Red Opium, East Perth

I am in love with a fairly new restaurant in Perth. I want to keep this place my dirty little secret but I think it's really taking Perth by storm and a secret it no longer is.

This place that I'm in love with? Red Opium, thai-inspired tapas. Red Opium is located on the corner of Hay St and Hill St in Perth city and it's in the dark, dank side of town. How fitting for an opium den. Which is exactly the feeling I get as I open the door and walk down some steps into a dimly lit, red hued restaurant with Asian influences and gauzy curtains scattered about the place. I wouldn't be surprised if one day, I walked in and the restaurant was a smokey den. It's quite obvious the name has inspired my imagination to run wild.

The boys really wanted to have a lie down on this bed. It just looked so comfortable!

I've been there a few times now, each time going with a new group of friends and each time, equally, if not more, impressed! I'm also adamant that one must go with at least two others, ideally, a group of four.

Most recently, Marinda and I went there with our friends, Brett and Luke, excited that the night had finally come. I had been talking this place up for so long that my credibility was on the line here. My first test of the night; did I make the right booking? Evidently not. I told everyone to arrive at Red Opium at 6:30 and not be a minute late! And what happens? Turns out I actually made a booking for 7:30. Oops. But the waitress on the floor quickly went in search of the manager and she swiftly proceeded to seat us. Red Opium: 1, Leigh: 0.
As I was the one who had been gushing on about Red Opium for months and months, everyone left it up to me to make the call and order. Between the four of us, I decided we could have a substantial amount of food, especially with two big boys with us.

First to arrive and absolutely wow everyone on the table was the cold Thai milk tea. It was light, refreshing and had a really soft underlying coffee-like flavour with a somewhat smokey aftertaste. It's so hard to describe but it's the best drink you could order at Red Opium! Unfortunately, they only had two serves left so we had to share one between two.

As each dish came out, my mouth started watering and my excitement grew. I had almost forgotten about just how amazing the food was. Each dish just impressed and impressed. General consensus with the boys was that the wagyu and the deconstructed fish curry were the best dishes whilst us girls thought that the Red Opium shooters and the F-duck were the winners. But really, every dish was pretty amazing.

F-duck, a Marinda Leigh favourite
Wagyu, the overall favourite on the table

Red Opium shooters, my personal favourite!

Tom Kha-puccino (a cute play on words)

The only problems we encountered was that they took a while to respond to us (which tells us that they didn't have enough wait staff on the floor). They ran out of caviar for our Salmon ceviche and the mango sticky date, which is usually a favourite of ours took a while to come out and was dry and cold by the time we got it. As Luke put it, it would have been a perfect meal, if not for the dessert.

Seasonal dessert with three types of ice-cream

Mango sticky rice, which, on the two other occassions were fantastic.

The boys had a blast playing with the gong as we were leaving, much to our amusement.

At the end of the night after good coversation, amazing food and great company, we all agreed that it was one of the best meals we have had in a long time. Luke even went so far as to say that it was the best meal he had had in six to twelve months. Needless to say, Marinda Leigh was very flattered and everyone we've been there with have said they are definitely going back and taking their friends and family.

Ambiance   ★★★★★
Service       ★★★
Food           ★★★
Value          ★★

Price $$ ($15-25 per main)

Red Opium definitely has Marinda Leigh's stamp of approval.

Red Opium on Urbanspoon  

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