Copita is a Spanish tapas bar on D’Arblay Street in Soho. Like sister restaurant Barrica, Copita serves authentic sized dishes, which means you can really get stuck into the menu. Avoiding the standards of patatas bravas and ensalada rusa, Copita ventures admirably off the well-trodden tapas path.
As usual I’d done my research before visiting so knew we had to order the Ajo Blanco, a dish I’d never tried before. Sorry for getting excited so early on in this blog post but it was absolutely incredible! For those of you that don’t know (I didn’t) ajo blanco is a cold Spanish soup. The dish is made up of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and vinegar. It’s usually served with grapes or slices of melon and according to Wikipedia it’s sometimes referred to as a “white gazpacho”.
It fascinated me so much; I’d never tasted something so unusual that was made up of such basic ingredients. The emulsion-like texture is created by making a white paste with the softened bread, almonds and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Mixing the paste with water and olive oil the dish is served with sliced grapes, chunks of beetroot and sprigs of dill.
Next on the list was the truffled goat’s cheese, almond and honey. An extremely sweet combination of soft, crunchy and sticky textures. As the goat’s cheese had been flavoured with truffles it had a knowingly earthy taste. It was presented on the plate like a scoop of ice cream, decorated with almonds dripping in honey next to a mound of crispy bread bits.
The final dish to arrive at our table was the beef onglet with piquillo peppers. Beef onglet, more commonly known as hanger steak, is a very tender cut of meat best served marinated and cooked quickly over a high heat to avoid toughness. Copita served their beef onglet perfectly, medium rare sat in it’s juices on a small plate sprinkled with a crackle of salt. Sweet piquillo peppers went beautifully with the beef adding that all-important Español flavour!
As we’d ordered a bottle of wine, we wanted to keep the cost of the bill down so instead of opting for some of other dishes on the menu we went for a selection of nibbles. A bowl of seeded green olives arrived at the table alongside a dish of roasted caramelised almonds. The olives were delicious, a very strong flavour and drizzled with a chili oil. But the caramelised almonds had to be my favourite! Crunchy, nutty and sweet! Delightful.
We chose a bottle of 2011 Bodegas Volver Monastrell Tarima Red to accompany our tapas. It was delicious, an Alicante red berry fruit, bolder than a Burgundy Pinot – although I may sound like I know what I’m talking about, I do not… the wine menu was just very helpful!
I absolutely adored our evening at Copita. The atmosphere of the bar is friendly, warm and attentive. The food was in a word phenomenal, the Ajo Blanco just blew me away. I haven’t been able to stop recommending it to my friends, and with the average tapas dish priced at around £5 – you literally have no excuse not to go! Just don’t expect to pay any less than £20 for a bottle of wine though…
COPITA – 10/10
ADDRESS: 26 D’Arblay St, London W1F 8EL
CONTACT: 020 7287 7797
OPENING HOURS: 11AM – 11PM Monday to Friday, 1PM – 4PM and 5.30PM – 10.30PM Saturday, Closed Sundays