All year the hunt has been on for the best baked eggs. Now we've found a place that offers three varieties. Copo Café & Diner Drummoyne lists these: Moroccan baked eggs with eggplant, labne, herbs; Spanish with chorizo, spicy tomato sauce, herbs; Turkish with minced lamb, nuts, labne, tomatoes, mint. All come with toast, two big generous slices of Brickfields sourdough, and are made with free range eggs, which also gives an indication of the quality of the café. Each comes in a cast iron skillet and is $20. And they are on both the brekky and lunch menus, and the most popular items on the menu.
Yet I couldn't help wondering with a South American owner that there had to be more to this café than hearty pans of baked eggs, even if they are popular. South American style baked beans are a filling, tasty and nutritious mix of four beans- navy, black, kidney, pinto. Unassuming to look at, the beans are lifted by herbs and chorizo and big fat chunks of bacon, and again there is Brickfields sourdough as toast. They are served warm at the café, but I also took some home then raided the fridge late it night when I ate them cold. They were really good this way too, maybe even better.
Some of the breakfast menu is predictable (but in a good way) and I suppose the café has to do that. It's what the customers want. Avocado and tomato on toast is there, and thankfully without the hipster description of smashed. B.L.A.T. is on seeded ciabatta. Classic porridge has chia seeds, as well as brown sugar and rhubarb. Rhubarb dances on the French toast also, and this time the costume is mascarpone and the sweetening maple syrup. Toasts with condiments start at only six bucks, and there are many choices. For eggs the standard orders are catered for too. Bacon and egg roll, Eggs Florentine, Eggs Benedict, they're all there. Or Bubble & Squeak with fried egg, speck, cabbage, peas, potato and toast. That one was tempting me. So too was the House smoked trout with fried egg, potato hash, herbs and toast. Plenty of sides round out the choices, reasonably priced so the Copo build-your-own can become a reality, within reasonable economic boundaries. Kiddos can have a boiled egg and toast for $5. Hey what about the big kiddos? I love toast soldiers.
When time moves on to lunch, some of these stay and the salads and sandwiches kick in. Roast pork neck sandwich on rye & caraway sourdough with mixed leaf, house pickles, pear & fennel relish, and mayo sounds appealing. Add Karage fried chicken with Copo slaw, pickles and wasabi mayo and I'm planning a return trip. And there's a classic: Steak sandwich on white sourdough with mixed leaf, tomato, house relish and fries. Where's our sandwich man Ben Gollan when I need him?
A few burgers, a couple of them vegetarian, peek their heads in. The Haloumi burger with roasted vegetables and guacamole is served with Casava chips- with the guacamole they can also be one of the lunch time sides.
Then I found out that the diner opens for tapas three nights a week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 5pm. One time banker, Danny Acioli arrived in Australia 11 years ago. What else would I expect from a South American owner? Copo Boteco is licensed by night, and allow BYO at $5 per bottle. With the vino there are plates such as Black salt & pepper calamari, or Confit duck leg, Pan fried fish of the day, or Grilled lamb backstrap. But the essence of a party has to be kick back and relax and $36 platters of either meat or cheese at the centre. Just look at that upstairs view. By the way, The Copo Cafe & Diner ground floor entrance tricked me. It's easier and much more visible for the quiet back street Formosa rather than the busy Victoria Road address.