Saturday, 28 December 2013

OPIUM... Wexford street. Dublin 2 . @OpiumDublin

OPIUM on Wexford street in Dublin 2, opened a couple of months ago and is offering us an Asian Fusion menu.This type of Cuisine is constantly being reinvented and is becoming increasingly popular. The most well known one is probably Hakkasan in London, with regard to quality and creativity of Asian Fusion Cuisine and it was a firm favourite of mine,when I lived in London . Theirs was an electric approach with dishes inspired by various regional cuisines of Asia , in slick and stylish surroundings and very much courted by the fashion crowd.
Using key ingredients and cooking methods from various regions of Asia,this type of food is wonderfully fragrant and always full of fantastic flavours. I see it as very healthy food; with a real feel good factor. I certainly could eat it every day.
In contrast to the spiciness of Korean foods, Japanese cuisine is mild in flavour, with sweetness and saltiness as the key tastes. Indonesia on the other hand can be hot,sweet,sour and salty. While Thai is wonderfully fragrant , in neighbouring Vietnam, the food is typically light and refreshing and China offering us dishes from so many different regions, each varying in taste and appearance. But the common to all these wonderful cuisine, is the balance of flavours, textures and colours and a perfect balance of "Ying" and "Yang " ingredients.
Opium, with the gorgeous Martina Fox, at the helm,exposed stone walled interior,an open plan dining,deep comfy leather banquettes & seductive spot lighting; The look is warm, inviting and moody. 

The menu offers a great selection of dishes for all tastes and combines elements from different regions of Asia into a simple dining experience. From Char siu pork steamed buns to Hoisin baste baby back ribs as Starters . For mains Beef Rendang ,Pad Thai and Pho Bo, the house broth  and sides of Chicharron, crispy pork scratching.
We kicked off our meal with a plate of Gyoza @€8.00. These little dumplings,are originally a Chinese dish, which has become very popular across Japan They were steamed then fried;The fragrance and flavours were intense and these little parcels retained all of it's wonderful and flavoursome juices as you bite into them. Try them and you would be hooked for life.

Our next course of Egg Net Roll @€8.95 was crisp beansprouts, shredded pork, prawns, nahm pla and lots of aromatic herbs. All encased in a feathery light egg net. This was irresistibly rich and truly delicious. Nahm pla, a fermented Thai fish sauce, is a basic ingredient in Thai cuisine, most often used as a marinade for fish and meat,and usually mixed with fresh chillies, lime juice and palm sugar. Here it was used, in the balance of flavours, Sweet, sour, salty and a little bit of heat. Perfect with the sweet sticky pork and prawns.

A Green Papaya Salad @ € 10.00 was a wonderfully simple dish with sweet, sour,spicy and slightly salty flavours from the dried brown shrimps, while the Rau ram, or better known as Vietnamese coriander gave a spicy , musky and slightly lemony flavour.A colourful combination of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pickled carrots , crisp shallots, green beans and roasted peanuts completed this very tasty dish. 

On the other hand, the Vietnamese Chicken Salad @€14.00 was a medley of shredded Wom bok, better know as Chinese white cabbage , were tender while still retaining a crisp texture. It's mild and sweet flavour was enchanced by the aromatic coriander, coconut, lime & chili. Very light and fresh. Topped with shredded chicken and as often are in Asian salads, roasted peanuts and crisp shallots, added some lovely crunch.

The Beef Rendang @€17.50 was pieces of beef shin, beautifully tender, in a rich, sweet and creamy sauce with fragrant undertones from the Pandan leaf.The sweet potato gave this curry a different dimension with the touch of young coconut. Comfort food at it's best.

The staff was very helpful  and pleasant and a very glamorous cocktails list kept the slinky bar to fewer pitch.

26, Wexford street
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 5267711

Tagged : robert jacob- opium restaurant-asian fusion food-casual dining-ethnic cuisine-gyoza- namh pla- wom buk- rau ram- martina fox

©2012-2013;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved.

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