21 Feb Vegan dim sum in London: Opium reviewed
Vegan dim sum is everywhere in the capital and I couldn’t be happier.
Chinese restaurants have always had lots of veggie options, but dim sum is often filled with meat or fish.
Dumpling casings are generally made from rice, wheat, and sometimes yeast. So as long as you know your filling is vegan, you should be safe. Just check they’re not planning to use milk or egg and check how they’re cooking them.
I popped into Opium in Chinatown to try their offering and was super impressed. Check out my review below. Plus I’ve rounded up the best of the rest for awesome vegan dim sum in London and beyond.
Situated bang in the middle of Chinatown, Opium cocktail and dim sum parlour is an escape from the madness.
Entry is through a blue door that leads up three stories, and each level has its own unique charm.
A dim sum parlour with a twist, Opium serves up various Eastern-inspired cocktails perfect for photos.
I opted for an Instagram-worthy Opium 6 cocktail served in an ‘Opium cup’. It comes in at £13 and is made from tequila, cactus, pimiento, ginger and oolong tea, and it is served wreathed in plumes of dry ice. So pretty and mystical.
I ordered the £15 green platter and shortly the waiter brought over a basket of nine humongous steaming dim sum.
There were three green (spinach) and six white (mushroom and truffle and monks veg) with a coating made from rice flour and water.
The monks veg were stuffed with Chinese cabbage, carrot, preserved vegetables and water chestnut; and the mushroom and truffle were filled with beech and enoki mushrooms, black truffle and potato starch.
They were filling and flavoursome, two things that can be an issue with dim sum especially if you’re ordering a single veggie dish.
One lot was genuinely enough for dinner.
A spokesperson says: ‘The veggie dim sum is definitely getting more popular. Lots of people don’t eat pork or shellfish, and we don’t do a beef option.’
Ping Pong has nine locations in London (plus loads in the US) and offers tons of vegan dim sum, as well as other dishes.
Try the steamed spicy veg dumpling with mixed vegetables, chilli and garlic and translucent pastry, £3.45, or three mushroom and herbs dumpling in carrot pastry, £3.75.
Or if you’re feeling more indulgent they do a fried spinach and mushroom dumpling for £3.65 with spicy mango sauce.
This all-vegan restaurant offers infinite options and stuffs its buns and dumplings with BBQ soya meat and soya beef, as well as an array of veg.
Around £4 for two.
Head to Holloway or Edgware in London, or pop in to their international branches – there are more than 100.
Find Mama Lans branches in Brixton, Dalston, Clapham and beyond.
The vegetarian dumpling dish is vegan, as well as the tofu and mushroom noodle soup, spicy ribbon tofu ban mein noodle salad, fried vegetable balls, seaweed salad, smacked cucumber and glass noodle salad.
Yauatcha in City and Soho do tons of vegan dim sum options. Check out their partner restaurants Hakkasan as well.