The Halal: Sadly nothing, but very good vegetarian options and if you have other dietary constraints (lactose intolerant, gluten-free etc), this is a great place to visit. Pork and alcohol are served here.
The Place: Kopapa is located on Monmouth street near the Seven Dials in Covent Garden. You may walk past it assuming it’s another tourist-haunt, but do not be fooled, this is the sister restaurant to the highly successful Providores and Tapa room in Marylebone. The name is Maori for ‘a gathering, to be crowded, a building to store food’. The brains behind it are Kiwi in essence with two of the four owners hailing from a Maori heritage and the remainder having been brought up in New Zealand. The restaurant was buzzing with sounds of the kitchen and happy chatty customers.
The Food: Essentially it’s a bit of a mishmash- aka ‘Fusion’. The menu changes depending on the time of day and similarly to many tapas-style restaurants, you can order from a variety of large and small plates to share or to indulge on your own. We visited for brunch and the menu payed tribute to Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, Arabia and Asia through some intriguing combinations.
I made a bee-line straight for the Turkish eggs. Poached eggs in chilli butter and yoghurt?! That too before midday- I wasn’t so sure but I’d heard so much about these I had to try them. And I wasn’t disappointed- they were spectacular! The eggs were poached to perfection. I mean PERFECTION. Light, fluffy clouds with an incredible shape. We waited with abated breath as I sliced through the egg and YES- an explosion of molten runny yolk formed pools amongst the spiced yoghurt. I need to go to Istanbul and eat at Changa stat because if these eggs here are this good, who knows what the original recipe is like!
We also tried was the Spiced banana french toast, with orange blossom labne, tamarind raisin relish and orange vanilla syrup (minus the bacon of course!) If you have a sweet tooth at breakfast time, this probably wasn’t quite sweet enough. As it’s supposed to come with bacon they were probably aiming for a more balanced plate with sweet and salty but on it’s own it was nice but not amazing. The labne added the right amount of acidity to the dish and the tamarind and orange combination was a new experience for the tastebuds.
As I mentioned earlier, Kopapa is considerate to those who have food allergies. I was happy to see a large selection of gluten-free and dairy-free products on the menu as well as an immense choice of dairy-free smoothies. For the health-savvy, there was organic produce galore, date scones, quinoa and plenty of fresh juices. For the halal comfort-eaters: a vegetarian fry-up should do the trick. You can choose the type of eggs but you’d be silly to not go poached.
The Price: Around £15-20 per person for brunch, dinner would be around £40 per person for 3 courses.
The Verdict: Kopapa was a great brunch venue- I’d like to go back and see how their lunch and dinner menus fare. Shame about the lack of halal but if you’re happy on the veg from time to time, there is plenty on offer here!