For nearly three decades Nam Long on the Old Brompton Road has been at the forefront of London’s night scene, making headlines all over the world with its Flaming Ferraris and celebrity diners.
This summer, the Chelsea legacy will, for the first time, open its downstairs to the public, as the restaurant welcomes a new chapter of Nam Long history and launches The Opium Den. An elegant lounge, featuring a striking interior design, and a show-stopping cocktail bar. A destination bar itself, The Opium Den will offer a distinct, more upbeat ambience to the rest of the venue, with an intimate feeling of a subterranean house party.
Established in 1985, Nam Long was founded by Thai Dang, a flamboyant man and local hero known for his distinct ways of running the door, famously denying both Prince William and Mick Jagger entry. The restaurant and nightspot has remained a nightlife institution for decades and is now managed by Thai’s very talented 29-year old daughter, Dzuyen, after he sadly passed away last year. Representing a new Nam Long generation, Dzuyen recently launched a new Pan-Asian inspired food menu, as well as creating The Opium Den, as the first steps towards continuing the legacy of her father. As one of London’s few female nightspot owners, and a woman to watch, Dzuyen aims to introduce the Nam Long brand to a new era, while always staying true to its colourful history.
Hidden underneath the iconic restaurant, a bespoke wrought iron staircase will lead guests downstairs, into a sultry low-lit area with a debauched late-night vibe, fitting for the discerning Nam Long crowd. The décor, designed by Boxer and Brown, features an impressive mosaic cocktail bar with a shimmering mirror panelled front, handcrafted statues, and plush velvet banquettes to kick back and relax in. Traditional artwork adorns the walls and wood patterned flooring adds an authentic finish to the mischievous den.
Nam Long will also introduce a new cocktail menu to celebrate the new opening, with additions such as Mr Thai, created in honour of Nam Long’s founder, a simple yet solid drink of rye whiskey, truffle honey, and grapefruit bitters, served short with ice. Jade, a smooth citrus concoction of vodka/gin, cucumber, elderflower and lime, and Bardot, a graceful and smooth lychee liqueur based drink, combined with gin, a dash of cherry heering, and rose water.
Standing strong on the menu for over 28 years is of course Nam Long’s world famous, Flaming Ferrari. One of the most controversial cocktails ever created, the drink flew to global fame in the naughty 90s due to a group of City traders nicknamed “The Flaming Ferrari Boys”, one including Jeffery Archer’s son, James Archer. Set on fire and drunk quickly through a straw, The Flaming Ferrari is truly an eye-catching phenomenon, worth visiting the bar for on its own.