Eating out: striving for perfection

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OPIUM — an oriental fusion restaurant with mouth-watering dishes from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China — means business.

And in most parts, it delivers. Clearly, perfection is the aim in all areas — and with first impressions of the décor and service, it appears to meet this lofty goal.

The service could not be improved on, with among the most attentive staff I have ever experienced in a restaurant.

Offering constant helpful advice and attention without being overbearing, they gladly provided me tips for my dim sum starter.

Eschewing alcoholic beverages, I opted for green tea, which was served loose leaf in a cafetiere — the perfect accompaniment to my starter, which was just as authentic.

When the dim sum arrived I was blown away — it looked perfect and tasted even better.

The chilli salt and pepper squid was described to me as the “king of starters” and my waiter was not far wrong.

It was unlike anything I had ever tasted (apparently that’s because of the not-so-secret ingredient — custard powder).

My steamed dim sum — a crab meat and chive dumpling — was also impressive.

Expectations may have been raised to unmanageable levels at this point, as my main was, sadly, a slight disappointment given what had come before.

Opting for rib-eye beef with black pepper and Shiraz, the taste was certainly inoffensive and I finished with ease.

However, to my palate anyway, it was lacking any real kick — and the beef was not quite as juicy as I would have liked.

The restaurant provided enough impetus for me to make a return visit, and I would certainly be keen to try other mains on the menu.

Opium impresses with ease, but when the goal is perfection, there is always room for improvement.

Rating: 7/10

Opium — 191 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 2UL — Telephone: 0141 332 6668