Kopapa was one of those places that kept popping up on my Instagram feed, and having never had food from New Zealand, I took the opportunity to stop by. To keep it short, it’s an innovative, fusion style restaurant located just by Seven Dials, Covent Garden.
Menu changes continuously, but some things will stay and remain as a favourites, notably their Turkish eggs dish! Opened by owners New Zealanders/ people of Maori descent;
Kopapa: a Maori word for ‘a gathering, to be crowded, and a building to store food in’.
Highly recommend place to go for pre-theatre and post-theatre meals.
Crab burger is something new for me, but was slightly dry, it could be that it was so early in the morning… But nevertheless, more sauce is needed with this burger!
Turkish eggs (below) – 2 poached eggs, whipped yoghurt, hot chilli butter and 2 slices of toast. To me this dish doesn’t look too appetizing, since the idea of chilli butter, yoghurt and eggs looked like such a strange combination. This however, was one of the best brunches I’ve had…the combo works really well but unfortunately I can’t put this in words… (I’m not a great food writer) but I highly recommend everyone to have turkish eggs even if its not at Kopapa!
Service: 12.50% service charge
Bits and bobs:
Brunch times are specific, and a different menu to dinner, I would recommend going for brunch first! Check their website for more details.
Leicester Square is actually a closer stop than Covent Garden, so if its easier for you, stop off there
Serving the widest choice of fish in North East London, Sutton and Sons is located on the high street that joins Dalston Junction and Stoke Newington stations together. Seafood is sourced daily, fresh from the Sutton and Sons’ Fishmongers, their main seafood supplier. An established and reputable entity in its own right, with its roots stemming back to 1998, serving schools and its local community.
Seafood is bought directly from the day boats of Essex and other UK coastal fishing ports, and from Billingsgate
Sutton and Son’s restaurant itself was set up in 2010, showcasing traditional British food, one of the few good fish and chippiesleft in town.
I have to admit I don’t know much about seafood, so it was great to have Adam and Chris explain how particular foods are sourced and the reason behind particular flavours/ seasonings. These oysters are obtained from Kent, with Danny allowing us to try them raw, and also tempura style. The aioli sauce is a must-try!
This is my first time trying samphire, it is a european plant of the parsley family, grown on rocks and cliffs by the sea, or as Chris explains it – its usually found in swamps or marshland. There is no need to add salt to these as its salty aroma stems naturally from its growth in these areas. I think I may have found vegetables I finally like…
We also had Mrs Sutton’s pickles (pictured below).
Really large portions at Sutton and Sons, so you would really get your money’s worth. I had the tuna burger, you’re given a thick slab of tuna sandwiched by soft buns and a bowl full of fries.
Service: Attentive and friendly!
Bits and bobs:
Can be a quite a walk if you get off at the wrong stop… so plan your journey!
There are mains off the menu written on the chalkboards inside, so have a look for specials
The 3rd November 2014 opening of Smack Deli was an anticipated one, starting with a 50% soft launch, it had everybody at its feet. The sister of the Burger and Lobster chain opened by the Goodman group sells 4 different types of lobsters rolls, and other lobster related dishes. Their ‘fast food fine dining‘ concept has been a unique one, with not many (if any) similar to Smack Deli.
It’s almost empty whenever I do pop in now as the lobster hype as died down, but nevertheless, some highly recommended things from Smack Deli include the Lobster Chowder and the Seven Samurai Roll. Courgette fries can tend to be a bit too oily, and Mexican lobster roll has strong flavours which overwhelm the lobster taste.
Service: Minimal interaction since it is fast food style. Slightly overstaffed considering how empty the store is for most of the day.
Some of the critics’ anticipated openings of 2013. Opened by Elena Arzak, deemed to be the Best Female Chef in 2012, the restaurant is located on the ground floor of The Halkin Hotel, just off Hyde Park Tube Station specialising in Basque Spanish food. Arrival was to a rather bland and soulless room lined up with square tables and plain white walls, but upon looking up at the ceiling, you will find 7000 glass test tubes filled with cumin and spices. Rather impressive. Sitting down can be rather daunting as I watched half a dozen pair of eyes seep into me as I take my seat… guess this is what happens when you’re their first customer of the day..
We got a set deal for lunch here for just £27, a deal which I believe they still have at the moment. Tasting menus can be up to £145 and if ordering from the A La Carte expect it to be well over £50. So I do recommend the set lunch if you are to visit!
I have been meaning to give this a second visit when I can, some of their other dishes are equally as exquisite. Colours as well as the plating are done really well here, the food of course, is good too.
Service: 12.5% service charge
Bits and bobs:
Their dishes are known for the visual appeal and exquisitivity, they have desserts that change colour amongst other things, so maybe check your Instagram feed before going!
Cloakroom service available
Price: ££ (only because I got the set deal for £27)
Prestige and reputation sure does get repeatedly mentioned in my posts, but this one is a little different. It’s very hard to find a restaurant like the Criterion, a restaurant so quintessentially English and enriched with so much history there’s even a Wikipedia page for it.
Breath-taking interior design by architect Thomas Verity in a Grade II* listed building at the heart of Central London makes the Criterion certainly one to visit. I held my mother’s birthday here last year and most recently re-visited the Criterion for Louise’s 21st, and also, for the new breakfast menu.
You almost feel as if you’re part of history as you walk in, when you know the Criterion has been mentioned in Sherlock Holmes’ book on Dr. Watson’s meeting with a friend, to being in the same place where Winston Churchill once visited. Events often take place here, weddings and celebrations alike, but also regularly featured in TV, such as Downtown Abbey, Batman: The Dark Knight and Gambit.
Ongoing deals at the Criterion
50% off breakfast menu until 30th June 2015
Afternoon Tea and Cocktail £19.95
2 courses and a Pimm’s cocktail £20.00/ 3 courses for £25.00
(Full prices are listed below)
My first instinct was, “It’s Duck and Waffle!”, being a frequent diner of Duck and Waffle, I’m not sure I’ve tried a different take on this particular combination until at the Criterion. They do not use a duck egg, more mustard is used than wholly maple syrup, but mustard is subtle and so does not overpower the sweetness of the sauce. Duck confit was tender and soft, a very very good alternative if you can’t book the 40th floor establishment.
Below was Amy’s choice of breakfast was the Berries and Walnuts Criterion Pancakes, really fruity and fresh, pancakes really fluffy!
Dinner in the semi-private terrace area, tables arranged in a long vertical line for a group of 20.
I had the pasta, the vegetarian option, since the other two mains were wildly popular on the table.
Service: Very accommodating, friendly, knowledgable and not intrusive. 12.5% service charge.
Bits and bobs:
Make this your pre-theatre meal with Criterion Theatre just next door! (39 steps is one of my favourite plays)
Can easily accommodate birthday meals, or large parties, as far as I remember, no cake fee
Tube station at your doorstep
Afternoon tea also recommended
Live music during the evening on Fridays and Saturdays from 7.30pm
Ex-Gordon Ramsay chef will be taking over Strand Dining Room’s kitchen from April 3, so expect some new dishes!
Serving all day British food, as well as afternoon tea, Strand Dining offers classic and traditional English food at an affordable price. With currently a deal on at bookatable 3 courses with a cocktail at £25.00
The restaurant is furnished with sophistication, spacious and ideal for large bookings, or party bookings.
I know my main looked slightly plain and the chicken dry, but it really wasn’t, a main thoroughly enjoyed and cooked well, the poached egg made a nice addition. Maybe Strand Dinings should work on its presentation. Speaking of presentation though, check out the dessert below. Good plating.
Service: 12.5% service charge.
Bits and bobs:
Pretty big restaurant, so you can always walk in, but they do get busy