Is my favourite breakfast place in London still up to scratch?
It’s been a while since my first visit to Kopapa, an
Australian Antipodean cafe/restaurant that serves up a delicious French toast for breakfast, not because I haven’t wanted to but simply because I’ve been sidetracked by all the other places I’ve been eating at. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to round up my usual breakfast club of famished yet sleepy dining companions, so I revisited Kopapa on my own on two separate breakfasts.
One dish I’ve been intrigued by ever since my first visit is the Turkish Eggs – two poached eggs with whipped yoghurt and hot chilli butter. I don’t know whether this dish is actually Turkish in any way, but it tastes damn good regardless. The sour tartness of the yogurt goes really well with the perfectly poached eggs, while the slight piquancy of the chilli butter adds a distinctive and tasty, but not overpowering, touch. The crunchy toast acts as a perfect carrier for it all, or it can simply be torn into strips and dipped into the yogurt and butter. Superb.
My second visit was on a Sunday morning, where the dining room, previously quiet on my weekday morning visits, was packed with people having brunch. I therefore had to be content with a seat at the bar which isn’t very comfortable if you’re a short arse like me. Service was just as friendly as always, but the crush of all those brunchers meant there was often a delay in clearing away my old dishes. They even forgot to put one of my orders through to the kitchen, although the staff did deduct the service charge as an apology.
The chorizo hash with rocket, a fried egg, salsa verde and crispy shallots sounds more interesting than it actually is. Although the hash had a meaty, salty initial hit, it quickly faded. The rest of the coarse and soft hash, although complimented well by the shallots and the single fried egg, was rather bland in comparison and the weak spicy sauce didn’t help matters. The portion was surprisingly small too, especially when compared to the generous portions of the French toast and the Turkish Eggs, so I had to order a dessert to fully satiate my monstrous belly.
The boiled orange and almond cake with orange blossom jam had, as you’d expect from all that orange, a distinctive, syrupy citrus taste to it. The cake itself, while moist and soft, barely tasted of almond at all which was a let down. Again, the small slice of cake seemed rather miserly, adding another layer of disappointment.
On both visits I slaked my thirst with a flat white, although Kopapa’s version of this coffee doesn’t quite match the flat whites available elsewhere in London.
Kopapa is by no means perfect and not every dish on the menu is a hit, but there are few other places in London I would rather have breakfast.
Address: 32-34 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9HA
Phone: 020 7240 6076
Opening Hours: Weekdays breakfast 08.30-11.30; lunch and dinner 12.00-23.20 (last savoury orders 22.45).
Saturday brunch 10.00-15.00; lunch and dinner 15.30-00.00 (last savoury orders 22.45).
Sunday brunch 10.00-15.00; lunch and dinner 15.30-22.50 (last orders 21.45). Phew!
Reservations: probably a good idea.
Total cost for one person: £11-16 approx.