This review is of Kopapa, a restaurant recently opened by New Zealand native and acclaimed chef Peter Gordon, well-known for his restaurant Providores & Tapas Room in Marylebone. The restaurant’s website promises a “home of the most exciting and innovative fusion food in Seven Dials”. It’s located in 32-34 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden’s Seven Dials, opposite the Cambridge Theatre showing the Chicago musical.
Kopapa the name, Maori for “a building to store food”;
Like the Chicago posters glaring at us, the interior is bordering on nude.
We arrive, it’s all smiles, chattering and laughs, the barman a pro;
The crowd MBA-ad diverse, sightly as a Shoreditch fashion show.
Class begins, we navigate the menus – a potpourri of tastes and foreign words;
Like a backpacker’s trip, it surprises, confounds, poetry for gastro nerds.
Zigzagging, jumping, mixing, a cacophonous journey written by a polyglot;
Roaming the Med, traversing the Pacific Rim, a harmonious chaos directs the plot.
A duck in broth, noodles and pineapple, every bite uncovering sweetness;
Methinks cloying, longing for lime, yet my companion finds completeness.
Lamb as pink as a Gypsy wedding, and smoky Baba Ghanoush will soothe;
Scallops on jelly coloured like a Tahitian Gauguin, the strokes painted smooth.
In London’s sea of beige and taciturnity, Kopapa shouts out loud and proud;
Exotic as a coral reef, gaudy as Nemo, to boredom it is a shroud.
It’s a gamble, sometimes a bramble – here, flavour favours the intrepid;
A jumble that may stumble, with tastes fiery, hot, brash, never tepid.
Whether you leave dazzled or frazzled, this is no ordinary English roast;
It tingles the buds, taxes the tongue, and deserves a cosmopolitan toast.
With plates that are Dolce, yet prices that aren’t Gabbana, ‘tis no Pret-a-Porter;
Ambitious, demanding, creative, un petit fou; Haute Couture is Kopapa’s forte.
“Mad as the sea and wind when both contend which is the might’ier”;
Be brave, face the storm, venture out – join Peter, the bucc’neer.
– BY POETRY AND THE FEAST
Kopapa Café and Restaurant
020 7240 6076