Kopapa: a Maori word for ‘a gathering, to be crowded, and a building to store food in’. Don’t ask me how to pronounce Kopapa.
The menu is certainly eclectic and full of inventive dishes, which provides a nice change to what I find to be the occasionally boring British brunch menu that all contain the exact same fry up with nothing remotely original. (Not that I’m bashing the fry up by any means…) Turkish eggs — poached eggs with yoghurt, hot chilli butter and sourdough toast — and spiced banana French toast with grilled bacon, orange blossom labne, tamarind raisin relish & orange vanilla syrup are just a few welcome items on both the brunch and breakfast menus.
The chorizo hash with two fried eggs, rocket, sriracha chilli sauce & crispy shallots is definitely worth trying and also reminded me of a wonderful breakfast at Workshop Coffee Co in Clerkenwell, of baked eggs with roast pepper, chorizo, saffron, tomato ragu and feta. But we’re not here to talk about Workshop Coffee Co (it is amazing though). Having said that, there is a striking amount of crossover amongst London brunch places all serving different variations of the exact same dish, trying to be ‘trendy’. As long as chorizo are eggs are part of it, I’m okay with it.
One unique trait Kopapa does have is that it caters to those late risers on the weekend who still love to brunch. A restaurant which serves brunch until 4pm giving hungover lazy bastards like myself the opportunity to eat breakfast as and when I please on the weekend is a rareity in London and something that is greatly appreciated. Thank you Kopapa.
The downsides? Of course the beast has to whinge a bit about something.
The waitstaff could do with a bit of ‘people skills’ training for sure. If one decides to show up to work hungover, taking it out on the customer is ill-advised. Secondly, the waitstaff should be considerate of their customers (oh I already sort of said that) and also try not to lose the restaurant any money. My friend and I dined here at 3pm and when we went to order one of the luscious desserts around 3:55pm — peanut butter parfait with chocolate delice, salted caramel sauce & chocolate crumble to be exact — the waitress advised us they were no longer serving dessert as the kitchen had to change over for the dinner menu. Fair enough, however, what the hell. It would have been better form if the waitstaff informed their tables this was about to happen so people who wanted to order a cheeky sundae or scoop of sorbet could have had the opportunity to do so before the kitchen closed. Poor form. Some people with a sweet tooth are known to get scarily cranky if they don’t get their fill of dessert so, servers should be mindful of that.
The other issue was the tea. Yes, the tea. The tea list is extensive and luxurious. There’s Genmaicha (Green tea with roasted rice), Camomile, Jasmine, Darjeeling, Lapsang Souchong, Earl Grey, Mountain Honeybush, English Breakfast, Mulberry (caffeine free ‘green’ tea from Thailand) dare I go on? That’s not the issue though. Their ornate little strainers are beautiful and all, but did nothing to stop the loose tea from coming out into the teapot. If you’re going to serve nice tea in nice china, then make the tea properly. That’s all we ask.
If they could just smooth out the clunky, unimpressive service, Kopapa would have a lot going for it.
32-34 Monmouth St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HA
Tel: 020 7240 6076