Ever found the prospect of finding a good inner city cafe where you can wile away the morning resoundingly quixotic? Copo Cafe and Diner offers the answer to this conundrum. And more.
Unlike the revolving door 'feel' of a Crown Street cafe with queues of grumpy people waiting outside and awkward packed-in crowds, a beautiful bright-lit spacious cafe opens up before you, located only a short distance from the city. You can actually spread out multiple cumbersome newspapers across a heavy old-fashioned table, walk freely to the bathroom without tripping on a dog or a bag and in general take your time.
The brunch menu offers generous tantalising meals at reasonable prices, ranging from exotic sweet dishes like citrus hotcakes with fresh mango, mascarpone and maple syrup ($13.90) or French toast with fresh ricotta, lemon curd and maple syrup ($14.90) to the rich and savoury, South American-style baked beans with chorizo and bacon on toast ($16.90), and original vegetarian options such as Moroccan eggplant baked eggs with labne, herbs and toast ($17.90).
Copo's chef sources fresh produce from the markets daily so it's all bright, honest and juicy with a real home-cooked yet professional quality. I died and went to gourmet heaven over the house-smoked trout with fried egg, potato hash, herbs and toast ($17.90) and my breakfasting companion was mad keen tucking into the fried lentils and ham with poached egg, onion, parsley and cumin ($16.90). There was a perfect balance to the food; the lentils had a moreish smoked ham flavor without being too salty and the trout with hash browns was crispy and buttery yet far from greasy. You really couldn't fault any of it.
Surrounded by the warm chatter of both youngsters and families, you can comfortably laze the hours away doing crosswords, sipping on hallmark Campos coffee so as to ease into the weekend. Perfect.
If you're from these parts, it's the ideal local haunt. If you're not a local, it is well worth the effort to go there to relax, enjoy the amazing food and not feel squeezed like a breakfast juice.