I’m hard pushed to say the best meal I’ve ever had but I swear the food I had in Opium on Wexford Street last week is a high contender. What’s for certain is that it was without a doubt the best curry that I’ve EVER tasted. My mouth is honestly watering right now as I even think about it!
Opium is a brand new Asian fusion restaurant and cocktail bar that has just opened on Wexford Street. I’ve realised in the past while that I’m a boring creature with regards to the areas I go out to eat – if it’s not within the Grafton, Exchequer or South William Street areas then I start to struggle…. Which is why I had no idea where I was setting off for when looking for Opium. I had however been to Las Tapas de Lola across the road from it before so that helped me along my way. Apparently it used to be The Village – I never set foot in there so that was no good to me!
I have to say, as it was so new when I visited I didn’t have any hopes or expectations really. They had put out a Tweet a few weeks earlier saying they were giving a free main course to 100 people so I tweeted like a good thing and booked myself in for a Sunday evening at 5pm. The first thing that greeted us when we arrived was the MASSIVE Christmas tree in their lobby…. Love it!
We went on in and I had a good nosy around. It’s a really big open plan space, no bright lighting, just lit by small bulbs and all wood flooring and stone walled interior. While it’s very spacious it’s still got a warm and welcoming vibe. I was DYING to get seated and start eating!
Onto the food. There is such a great variety on the menu here, I was spoiled for choice.
We decided to share a starter and went for the Vietnamese Rolls (€8.50). Some of the other options were Ribs, Lemongrass Chicken Tenders, Crab Cakes and Thai Sausage and Sticky Rice which sounded fab.
At first I thought portion size was slightly small but to be honest it’s probably just a result of me usually managing to devour a full starter myself What arrived was a a clean and fresh starter, no grease and oil dripping from it like a Chinese spring roll! The little rolls were filled with chargrilled prawns, asparagus, basil and beansprouts and served with a type of mayo – the name I have forgotten. Such gorgeous, tasty food – I wanted more!
When it came to mains there was so many I wanted to try. Red Curry Duck, Green Halibut Curry, Beef RendangLemon Grass Chilli, Shaking Beef, Se Bream, Pork Belly, Pulled Pork, Pho Bo – everything sounded amazing. Most prices were between €16 – €22 and came with a side.
In the end I went all out and chose the Claypot Lamb €18.00 – a slow braised Massamam curry with baby potatoes, shallots and cardamom. Good God almighty, it was honestly out of this world. I can’t even put into words how good it was, the sauce was so creamy without being too heavy, the lamb was so so soft – it was honestly just unbelievable. Being a creamy dish I was stuffed but finished every bit on the plate.
E got the Shaking Beef, €18.95, which was no doubt the healthier of the two dishes. Marinated Irish fillet, red onion, scallion, chilli and lime and herb in a soy type of sauce. I managed to stuff a small piece of beef into my gob in between mouthfuls of my own and it was super tasty and cooked medium instead of the usual rubber beef you can get served…. But I still think I ordered the better dish this time
After a 15 minute break we decided we could manage a few bites of dessert and went for the chocolate brownie with peanut butter cream. It was really just an after thought to get dessert and was definitely not necessary given the fact I could hardly move I was that full! But it was pretty nice, not the most exciting or amazing dessert that I’ve had but completely acceptable and would satisfy the craving should you have one.
We then went to the bar and had a couple more cocktails – I went for the Passion Victim … believe me, had it not been a school night I would have knocked back many more of those!
I had a fabulous meal at Opium, I thought that Saba was the best in town for food like this but I can honestly say that curry was hands down the best I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu!
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