Nam Long Le Shaker has earned a reputation in three decades for late night imbibing amongst the trust fund Ralph-Lauren-shirt brigade, the wannabe Sloane-ranger Fulhamites, and on occasions blue blood and various big-screen prancers wipe the impurities from Old Brompton Road on their doormat. ★★★★
The basement of Nam Long homes The Opium Den, a petite bar with a Marie Antoinette racy boudoir feel.
Burgundy crushed velvet banquettes and upholstered dressing table stools, gold and merlot voluptuous drapes, mirrored walls and seductive lighting – it made absolute sense that my female, blonde and glamorous plus-one was chatted up by Hugh Grant in said den during The Gay UK’s visit.
Aside from the bon viveur status, Nam Long’s should be recognised for her Vietnamese cuisine and is worth a saunter west to sample the new Pan-Asian inspired menu.
Our thirst was curtailed with several The Jade cocktail: Grey Goose vodka, cucumber, elderflower, lime juice and basil. Aromatic with floral notes and a peppery undertone – it didn’t stay in the glass for Long.
The feast commenced with Edamame with Maldon sea salt – hard to get wrong, and they didn’t. Chiu-Yin squid wok tossed with sea salt, pepper and chillies – a light crisp coating, tender and wokked to life with seasoning and the pungency from the chillies.
Nam Long imperial spring rolls and crispy summer rolls – both enjoyable, but not memorable.
Our mains: Sea bass served with ginger and dark soya sauce – buttery with a meaty texture, minimal chewing required – commendable for the Vietnam-flag-yellow-star, best dish of the night.
Beef fillet cubes with black bean pepper and steamed rice – a sweet aroma hits you initially, followed by salty-onion and ginger flavours, amalgamated with tender beef: pan-tastic.
A visit to Nam Long won’t Shaker up the bank balance too much, and you might even find Love Actually.
Nam Long Le Shaker
159 Old Brompton road
Reviewed by Thabian Sutherland