Kopapa

“This is the most complicated thing I have ever read” whispered the girl sitting next to me at Kopapa to her boyfriend. They were reading the menu at Peter Gordon’s newly opened restaurant in Covent Garden. They hunched over the lengthy descriptions of each of the dishes and tried to decipher what some of the more obscure ingredients referred to were. I have to admit Kopapa’s menu is a little overwhelming but it is also exciting. You have to expect a few unusual words from a restaurant which serves “fusion food” so often a dirty word but not in the hands of Gordon.

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Duck breast

As a fan of Gordon’s other restaurant, Providores, I was keen to try out Kopapa and so visited there on a freezing December night with Greedy Diva and American in London. The restaurant only takes a limited amount of bookings and most of the space is reserved for walk-ins, however the place was pretty deserted on our visit so we need not have worried so much about getting a booking. I am not sure whether the empty seats were a virtue of the restaurant being so new or the arctic conditions outdoors.
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Wedges of butternut squash
Kopapa certainly deserves to be more popular even if it is still early days. The food is genuinely exciting. From the tapas section of the menu the duck liver parfait (£5.60) is silky smooth and served caramalised on top almost like a meaty cremé brulee. Grilled aubergine (£4.80) shows why it is truly the king of vegetables gussied up with sticky tamarind caramel, coriander, and shavings of pickled ginger and za’tar. Wedges of butternut squash (£4.20) are slow roasted to a point of sweetness and then crumbed in crispy spices and cumin and served with a refreshing raita sauce.
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Tuna tartare
Fresh tuna (£6) is served finely diced as a tartare and infused with sesame with a soy wasabi tapioca and then topped with a fried lotus root. Duck breast (£6) is served chilled and thinly sliced across a jumble of goats curd, beetroot confit and pineapple like a light, Asian style salad. Coconut pork ribs (£5.80) are more caramalised than coconut but we still savour their sticky sweetness and tender meat. Bone marrow on toast (£5.20) is for once not a complete rip-off of the famous St John’s dish but instead combines the marrow with parmesan in a sauce.
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Aubergine
Although we planned to stick to the sharing plates we can’t resist trying out one main meal from the menu, the pork belly (£15.80) to share. It’s good pork belly, with crisp crackling and an accompaniment of almond skordalia and broccolini but it isn’t quite as spectacular or intriguing as the smaller plates. From the sweeter side of things the orange and almond cake (£5.80) is deliciously moist from being steamed and the macademia and chocolate brownie (£5.80) is served warm and gooey with a “golden crunch” honeycomb rich ice-cream which has the three of us diving for our spoons.
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Coconut pork ribs
The wine list features quite a few New Zealand and Australian wines but we settle on a bottle of the 2008 Callejo from the Duoro region of Spain. It is robust enough to stand up to the zany flavours we are eating and the freezing cold weather outside.
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Pork belly
Eating at Kopapa is fun and feels adventurous with some really interesting combinations of flavours and ingredients. Importantly though, this is fusion cooking which actually works and where each taste, texture or aroma compliments the others in the dish. Don’t worry about all the strange words on the menu just order a few dishes and get ready to discover some new and interesting things.
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Chocolate brownie

Essentials
Details: Kopapa, 32 -34 Monmouth street, Seven Dials, Covent Garden WC2H 9HA (Ph 020 7240 6076) Tube: Covent Garden
Damage: Reasonable. Our bill for three came to £109 with one bottle of wine.
8/10
Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in reading about Gordon’s original restaurant – Providores or for another nearby dining option try Dishoom.

Kopapa on Urbanspoon

Posted by: on January 3rd, 2011     18 Comments »

Category: Restaurant - Antipodean, WC2
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18 Comments on “Kopapa”

  1. Three-Cookies said at 11:05 am on January 3rd, 2011:

    Interesting looking plates as well.

  2. Heavenly Housewife said at 1:52 pm on January 3rd, 2011:

    Looks great. I want to try this place for breakfast.
    *kisses* HH

  3. Helen (Grab Your Fork) said at 3:25 pm on January 3rd, 2011:

    There’s nothing like a puzzling menu to stop you in your tracks. Great to hear that the fusion concept is a success hear. The tuna tartare sounds lovely.

  4. Greedy Diva said at 4:10 pm on January 3rd, 2011:

    I wonder if the coffee is as good as Providores? Kopapa was one of the few decent places to be open over the Christmas – New Year period so hopefully they have picked up some more custom by keeping their doors open to us hungry shoppers. Lovely to have shared the feast with you both!

  5. winesleuth said at 6:02 pm on January 3rd, 2011:

    Yet another place to add the list when I get back to London! Can’t wait!

  6. Anonymous said at 6:52 pm on January 3rd, 2011:

    Greedy Diva – their coffee is excellent. I think they use Monmouth and when you order a cappuccino, they’ll ask if you want sugar in it and chocolate sprinkles (that’s if you take it away). It’s a good sign when people ask…

  7. catty said at 7:12 pm on January 3rd, 2011:

    I’m actually a huge fan of fusion food when done right, and I’ve heard a few other people say nice things about Kopapa so I should really start thinking about getting my butt there. Pork belly looks amazing!

  8. Jonathan said at 11:47 pm on January 3rd, 2011:

    Definitely on the list now. We share some very similar views. I like Providores a lot and am a bit wary of fusion food in general. But I am genuinely excited about paying Kopapa a visit.

  9. tori said at 3:53 pm on January 4th, 2011:

    Sounds like another one to add to the list! Good coffee and a divine sounding duck parfait. Done.

  10. Gourmet Chick said at 8:51 pm on January 4th, 2011:

    Three Cookies – Yes I appreciated that as well. Nice to have something different to standard white.

    HH – Providores does just about my favourite breakfast in London so I imagine breakfast at Kopapa is excellent. Do report back.

    Helen – I think fusion cooking is much more popular in Australia than it is over here.

    Greedy Diva – Lovely to share the meal with you.

    Wine Sleuth – You will have to give us a run down on the wine list.

    Anon – Thanks for the coffee feedback. Good to hear it is up there with Providores.

    Catty – I would recommend going for sure – I think you would love it

    Jonathan – Hopefully you can make it there on your next trip back to London.

    Tori – Yes two big ticks from me too if a place can deliver those two things.

  11. Swedish Meatball said at 11:12 pm on January 7th, 2011:

    Ah, this is making me drool. Though I’m a fan of a lot of his cookbooks, I’ve never actually made it to Providores (yet). Kopapa sounds amazing!

  12. Gourmet Chick said at 10:55 pm on January 13th, 2011:

    Swedish Meatball – oh you must go then if you like the cookbooks – Providores is a great restaurant. Brunch in particular and now Kopapa is a welcome extension of that.

  13. LondonRob said at 5:51 pm on January 22nd, 2011:

    I went back for the third time today – had amazing granola, yoghurt and honey and a great flat white. I am definitely a fan!

  14. Gourmet Chick said at 9:12 am on January 23rd, 2011:

    LondonRob – Another recommendation for the breakfast menu. I do love Providores for breakfast so it stands to reason Kopapa should also be great.

  15. Yeebot said at 2:01 pm on January 25th, 2011:

    Nice review! The food looks amazing. I adore brunch at Providores and was keen to sample the same at Kopapa. But having seen this post I’m considering booking myself in for dinner!

  16. Gourmet Chick said at 7:27 pm on January 25th, 2011:

    Yeebot – I did enjoy the dinner menu – but am also keen to test out the brunch one.

  17. Jamie said at 7:18 pm on May 5th, 2011:

    Hi there, couldn’t help interjecting on the boiled-orange almond cake — it is *not* steamed, but baked!! It’s a traditional Sephardic-Jewish cake made of whole oranges which are boiled in water (hence the useful boiled-”dash”-orange designation), and when soft and mushy are pulverized skin and all along with ground almonds, eggs, etc.
    If it were steamed it wouldn’t have that nice bronzed top and sides… and would probs be soggy..

  18. Gourmet Chick said at 11:20 am on May 8th, 2011:

    Jamie – Thanks thats great to know. Sounds like a really interesting dish to make.


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