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Review: Copper and Ink, Blackheath

Broccoli bite

Broccoli bite

There’s a helluva lot of care and attention that goes into fine dining – even informal fine dining – that you only notice when it’s absent. When our dessert showed up at Copper and Ink, with two cubes of chiffon cake, there was plenty of jealous comparing going on; lucky me, my cubes were nearly twice the size of everyone else’s! Similar story with the beef main; everyone had a noticeably different sized chunk of rump. And they were maybe running low on watercress in the kitchen because the sprigs got smaller and smaller around the table; all I had was a single yellowing leaf and Maureen’s was missing altogether.

That leaf should probably not have got over the pass, and it’s a fair summary of my thoughts: Copper and Ink aren’t yet able to execute perfectly on their ambition.

Beef n leaf

Beef n leaf

First starter of parmesan beignet with broccoli was pleasant, a clean start with an innocuous foam. The next course was a scallop well seared and served with a chermoula so very punchy that the rest of the dish never recovered. I had rabbit two ways; bonbon of shredded bunny and ham-wrapped loin, with minced mushrooms and a deep jus. Really jolly good, except the spinach puree served with it was over-salted.

Main course was the rump. Cooked rare but not so well prepped; half of us found some unchewable gristle in our piece. Parsnip, potato and shallot accompaniments were all pretty good, but the plating was just a bit duff. The bit of onion ash looked like someone had been cleaning out an ashtray nearby.

Choc tart AND BASIL SORBET OF THE GODS!

Choc tart AND BASIL SORBET OF THE GODS!

The last two courses were desserts and both were splendid. Chiffon cake with orange sorbet and scorched meringue blobs was a good start, probably dish of the day for me. Followed by a sturdy little slice of chocolate tart topped with fresh strawberries and a scoop of basil sorbet on the side. This sorbet was absolutely banging, fantastico, SORBET OF THE GODS. Like being beaten around the head with a huge bunch of fresh basil on a Ligurian hillside. So I guess they saved the best ’til last!

It’s worth reiterating that this was a very reasonable £40 for 5 courses and although I can pick a hole in each dish, we basically had a pleasant meal. The wine list also needs a shout, as it’s packed full of interesting bottles and the two we picked were top-notch. But I do know lots of places to go for a much more consistently brilliant meal at this price point. All that said… they’re a brand new restaurant and a young team, so I’ll definitely come back in a bit and see if they’ve sanded the rough edges off.

Chiffon cake etc

Chiffon cake etc

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