Dim Sum & Cocktails at Courtesan Brixton

courtesan brixton interior

Relaunching this September after an extensive refurbishment, Courtesan – a dim sum restaurant, tea room, cocktail bar and subterranean late-night live entertainment space – is set to be Brixton’s newest destination venue. Introducing dramatic re-styled interiors and exteriors, a new food menu, and an all-female produced drinks list, Courtesan will serve innovative cocktails and modern dim sum while transporting guests to a world that combines the exoticism and rituals of ancient china with the legendary clubs of 1920s Shanghai.

courtesan brixton cocktails

With a distinctly ‘Lynchian’ atmosphere, inspired by the legendary courtesans of Ancient China, the venue weaves ancient and vintage feminine aesthetics with a futuristic thread. The restaurant and bar, peppered with neon lights and bright red graphics, will be furnished with jade velvet booths and large silk lanterns, and will feature vintage Chinese artefacts throughout. A geometric neon-lit Sayagata patterned staircase leads downstairs to the late night venue, an intimate space designed to confuse the senses with mirror installations and optical illusion art. Prints of Chinese erotica hangs on the walls, while red velvet cushions and pouffe seats sit alongside the cabaret style table and chairs.

Reflecting ancient China’s specialist techniques, the all-female chef team at Courtesan led by experienced dim sum chef Feng Juan Xue, honour the regal origins of Dim Sum while at the same time producing a contemporary and inventive menu that uses modern ingredients from around the globe. The distinctive menu at Courtesan, which will feature Dim Sum, Noodle Dishes, Rice Dishes, Bao Buns and an ever-changing list of specials, focuses heavily on pure, MSG and preservative-free ingredients, whilst providing extensive vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Examples from the menu include:

King Prawn and Beancurd Cheung Fun £7.90 (Steamed rice noodle sheet rolled with crunchy king prawn and crispy beancurd)

Curious Pumpkin Bao Bun £4.90 (Gujurati spiced pumpkin filling in a turmeric flavoured fluffy bun)

Jerk Chicken Parcel in Rice £6.40 (Spiced rice with succulent jerk chicken breast pieces steamed in a large lotus leaf parcel)

The Courtesan bar boasts the World’s first true ‘female’ wine and spirit list, supplying beverages produced or grown exclusively by women. Cocktails are heady and exotic, and draw from Asian ingredients such as Lapsang Souchong Tea, Poppy Liqueur, Jasmine Tea and Beetroot
Powder. Examples from the cocktail menu include:

Opium £9.90 (Poppy Liqueur, Alchermes, Martell VSOP Cognac, Lapsang Souchong Tea, Beetroot Powder)

Wang Zhaojun £8.80 (Violet Liquor, Jasmine Tea, Haymans London Gin, Finlandia Vodka)

China Ghost £8.50 (Finlandia Vodka, Rose Liqueur, Lychee, Rose Peony Tea, Pomegranate Syrup)

In addition to its impressive food and drink offering, Courtesan will be introducing a multi-disciplinary entertainment programme in its late-night entertainment space. With a variety of both residencies and one-off performances, the venue will be presenting a wide array of shows throughout the week with special late-night ‘Courtesan Lates’ shows on Friday and Saturdays. In fitting with the venue’s unique aesthetic, the intimate, atmospheric bar will host burlesque and cabaret acts, live jazz music, DJs, parties and West End performers. Upcoming events include:

• The Courtesan Club
Vintage jazz jam every Thursday night

• Burlesque cabaret every Saturday night
Regular performers to include Vicky Butterfly, Eliza DeLite, Suri Sumatra and Exotic Luna Rosa

• Female Vintage DJs every Friday night
A fun late-night party filled with exotica, soul, disco and smooth grooves from the four corners of the globe

• The Shim Sham Club
London’s Queer vintage night, hosted by Chardine Taylor-Stone

Opening hours:
Monday-Thursday 12–11pm
Friday-Saturday 12pm–12am
Sunday 12pm–10:30am
(full list of events here)

69-73 Atlantic Road

How much?
Dim Sum menu (here) / Cocktail menu (here).