offering, it’s quite impressive that Opium London has managed to avoid the trap of becoming a ‘jack of all trades, master of none.’ Aside from the top-notch grub, the venue itself is something that has to be experienced. There are surprises around every corner and the interiors are mesmerising – the clever use of LED screens and sliding partitions was particularly impressive. Prepare to get lost in the otherworldly atmosphere – and discover that you don’t mind one bit.
9 Rupert Street
EatCookExplore was a guest of Opium London