I used to do these “She Eats At” posts all the time, and I think I’m going to bring them back. I always get asked about where I like to eat in London, and if I’ve got a nice set of posts for people to refer back to with menus and pictures, it’ll probably be easier than me scrambling around in dusty corner of my brain and going “Er, yeah, Wahaca, Wahaca is good…”
(Although Wahaca is very good, please do eat there)
Anyway. Being a twenty-something woman in London with no children and a decent amount of disposable income, I spend quite a lot of my time at brunch. So embarrassed am I by how wanky and stereotypical it has become for a London woman to go to “brunch”, I’ve started going as early as I possible can and calling it “breakfast” instead. The fact I don’t drink alcohol makes this easier to get away with, although it is slightly difficult to call it breakfast when your friends are eating what is essentially a burger next to you.
A few weeks ago, Lauren and Ashley and I were going to go to 26 Grains for breakfast, which is a place where they serve all kinds of fancy/ridiculous porridge, but when we turned up at 10am on the dot there was already a queue outside the door. There are a lot of things we will do for a good breakfast/brunch, but queueing outside in the rain is not one of them.
“Where shall we go?” Ashley asked
“Er, yeah…Wahaca?” I suggested.
“Kopapa is round the corner” said Lauren. “Let’s go there”
I’d never been to Kopapa before, but Lauren is the kind of woman who reads the Evening Standard section and Grace Dent’s restaurant column, then actually visits the places they recommend. They had one table, tucked away in the corner by the window, so we ducked out of the Covent Garden rain and into the sleek, shiny dining room of Kopapa.
Service was quick. Before we’d even decided what we wanted for breakfast our drinks had been delivered, including cold tap water for the table. Ashley had a flat white, and she’s one of the most particular coffee drinkers I know but liked it so much she went back for a second.
Deciding on what to eat was difficult – the menu includes fry ups, granola and fruit with yogurt and blossom honey, avocado toast with chilli, goat cheese, mint and lemon (I admire a restaurant who takes the utterly inexplicable passion for smushed avocado on toast and actually does something interesting with it) and cake. Yes, they unashamedly have cake on their breakfast menu.
Ashley went for the chorizo hash with fried eggs, sriacha chilli sauce, crispy shallots and rocket. The waiter warned us that this was spicy and he really wasn’t kidding, but the hash was smooth and moreish, the rocket cutting through paprika-y chorizo and stopping everything from feeling a bit overpowering.
I had “Half and half” – half a bowl of granola, half a bowl of Greek yogurt and fruit salad, with milk to pour over the top. The granola was good, nothing like the overly sweet and/or tasteless stuff you buy in shops, and full of crunchy seeds. I was once again baffled by how restaurants managed to buy fresh fruit out of season that doesn’t taste like watery mush. I found this incredibly filling and only managed about half of it (although I had had a hot chocolate as a pre-breakfast breakfast, so it was probably my own fault).
Lauren and Ashley certainly didn’t mind finishing off what I’d left.
Lauren had the prize, though. Kopapa are known for their Turkish eggs so that’s what she ordered – two poached eggs, whipped yogurt, hot chilli butter and two slices of toast. So good I made an involuntary noise when I took a bite.
It was about £40 for three of us to have a large breakfast and a coffee each. Not a bargain, but certainly not unrealistic for a London brunch and I didn’t need any lunch afterwards. I’m already looking forward to going back and trying the Turkish eggs for myself.
Have you ever been to Kopapa? What did you think?