A lot of Londoners, especially those who live south west, will have either heard of the Vietnamese Bar & Restaurant Nam Long, or been here. And most people who’ve been here will have had their legendary ‘Flaming Ferrari’, which is what they became famous for in the 90s. A mixture of spirits (green chartreuse, Grand Marnier, dark rum and yellow chartreuse) which is set alight and drunk through a straw, it’s one that almost instantly turns you from sober to drunk, and is not one to have multiples of (I’ve seen people try, it’s not a pretty sight). But it’s certainly the way to get a night started (or ended).
So yes Nam Long, which opened the year I was born and has become a bit of an institution in the area, is known for its cocktails, and not just the Flaming Ferrari. I loved their Frozen Strawberry Daquiris – and while £11 a pop is steep, it’s so huge it’s most definitely worth it. Their Martinis were also really good – especially the Passionfruit one. So while often these sorts of ‘institutions’ tend to rely on their names, Nam Long actually lives up to it.
A few months ago they opened the ‘Opium Den’ in the basement which, with Indo-French decor and an impressive mosaic bar, is an upgrade from upstairs. It’s a compact space, but with a polished, swankier vibe and tends to be where the party’s at. Charming co-owner Chuong (who with his glamorous sister Dzuyen inherited Nam Long from their late father Thais) said that despite the small space, that’s where you’ll find the party animals at 2am, downing cocktails and dancing like crazy.
I’ll have to head back soon and see off the night here with a Flaming Ferrari myself.
NAM LONG LE SHAKER
159 Old Brompton Road
Photos their own, apart from the Instagram photo.