Copo 2011 was where my love of brunch was first conceived. I return perhaps 10% lighter but with a 30% larger appetite and greater propensity to criticise.
Either Drummoyne has been through Zimbabwean-style hyperinflation or the cafe is trying to eye gouge on price.
Crowds are thinner and a lack of ‘Surry Hills’ buzz is disconcerting. This is important, – the anticipation of feed can be as memorable as the feed itself.
20+ menu choices capture almost every imaginable food group. Too large a menu can be bad sometimes … e.g. my local Lilyfield pub claims to serve ‘The Best Laksa in Sydney’. Move over Malay-Chinese on Hunter Street!
The smoked trout salad comes out quickly. This is apparently the most popular non-baked eggs dish.
Smoked trout salad with cabbage, apples, radish, coriander and almonds – $19
Now let’s disregard the protein first, and acknowledge this to be chopped bits of greens and apple. At at a princely $19, I was expecting a whole trout from Norway plus a fishing rod.
My anger over trout-stinginess is quick to dissipate. The smokey flavour is AMAZING; I feel sorry for the forest that was cleared to wood smoke my fish. Excellent texture and the greens to protein ratio was spot on.
The almonds are nowhere to be seen, and the dish is much in need of a poached egg. The lightness almost left me craving something creamy.
Incredible crumbled smoked trout with a rich woody flavour BUT… no different to my maiden 10k race in 2011. Horrible pacing strategy left me in a bad state. In this case, an empty plate in 4 minutes.
Dish one-liner – a delicious appetiser that should be round 1 on a 10 course degustation.
Onto the baked eggs… of which there are three cuisines to choose from…. Spanish (chorizo), Moroccan (eggplant) or Turkish (lamb).
In the last 3 weeks via our brunch adventures, Lorie has already mounted a camel in Morocco and waved the Spanish flag clutching a chorizo. Today, she takes on the ANZAC tradition by invading Turkey.
Turkish baked eggs with minced lamb, yogurt, tomato and toast – $19
Baked eggs first principle – a well executed tomato base which is thick, rich and generously seasoned carries the dish. By skipping the sauce, Copo failed.
The general flavour and seasoning was OK, but the real bore was the composition. A hard egg layer above the lamb was more distinct than cheese on a beef patty inside a McDonald’s cheeseburger.
A food date gone wrong between the eggs and lamb; they didn’t even get to first base. Lack of component interaction was not helped by a carelessly chopped tomato and a dump of yogurt.
I find great joy in how an oozing yolk can seep effortlessly throughout a multi-faceted dish to marry flavours together. This was missing, along with any such sauce to scoop with a fist of bread.
Bunless lamb burger with fried egg on top is pretty evident
In effect, we paid $21 for a lamb burger with a fried egg, served in a little iron pan but missing its buns. The single little rye slice was begging for a twin.
The $4 upgrade to a Neil Perry Rockpool Wagyu Burger is too small to ignore. At least NP gives you two buns. Photo below from Rockpool website.
Today was a missed opportunity to explore other great brunch bucket-list destinations.
Food (♦♦) – mixed bag with a great light salad but a mediocre baked eggs.
Value (♦) – horrible bang for your buck.
Other (♦♦)- fairly unremarkable setting offset by nice staff eager for feedback.
Overall (♦) – good dish unsatisfying, bad dish infuriating. High expectations, no happiness.
I often lie in bed dreaming about wakening to the waft of baked eggs with a thick slab of bread. Being no closer to this fantasy, my advice is to ignore the Food Critics and resist the temptation to dine at Copo.
If a cafe scores low, I show my wife’s image rather than my own.