After a day of mostly I-hate-skinny-merchandisers shopping I found myself in Covent Garden. I love how this overly touristy part of London has slowly become quite the destination for foodies. Three of my London favourites (Dishoom, Opera Tavern and Wahaca) are within minutes of each other. I was craving panna cotta though, and Kopapa was around the corner.
The best panna cotta I’ve ever tasted was at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, when it first opened nearly ten years ago. I remember Ma and I licking our plates clean, and then bumping into Jamie (oh yeah). Ever since then I cannot resist ordering it if I see one on the menu. So far, nothing has come close to Jamie’s, and I was very excited about trying Kopapa’s ‘pomegranate panna cotta with pear & basil jelly & a brandy snap’. The restaurant is Peter Gordon’s latest offering. He is a fusion food genius and I adore eating at his Providores.
I didn’t begin with dessert. This was only meant to be a light snack before the main show so I ordered grilled chorizo (£5.80), salad of goats curd, puy lentils, samphire & grilled baby gem with pomegranate dressing & hazelnuts (£8.40) and a glass of Craggy Range Te Kahu (£8.75).
I don’t like. Or rather, I still don’t like Kopapa. The chorizo was too salty and the goats curd overpowered the entire salad. The panna cotta (£7) arrived but I couldn’t stand to finish it; I love basil but evidently not as a jelly, and definitely not in my dessert. My opinion is in the minority because Kopapa has only received great reviews. The gorgeous art deco floor aside I didn’t connect with this restaurant. Before I got here, I couldn’t recall the details of my first meal here; all I remember was not falling in love with the food.
Coming back again was a little bit like the second date you go on when you didn’t pay attention to your gut feeling (to run) the first time round. Do you remember every single detail of your first ever date? How about the first date with your latest sweetheart? I don’t. I don’t remember what I was wearing or whether he had polished his shoes, nor who initiated the date or how, nor who suggested the venue. I barely remember what we talked about.
At the end of the date we all have two options. We could listen to our head that says, “First dates shouldn’t count really. Everything is new and everyone is so nervous about giving the wrong answer that we barely hear the question. Go on, give it another shot”
Or we could listen to our heart that either says, “Something isn’t right. Run!” or “So it wasn’t the best date in the world. But you feel something, right?”
I choose heart.