Why would I want to have marinated olives, beef rendang and a cheese board?
Kopapa, Covent Garden Review
This venue is now closed
Kopapa is a Maori word for ‘a gathering, to be crowded, and a building to store food in’. The Maori link comes from the owners – ‘fusion’ pioneer Peter Gordon (of The Providores and Tapa Room) and Brandon Allen both of whom have Maori heritage as well as Michael McGrath and Adam Wills who were raised in New Zealand.
The location is prime, right in the middle of Seven Dials, Covent Garden and as Kopapa is open all day it certainly makes for a convenient meeting place for any meal from breakfast to a post-theatre snack. The ever-changing menu includes breakfasts and small plates through to main courses.
I didn’t think much of the interior, which isn’t particularly warm or welcoming with tiled flooring and corrugated steel panels covering portions of the walls, it almost felt unfinished. There are however, full height windows along the front of the cafe, which makes for a great people watching spot.
The majority of the breakfast menu isn’t particularly interesting but there are a few tasty sounding exceptions, including Spiced banana French toast, grilled bacon, orange blossom labne, tamarind raisin relish & orange vanilla syrup (£10).
Antonia and I inevitably ordered from the interesting section of the menu, she had the ‘Turkish eggs’ from Changa restaurant in Istanbul – 2 poached eggs with whipped yoghurt, hot chilli butter & 2 slices of toast (£9.50) and being unable to pass up anything containing chorizo, I ordered the Chorizo hash with 2 fried eggs, rocket, sriracha chilli sauce & crispy shallots (£9.80). Both a bit pricey but it’s no surprise given the location. Both dishes arrived in a suspiciously short amount of time, which does give a feeling that the kitchen may have the majority of these dishes ready to go and are just assembled a ticket comes down from the waiting staff.
My eggs and crispy shallots both looked quite anemic and unappetising and the hash underneath was much more stodgy than crispy. More of a chorizo mush than anything else. Nice flavours, especially when mixed in with some runny yolk and the shallots but I couldn’t see the point of the undressed rocket on the side.
The Turkish eggs on the other hand, looked fantastic sitting in their bowl of chilli butter and yoghurt. Sadly, no matter how many times either of us tried to get some chilli heat from the butter we got nothing in return. The yoghurt at the bottom of the bowl was an interesting addition but just seemed to add more richness to an already rich dish. It also drained all the heat from the now lukewarm butter.
Kopapa turned out to be an all round disappointment including the staff, who seemed to be going through the motions more than anything else. I left my bag behind (which they kindly called to remind me about) but when I went returned to get it a few minutes later, our waitress greeted me with a “Good morning, table for one?” as if she’d never seen me before.
The dinner menu has some great sounding dishes which pull at my asian roots, like beef rendang, lamb rump satay and chilli salted squid but if I want asian dishes I’m going to go to an asian restaurant.
This highlights my contention with fusion menus – why would I want to have marinated olives, beef rendang and a cheese board?
32-34 Monmouth Street
London WC2H 9HA