You could’ve scraped the happiness off me with a spatula when the invite came to review Copper & Ink, the restaurant run by a winning team that includes the very eye-catching pairing of Tony Rodd and Becky Cummings, with Rob Parks as Head Chef. Tony and Rob were both Masterchef finalists while Becky has her own interesting history in the world of gastronomy, writes Michael Holland.
My dining companion Fiona was agog when she checked out their website and recognised Chef Rodd from the telly, and even more thrilled when she saw the vegetarian options.
We sensed the friendliness immediately we walked in because all the Copper & Ink staff smile. Our coats and brollies were whisked away and we were led downstairs for the grandstand view of the open kitchen. Tony came and introduced himself, as did Holly and Rob and Becky, and drinks were poured and we soon felt like old friends in a family home.
Then the food began to arrive. I could’ve stopped after the bread and delicious smoked butter and gone home happy. This was butter smoked over the clippings of an oak tree felled by high winds in the next street! What!
We chose the 5-course taster menus, with me going for the non-veggie option and paired wines.
First up was a mushroom extravaganza that became a rollercoaster ride of tastes and textures, each mouthful brought another surprise. My following courses were an exquisite melt-in-the-mouth quail affair, and halibut in an oyster velouté, while Fiona enjoyed caramelised carrots in a curd and peach concoction, then a tart with a blue cheese and broccoli sauce, which she declared her favourite.
Between each course there was ample time for discussion, with Becky and the chefs popping by to ensure everything was good. It was. Plus, Holly had been giving me the full rundown on the wine I’d been having, detailing why each one was just right for that course, and I could not fault her or the wines.
After over an hour of fabulous feasting Tony placed a trio of apple delights on the table (Spiced apple fritter, caramelised apple, apple sorbet), then talked us round the creations before us. They tasted good; the apple was refreshing and woke the taste buds with its crispness. And after such great food and drink I was quite happy to be winding down with this orchard bounty dessert.
Now fully sated we could only look at each other and feel pleased and privileged. What a night it had been. Even the biodynamic wine I was closing with made me feel pretty dynamic. Then Holly appeared with more cutlery and a vintage port for me. Excuse me? The apple dish was a pre-dessert! Yikes! We hadn’t been counting but merely letting things take their course.
Even so, I might have been a bit full but for our further delectation we now had the pièce de résistance, the crowning glory, the course that I quickly discovered I wanted to taste forever and a day: Espresso parfait, dulce de leche ice cream, and chocolate covered coffee beans. And Fiona, between spooning away to her heart’s content across the table, whispered in her dulcet Deptford tones, ‘That was truly, truly scrumptious’.
Copper & Ink is amazing, and they even do a fixed price, 2-course weekday lunch (£15)
Copper & Ink, 5 Lee Road, Blackheath, SE3 9RQ
0203 941 9337 – www.copperandink.com
Hours: Tues 5-11.30pm; Wed – Sat 12 – 11.30pm; Sun 12 – 5.30pm
5 course tasting menu @ £40 x 2 £80
Wine Pairings £30