50, Changkat Bukit Bintang,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2142 5670
Business hours: Noon to 1am (Sunday to Thursday),
Noon to 2am (Friday), 4pm to 2am (Saturday).

NOT many can pull off a concoction of Asian delights with a Western touch, but at Opium, its unique combination of east meets west is worth returning for.

The restaurant, under the Werner’s Group, serves meals with Asian flavours.

Its decor resembles a 1920s Shanghai-inspired setting with an indoor dining room and an al-fresco area for patrons to settle in.

The restaurant's decoration is inspired by the 1920's Chinese elements in Shanghai.

The restaurant’s decoration is inspired by the 1920’s Chinese elements in Shanghai.

A cocktail bar, an island in the middle of the room, separates the restaurant into two sections, with slightly different thematic layouts.

Marketing manager Samantha Phoon said the idea of adding a Western flair to its Asian cuisine was to offer a variety to the range of food found along Changkat Bukit Bintang.

“There are about 36 restaurants here and we wanted to provide diners with a new concept to experience new flavours.

“With our tagline ­– Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, it simply means good food equates to a delicious meal with great company,” she said.

One of its highlights is the Stream And Steam. It was once a special dish that was available only on a specific day but today, it is on the restaurant’s daily menu.

The dish features two different cooking styles – the grilled red emperor fish and soft shell crab while the steamed dish has prawns, clams, ferns, sour leaves, lady’s fingers, Thai coriander, Thai basil and polygonum leaves cooked in a bamboo stem.

The Stream And Steam.

The Stream And Steam.

The flavoursome and well-seasoned tilapia, says restaurant chef Chan Weng Keong, is marinated for a day with a blended mix of ginger, lemongrass, coriander and chilli before being grilled to perfection while the soft shell crab is the crispy element of this treat.

Chan said the vegetables were put into the bamboo and cooked with a seafood broth.

“This method allows the vegetables to absorb the bamboo’s moisture while giving them added flavours,” he said

For those who prefer a heavier meal, the Black Fried Rice hits all the right notes.

The Black Fried Rice.

The Black Fried Rice.

The combination of sticky black glutinous rice and soft squid ink rice comes in a generous portion.

With it are two slices of papadom as well as a soft shell crab, while hard boiled eggs, chicken and mango kerabu are as sides.

Digging into the dish, the rice when savoured with the kerabu, was simply bursting with flavours.

Next, we were served hot and sour soup with Szechuan parcel and this did not disappoint.

The Szechuan parcel is a dumpling filled with a mix of minced chicken meat, black fungus, tofu, chilli, coriander, eggs and sesame oil as well as mushrooms placed in the middle of the pool of hot and sour soup.

The Szechuan parcel.

The Szechuan parcel.

The soup has a distinctive taste of vinegar, giving it a hint of sourish aftertaste.

Burger lovers might get addicted to the Opium burger (top pic).

Served in brioche bun, the thick minced Angus tenderloin beef patty in between the buns is dressed up with garden greens, kaffir lime, chilli, mushroom, onion, tomatoes and coconut dressing,

We were certainly surprised when the restaurant manager presented the Black Dragon cocktail.

Thick chilled fog escaped from a teapot filled with dry ice and boiling water while the cocktail – a mix of vodka, Creme De Cassis, lemon juice and blackberries in a ceramic goblet fitted nicely in the teapot.

Order the Black Dragon cocktail and enjoy watching thick chilled fog oozing from a teapot.

Order the Black Dragon cocktail and enjoy watching thick chilled fog oozing from a teapot.

I found the fruity tasting cocktail, though nice, to be rather mild.

Another cocktail not to be missed is The Forbidden City.

This contains five different spices – star anise, cardamom, black tea, clove, cinnamon and is mixed with rum, Grand Marnier, lime juice and orange juice.

The inviting aroma from the freshly sliced orange peel, which acted as a decorative piece to the cocktail cup, made the drink all the more delightful to the senses.

The Cheesy Banana fritters is made of fried banana, aged cheddar and banana ice cream.

The Cheesy Banana fritters is made of fried banana, aged cheddar and banana ice cream.

As for dessert, the toothsome Cheesy Banana Fritters is similar to the pisang goreng and this came with aged cheddar and banana ice cream.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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