S, E and I have been friends since we were 13/14, when we met in school. Not just any school - it was a very small boarding school, which took friendships (the good, the bad & the ugly!) to a whole other level. We did the majority of our growing up together, surviving the delights and disasters of our teenage years and knowing each other from our first to last boyfriends.
Sitting in one of our bedrooms after "lights out", switching the light back on and watching the O.C. and other slightly embarrassing TV shows, we'd often talk about the day we'd be out in the free world, as adults, and how we'd meet up for brunch on weekends like true city ladies. Of course, in our minds this would happen as soon as we were 18 and off to college - that's when we'd feel like adults, right?
So, so wrong. I think I felt the least grown up during my 4 years of undergrad.
But, fast-forward a few years and here we are, in 2015, where we find ourselves being actual adults, in the real sense of the word, not just because we're legal for everything. The point in time when you look back to the last couple of years and think, things have kind of fallen into place, haven't they? We're not finished products by any means, but I look at my friends and think about how brilliantly they are doing at this whole life business. And I look at my own life and feel a sense of excitement and fulfilment that I'd always dreamt of but was never quite sure I'd have.
So, it only made perfect sense when S said, let's start a "ladies who brunch" club! We'll try a different brunch place every month (or every other month, as I suspect our differing schedules will force it to be), and do that elusive thing we'd planned as kids.
Our first pick was Kopapa, somewhere we thought the menu sounded interesting and was also clearly popular. The owners of the restaurant hail from New Zealand, and clearly it's not a myth that Australians & New Zealanders know how to do brunch, because it did not disappoint.
S & E both chose Kopapa's signature dish, the Turkish Eggs. Not knowing quite what to expect, when I tried a bite I was blown away! I can't even describe it properly - the poached eggs are tucked into a magical bath of sesame oil, spices, whipped yogurt & chilli butter, and it goes perfectly with the sourdough toast. I definitely had a little food envy as it was just such an unusual dish, but I have to give much deserved praise to my choice too - chorizo hash with fried eggs, sriracha, crispy shallots & rocket. It was spicy without being overwhelming, and made this savoury breakfast lover very happy. Actually, I really want to try and recreate this at home - maybe with sweet potatoes?
The fact that they had the much talked about Crosstown Doughnuts on the menu did not escape us (and they put them out on display at the entrance as well, just to really seal the deal...), so we decided to share one and see what all the fuss was about. We settled on the salted caramel & banana one, and although it was good, it didn't wow me. I liked that it wasn't as heavy and sickly as some donuts can be, but I just wasn't that impressed... I know so many people rave about them though, so maybe I just need to try a few more flavours and I'll find one that I click with? I can eat donuts in the name of research, if that's what it takes.
To me, it's a huge advantage that Kopapa takes reservations, but they do have a quick turnaround time of 1h 30mins per table. It was just about enough for us, but I do think that 2 hours should be the minimum. All in all though, I wouldn't hesitate to go back - it was a delicious and successful start to our brunching ladies series!
32-34 Monmouth Street
Seven Dials, Covent Garden