24 May 2013

Copa. A restaurant review

| johnboy
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copa

I do believe I have a new favourite restaurant in town.

Sure Copa got off to a bad start. But I figured the most scrutinised kitchen in Canberra was worth a go and so we set off last night to check it out on Woolley Street in Dickson.

Arriving at 6.30 the restaurant was very quiet. While more people arrived as the night went on it was never what you’d call busy.

The decor is pleasantly woody with some nice brazilian themed murals.

While I’ve been down on “concepts” in restaurants in the past, the concept at Copa is both simple and pleasant.

Sit down at a flat rate $45 per head and they’ll keep bringing you food until you beg them to stop.

To this end every diner is equipped with a wooden disk, once side painted green, the other red.

As long as you’re green side up the food keeps coming.

We were, on sitting down, also provided with four sauces (red, green, oily, vinegary) and a plethora of vegetably side dishes with lurking bits of pork.

(Vegetarians really shouldn’t bother, although there are some seafood options)

Ensconced with sides, sauces, and a caipirinha the meat started coming.

Off the coals on long skewers they slice it off in front of you with a bit of help from the pair of tongs all diners are set out with.

Pork, beef, lamb, in a dizzying variety of BBQ styles. Not to mention the sensational sausage.

copa

I chased my cocktail with a delicious Palma Louca beer.

If you’re a vegetarian, or not keen on a smoky atmosphere give this place a miss.

But if you like tasting lots of different bites of BBQ’d meats while having a drink and a laugh and absolutely no stress on splitting the bill then I can’t recommend it highly enough.

I will most definitely be going back.

(Also 18 hours later I can report I feel fine, there was no sign of potato salad last night)

For bookings check out their website.

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c_c™ said :

“(Vegetarians really shouldn’t bother, although there are some seafood options)”

I’ve asked a few vegetarians about this and never gotten a satisfactory answer. Why is seafood okay?
I hear that it is so often but it seems so arbitrary.

To quote Kurt Cobain, “It’s ok to eat fish ’cause they don’t have any feelings.”

Holden Caulfield said :

Haha, good effort in doing this. At the very least they should have picked up your tab, if not then, in future.

JB would have been sure to declare if Copa had given a freebie in exchange for a review!

Rover said :

Has the southside restaurant with the Mother’s Day gastro bug ever been outed? Just that I noticed a prominent Kingston establishment is closed at the moment “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

I have no idea if this is the case (so don’t quote me) but an interesting thing that I noticed was on the day that the outbreak made the news, the tv was showing the control centre that they had set up to monitor the cases that were being reported and they were also talking about the second outbreak and they were pointing at a white board as they were speaking to camera and “Rose Cottage” was written at the top of it and my Mr Bad Seed and I were wondering if this was supposed to be shown on camera!

poetix said :

Many people just don’t want to give fish up, understandably, and make up funny names for their fishy ways. Piscatarian and so on.

I thought “Vegaquarian” was tres amusement.

funkylovebunny11:06 am 25 May 13

I love it when there’s a signal for more food. Everyone knows it’s impossible to talk to a waiter when you’re shoving food into your gob like there’s no tomorrow.

Has the southside restaurant with the Mother’s Day gastro bug ever been outed? Just that I noticed a prominent Kingston establishment is closed at the moment “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

Walked past last night about 8pm.
That smoke is really something … gotta love they way they take creating an atmosphere so literally.
There seemed to be a dozen or so people on the knives and forks (and let’s just say most of ’em seemed to have a solid history on the how-much-I-can-eat-for-a-set-price concept.)

Sounds great – thanks, JB – I’ll definitely be trying it.

And thanks for your ethics in not announcing yourself. Any review of anything where the reviewer gets swag of any kind is tainted and not worth the electrons it’s printed with.

geoffappleby11:22 pm 24 May 13

Oh, and I should have mentioned, like john said for his thursday night visit, the place was very very quiet for a friday. Unless business picks up soon, I wouldnt be surprised if they really do go bust.

geoffappleby11:17 pm 24 May 13

Took the mrs and a couple of friends there tonight. While the food was mostly great, and as far as i’m aware no one is ill, they’ve still got ventilation issues. My wife had to leave for a while and stand outside for a bit to clear her eyes of all the smoke. You could barely see at one stage, until they opened up all the doors. My clothes absoluley reek, and not in a good way.
To be honest, the wait staff were a bit green too, but given how new the place is, they can be forgiven that 🙂
All in all, a mostly enjoyable experience, and we’ll be sure to do it again when I know the smoke extractors are up to the job.

Blen_Carmichael5:59 pm 24 May 13

John Moulis said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Haha, good effort in doing this. At the very least they should have picked up your tab, if not then, in future.

That was the payola system in operation during the 1970s and ’80s with the restaurant reviewer at The Canberra Times. They phoned a few days in advance letting you know they were coming and you had to give them a free meal to get a good review. At The Tower Restaurant in 1982 we refused to go along with this dishonesty and told them “pay like everybody else or don’t bother coming”. A few days later we picked up the paper and the reviewer bagged us unmercifully. Not only that, for the next few months a stream of anti-Tower stories were published. The boss of Telstra (or Telecom Australia as it was known then) had to meet with the editor to try and get the garbage to stop.

Good on you for not giving in. In any event an objective reviewer shouldn’t be announcing his/her arrival in the first place, one would hope.

I do know of a former Canberra Times journalist (not a reviewer) who, when making a booking with a restaurant, would announce his full name and employer in order to get the royal treatment for himself and his family. Cringeworthy.

c_c™ said :

“(Vegetarians really shouldn’t bother, although there are some seafood options)”

I’ve asked a few vegetarians about this and never gotten a satisfactory answer. Why is seafood okay?
I hear that it is so often but it seems so arbitrary.

Fish is not part of a vegetarian diet. Many people just don’t want to give fish up, understandably, and make up funny names for their fishy ways. Piscatarian and so on, but that actually implies that you only eat fish.

I think JB was being a tad provocative in linking vegetarianism and fish.

Oh dear will no one think of the vegetarians, such cruelty, although it’s a bloody good thing I like my meat!

“(Vegetarians really shouldn’t bother, although there are some seafood options)”

I’ve asked a few vegetarians about this and never gotten a satisfactory answer. Why is seafood okay?
I hear that it is so often but it seems so arbitrary.

Barcham said :

I’ve been monitoring Johnboy’s health all day. He seems fine.

He’s barely thrown up at all, much less than he usually would on a Friday.

Ah .. good one Barcham

Thanks Johnboy!

My wife and I’ll be trying it out for sure.

I am definitely giving it a crack!! There will not be a cleaner, quieter place to eat in Canberra.

kevin22 said :

Legal Action is coming.

Of course it is

Holden Caulfield said :

Haha, good effort in doing this. At the very least they should have picked up your tab, if not then, in future.

That was the payola system in operation during the 1970s and ’80s with the restaurant reviewer at The Canberra Times. They phoned a few days in advance letting you know they were coming and you had to give them a free meal to get a good review. At The Tower Restaurant in 1982 we refused to go along with this dishonesty and told them “pay like everybody else or don’t bother coming”. A few days later we picked up the paper and the reviewer bagged us unmercifully. Not only that, for the next few months a stream of anti-Tower stories were published. The boss of Telstra (or Telecom Australia as it was known then) had to meet with the editor to try and get the garbage to stop.

I love the fact that you mention that it’s not for vegetarians twice!

Thanks, though. We’re all stupid enough to rock up to a Brazilian barbeque joint and ask for a tofu curry. Without bacon bits.

Holden Caulfield11:52 am 24 May 13

johnboy said :

I try to fly under the radar with these things.

more expensive, but makes for a more useful review.

Yes, and that makes perfect sense generally speaking, but especially so in the context of this particular review.

That said, I dare say you’ve given them a bit of a leg up in their efforts to regain the trust of the average punter and a $45 meal voucher, for example, would be the least they can do to acknowledge that.

kevin22 said :

Legal Action is coming.

Why does everything have to involve legal action?

Is it the pain and suffering and mental anguish etc?

kevin22 said :

Legal Action is coming.

Maybe, maybe not. They’re not using raw eggs in mayo any more and the food is great, the service good.

Legal Action is coming.

Holden Caulfield11:12 am 24 May 13

Haha, good effort in doing this. At the very least they should have picked up your tab, if not then, in future.

I try to fly under the radar with these things.

more expensive, but makes for a more useful review.

I’ve been monitoring Johnboy’s health all day. He seems fine.

He’s barely thrown up at all, much less than he usually would on a Friday.

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