Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
All rights reserved
Food photos are of real food with NO photoshop
The irreverent and intrepid makes a beeline for London’s West End to catch a mouse…
MICE are only cute in the hit cartoon movie ‘RATatouille’…and perhaps in the oldest running West End play in London…and in the world. The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, the “Queen of Crime” is a hot favourite of mine and I have seen this Murder mystery ‘whodunit’ before, several times. On a recent gastronomic safari in Europe, I went to enjoy it yet again…but before that I went to feast at my good pal’s restaurant very near the theatre where The Mousetrap is showing. Chef/Owner Peter Gordon is a very cheerful fellow from New Zealand. With his ‘Navy SEAL beard’, Peter has an uncanny resemblance to the actor that played the adventurer in the TV series, “Jason King”.
New Zealand’s take on Pacific Rim cuisine is what is served in Kopapa. It means in the Maori language: “Meeting Place”. It is true to its name…for I saw loud, culturally challenged blond female American tourists with “big hair” and “big eyes”, if you get my drift…People from all walks of life including native Londoners, and ‘out of towners’ from Scotland and the north, come to eat & see the glitz and glamour of the City! The atmosphere is raucous and noisy and exuberant, but what the hell? At the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating…
Splendid “small plates”
The way to enjoy the cuisine here, respectfully, is to select several ‘small plates’, a la Tapas in Spain…and share family-style. So much more fun and convivial! I recommend Tempura spicy Dhal Inari pocket, Caramelised Coconut & Green Paw-Paw Pickle. This is inspired by Singapore-Indian cuisine with a Dhal (lentil) curry. and the Green Papaya Pickle is from Thai cuisine. Scrumptious Sesame-glazed Wasabi-spiked Wagyu Beef plus Rice Noodles, Ginger Pickles & Enoki (mushrooms) is Japanese inspired and appeals to the Carnivore in all of us (myself included 🙂 NZ is justly famed for seafood so…King scallop with Sweet Chilli Sauce a la Thai Mae Praenom massaged with slinky Crème-fraîche instead of Mayonnaise…is simply delightful! Have this with 2010 Seresin Estate, a Gewürztraminer, far from its native origins grown in Marlborough, NZ. Typical New World New Zealand ‘terroir’ and wine making techniques show off Litchees, Freshly-cut Ginger and perfumed Rose petals…The ginger nuances foil the marine flavours of the scallops…
Depriving your good self of a sweet treat is to deny yourself one of life’s greatest pleasures…Therefore, go mad for:
Sorbets…have two, three or more scoops! I like tropical Pineapple & Coconut, Cherry & Lemongrass Thai and Nyona influence here), pristine Pear & Star Anise with a crispy GInger Snap is a personal favorite…
x3 Scoops of Pineapple & coconut, cherry & lemongrass, pear & star anise with a ginger snap (GBP7.90). A plate of home-made biscuits & chocolates (GBP6.50) WHY do they always say “home-made” when it is made by the pastry Chef in the restaurant kitchen??? Only MUM makes home-made at HOME! Nevertheless, they are pretty nice. BOuncy Blackberries, Lemon Curd, Basil Sorbet, Toasted Honeyed Oats and/or Chocolate & Sea Salted Caramel Sundae, Tamarind (aka Assam) Ice Cream & Popcorn! Roast Quince, Kalamansi Lime Sorbet and sweet Meringue makes me happy…My companion, F, loved Peanut Butter Parfait with Original Beans of 75% Piura Criollo Chocolat Delice, and more Salted Caramel Sauce & Chocolate Crumble…love that crunch! Or FORGO sweets and smile and say: CHEESE! Ragstone & Stichelton Blue is strong…to grow hairs on your chest, or perhaps a milder Montgomery Cheddar plus Hazelnut & Fig Brioche, Oatcakes and Membrillo. Marmalade and fresh-cut Seville Oranges plus hints of Thai Mango make 2008 Craggy Range, ‘Fletcher Family’, Noble Riesling good with the cheeses.
The Travelling GourmetTM recommends Kopapa for an early perfectly spiffing Pre-Theatre Dinner when you are in London’s West End. Not so appropriate for a romantic rendezvous with a Ukrainian blond…ENJOY life! It’s short…live well…live happily!
Kopapa Café and Restaurant,
32-34 Monmouth Street,
Seven Dials, Covent Garden,
London, WC2H 9HA
Kopapas is open for breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
|Monday – Friday|
|Breakfast||8:30am – 11:30am|
|Lunch||midday – 5.00pm|
|Dinner||5:00pm – 11:00pm|
|Brunch||9:30am – 4:00pm|
|Dinner||4:30pm – 11:00pm|
|Brunch||9:30am – 4:00pm|
|Dinner||4:30pm – 9:45pm|