Coppa Rooftop BBQ & Bar Review, London Fields

Jul 18

coppa rooftop bar and bbq restaurant review, london fields hackney

Summer sibling of nearby Lardo, Coppa is a bar and restaurant tucked away on the Hothouse Rooftop on Martello Street next to London Fields. It opened 6 weeks ago and is the area’s best kept secret, although I’m sure (unfortunately) it won’t be a secret for long.

Atmosphere and Decor – 9/10

Coppa is one of those places that you wouldn’t stumble across. You’d only go there if you were in the know. This kind of place is my favourite kind of place as it keeps things a little more special and your fellow revellers a little more select. As you walk down Martello street, there’s only a small red sign denoting the entrance. A doorman directs you to an unassuming stairwell. When you’ve made it to the top, you walk out onto a little piece of paradise in east London. Deck chairs, potted herbs and strings of lemons adorn the place and jazzy Italian music plays as trendy waiting staff whizz around with trays of Aperol Spritz and small plates.

You can book really cute beach-hut style open cabins that seat around 10, but as we were there during only the second UK heatwave in my lifetime, we opted for a table outside. You can’t book these, so it frees them up for walk-ins. Long tables big enough for 6 or 8 are covered in cute red and white plastic cloths and coloured glassware and vintage tins sit on the tables. The decor is really pretty – fun, summery, colourful and gives you a real mediterranean fiesta feel. And then there’s the great view across London Fields. The only downside is that you are slap-bang next to the east London railway line, but this doesn’t run too often and it definitely wasn’t a nuisance during our lunch.

Food – 6.5/10

Being related to Lardo, breakfast review here, the food is a wholly Italian affair, but not the pizza or pasta kind you’ll find on the permanent restaurant menu. It’s BBQ and antipasti; grilled meat skewers, zingy summer salads, bruchetta and fish. The menu is fairly small and there were a few items unavailable when we went, but i’ll forgive them as they’re only temporary. We went ahead and ordered a load of small plates; some good, some that could be better.

The anchovy and goat’s curd bruschetta was great – deliciously tart cheese with salty fish and a drizzle of olive oil. We could have done with an extra anchovy or two, but the flavour combination was great. The courgette fritters are also a must have. Simple, light and delicious. However they could have done with something to dip them into.

The grilled sea bass for two looked great from the plates going past, but we went for grilled meat skewers – lamb with anchovy and rosemany and chicken with ‘Nduja (the spicy, spreadable pork sausage). Served simply on a skewer with a dressed rocket and red onion salad both were tasty, although the chicken was fatty (rolled leg meat for flavour, but I would have preferred breast) and I’d have liked more of the sausage paste.

Squid is a favourite of mine and Mr T’s. Whether it’s the whole animal grilled with lemon; stuffed, fried or battered. So if it’s on the menu, we usually order it. The calamari at Coppa was the most disappointing dish we ordered. Although a big plate full, the baby squids were tiny and so lacked meat and flavour. They were also covered in way too much batter, and this had been deep-fried to a crisp. They were saved slightly by the Calabrese pesto they came with, but not enough.

Dessert options were limited (ice cream or brioche with ice cream), but perfect for our weather. I had a grilled peach sorbetti which  was delicious – and with fewer calories than it’s cream-based counterpart!

coppa rooftop bar and bbq restaurant review, london fields hackney

Drinks – 6/10

We started with a gin cooler, that came with mint, lime and soda. It was very refreshing but could have done with a bit more gin – damn British meaures. House white was fine and better value than a lot of other trendy London rooftops at £3.90 a glass.

Service – 6/10

It was great to see loads of staff working the tables. All too often in those trendy just-opened places, the biggest problem is a lack of waiting staff. All were friendly but needed to check in on us a bit more than they did. We started with cocktails and said we would order food later. We had to call someone over to order food, then at numerous other times for more tap water, more drinks, bread etc. Each time requests were answered promptly but we felt a little neglected at times. One of our servers also didn’t seem to know much about the menu when we asked questions. Lots of items have elements in Italian, so the table staff need to be better informed.

Price – 7/10

7 small plates, 2 desserts, 2 cocktails, 3 glasses of wine and bread came to £68

Verdict – 7/10

Food was simple and tasty, but with room for improvement. There were interesting items on the menu and the anchovy and goats curd bruchetta was a winner, but in a few cases (calamari and chicken skewers) execution could have been better and I’ve had much better flavours for the price. That said, the location is gorgeous. Lots of thought has gone into Coppa to give it a fun but sophisticated mediterranean feel, with a great bar area and the cutest beach-hut style cabins for an intimate dinner with friends. It’s definitely worth the trip on a sunny evening for drinks or a lazy summer’s lunch, but don’t expect the best food you’ve ever tasted.

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