I paused as I viewed the exterior of Brixton’s latest food, drink and live entertainment venue. I thought I must have the wrong address as the dark red boarded up fixtures of the outside didn’t scream out ‘hot new venue’, but as I stepped through the unassuming entrance I was reassured.
Courtesan, the newly-relaunched, dim-sum, cocktail and live entertainment venue in the heart of Brixton, wouldn’t have been out of place in a trendy central London location. My initial surprise was quickly laid to rest as I settled into the vibrant and relaxed ambience, spending my evening eating tasty dumplings, quaffing cocktails and watching a captivating burlesque performance.
A short walk from the busy Brixton High road, Courtesan is a great place to hang out with friends, especially if you’re looking for an after-work bite to eat, drinks and to dance the night away.
As its name suggests, Courtesan’s décor mimics an exotic and ancient China, with its restaurant and bar, peppered with neon lights, bright red graphics, and furnished with jade velvet booths and large silk lanterns throughout. A brightly red lit patterned staircase leads downstairs to the late-night venue.
The foodies among you will be impressed by the offerings from the all-female chef team which boasts Dim Sum, Noodle Dishes, Rice Dishes, Bao Buns and an ever-changing list of specials, all of them using MSG and preservative-free ingredients.
My guest and I tasted the frog legs with wasabi sauce, which you’ll probably not be surprised to learn tasted like chicken, but in a good way, nice and crisp.
The duck and vegetable spring rolls were easily among the best I have ever tasted. Light, with just the right amount of crackle and the rolls were densely packed and flavoursome.
Of course, we tasted a couple of cocktails. We were very impressed to learn that they were from an all-female produced drinks list. Sampling the Wang Zhaojun cocktail, we could guess the female influence through the very subtle taste of the alcohol and its refreshing taste with the violet petals dancing in the glasses.
A highlight of the evening was the wonderful and titillating burlesque performance of Vicky Butterfly whose wings and light-based act held everyone’s attention. Other acts that you can enjoy at the venue are live jazz, female DJ sets s and much more.
Open seven days a week, Courtesan is great for a night out, both for locals and those coming from further afield, there’s something for everyone.
For more information, visit: www.thecourtesan.co.uk