This restaurant is not right on Hay Street, it is just slightly in Hill Street, and you would probably walk past it if you didn’t know it was there. Inside it is buzzing, the colour scheme is black and red with simple clean lines and pictures of opium smoking characters on the wall. It is not licensed so you can bring your own wine.
The menu is set out into sections where you can have smaller tapas style plates or large main course size plates. There are also some set meals, but we chose to have 6 tapas style plates and a salad.
The first dish to arrive was Kataifi King Prawns. King prawns wrapped in a shredded pastry with a tamarind and chilli jam dip. These were really delicious, cooked perfectly and the dip went really well with the prawns.
Next up was spring rolls. These were thin and long, nice but nothing spectacular.
Then came the star dish of the evening – spicy scallops – seared sashimi grade scallops with tamarind and chilli. I could have eaten a whole plate of these, they were so good.
The som tum with soft shell crab was really really nice, spicy, and quite lip tingling. The soft shell crabs were crispy and a nice contrast to the soft salad which was jam packed with papaya shreds, chilli, peanuts, onion and tomato.
Tod Man was minced fish with thai chilli paste, herbs and minced prawns, served with a salsa.
The salmon ceviche was really refreshing with caviar, onions, chillies, truffle oil and lemon.
The satay was lovely, served with authentic rice cakes, cucumber relish and satay sauce.
For dessert we chose mango with sticky rice which was thoroughly delicious.
The food at Red Opium was really high quality, well presented, very tasty, cheffy, authentic and served by friendly staff. You couldn’t ask for more from a restaurant and I will certainly be returning.