Basking in the sunlight that Sydney decided to bestow upon us that day, the entrance to Copo Café & Diner was inviting. Nestled away from the hustle and bustle that is Victoria Road, you could sit down, read, talk and waste an entire afternoon in this cozy café.
Inside, you are greeted with a rustic interior that takes advantage of the natural light, creating a laidback feel. Having been allocated a table we’re given the menu. At first glance, the menu doesn’t seem all that special: sandwiches here, eggs there, toast over there. But that belies the little touches that the geniuses at Copo added to ordinary café staples to make them special.
Having agonized over each menu item, I decided to try the House Smoked Trout with Fried Egg, Potato Hash, Herbs and Toast while my partner opted for the healthier Copo Coleslaw with Cabbage, Radish, Mint, Walnuts and Smoked Chicken.
When the smoked trout with fried egg came, I was impressed with the presentation. When I tasted it, I overcame with joy. The smoked trout was divine: it was meaty with flourishes of dill decorated on its crusty seared flesh. Without being too salty, it served as the perfect complement to the potato hash that was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Laced with parsley, the potato tasted luxurious, like all the worlds’ troubles had disappeared in an instant, leaving you there to savor it in all its glory! The same cannot be said of the eggs, which was perhaps slightly overcooked. While it was cooked sunny side-up, there was almost no egg yolk to dip the sourdough in. But, in the grand scheme of this dish, it was irrelevant: simply use the egg yolk on toast, add some trout and these words will just melt away from existence.
Making the leap from my smoked trout to the Copo Coleslaw was almost seamless. The salad was refreshing thanks to the mint, with just the right balance of the natural sweetness from the cabbage and the sourness of the granny smith apples. The radishes soaked up the superb dressing while the crushed walnuts gave the whole salad a satisfying crunchy texture with nutty undertones.
Overall, Copo seems like the kind of place you can take sensible people to discuss, enjoy their company and just lounge around. With such a cozy vibe, sunlit rustic decor, friendly service and a menu that’s uniquely its own, few places in Sydney can match them for brunch.
~ Jambon Cochon