REVIEW: Courtesan Dim Sum Bar

Courtesan Dim Sum Bar
69-73 Atlantic Road, Brixton, SW9 8PU
Tel: 020 8127 8677

By Natasha Miles

There’s a new dim sum restaurant and bar in the neighbourhood.  I love eating dim sum, I got my first taste of them years back in college days when a friend took me for lunch to a restaurant in China Town. That restaurant was packed with waiters busily ferrying around dim sum on trolleys. You’d hail a waiter, see what they had to offer and if you didn’t see anything that tickled your fancy, another would pass by in seconds with more options. It was a great experience and one I remember fondly, so when I saw this new place pop-up, I was more than keen to try.

Dim sum was traditionally served for breakfast or lunch, but now most places serve them for dinner – which they do at Courtesan. A friend and I went for lunch. It is dimly lit inside with a modern browny/black decor with Asian influences. The bar is near the entrance and I was told that they’re going to make it a loungey section with sofas. At the far side is the more formal dining area.

We ordered a selection of dim sum: roast pork buns, king prawn cheung fun, deep fried squid x2 portions (I love squid and was not up for sharing that, so we ordered one each), jerk chicken rice wrapped in lotus leaf and leek and prawn dumplings. The king prawn cheung fun proved a bit of a challenge for me as it’s a slippery sucker of a dish, and as my chopstick skills are, well, basic at best it became a bit of a battle – but I got the better of it in the end.

All the dim sums were really well made and delicious. If anything, I found the roast pork bun to be a little too sweet, but I thought the jerk chicken rice parcel was inspired and a nice nod to its location. Overall it was fantastic meal with friendly attentive staff.  I’ll be going again and next time for dinner.

Meal for two, not including tip, came to £25 (we had tap water for drinks).

Natasha blogs about food at, you can follow her on Twitter @foodifancy.