An atmospheric restaurant in the heart of Blackheath Village, writer Giverny Masso takes pen to plate when she visits Copper & Ink to try its monthly changing menu
I’m one of those infuriatingly indecisive people who spends hours staring at the menu, asks the waiter twenty questions and changes my mind ten times before finally ordering food at a restaurant.
Which is why for me, there’s nothing better than a good taster menu to allow you to explore multiple flavours with the decision-making already taken care of.
These are a speciality for independent British restaurant Copper & Ink, which comes up with a new five-course taster menu every month. Accompanied by an equally indecisive friend, I pay a visit to the eatery in Blackheath village to sample their offering.
Copper & Ink was set up last year by MasterChef finalist Tony Rodd and his wife Becky. Spread over two floors, the restaurant has a relaxed yet classy vibe, with atmospheric lighting and smart wooden furniture.
According to Tony, all the chefs have a creative input into the menu. Each month everyone comes up with dishes based around a set of seasonal ingredients – a bit like a mini MasterChef competition. The best creations make the menu.
Tony explains that he is big on promoting positive mental health in his restaurant, and he believes creativity is integral to this. His attitude is evident in everything from the bold, playful dishes his team have concocted to the enthusiasm of the front of house staff.
I choose the Vegetarian Taster Menu, while my friend opts for the Pescatarian Taster (both £40). We both go for the wine pairings (£30), which is another big decision taken care of, meaning we can relax and enjoy the evening.
To start, we are presented with a dish containing caramelised carrot with whey, peach and almond. It’s a daring and unusual combination of flavours – a theme throughout the menu – that really pays off.
My second course is a chunky pea pancake, generously-sized enough to be a main course alone, with roasted peppers and charcoal aioli. This dish really showcases the inventiveness of the chefs and pushes boundaries with form.
The third plate; herb falafel with halloumi and fennel salad, is the most traditional dish on my menu, but still tasty and well executed.
Next come two desert courses – which is something I thoroughly approve of, because one desert is never enough.
The pressed apple terrine with buckwheat meringue cake and blackcurrant sorbet is the perfect zingy autumnal desert, and the highlight of my entire meal.
I feel like this would have been better served after the second, slightly heavier, desert, which was a banana brûlée with hazelnut ice cream and chocolate.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Overall, the menu is bold and playful, providing the opportunity to sample exciting flavour combinations without breaking the bank.
It’s rare to see vegetarian and pescatarian options that have been given equal thought and effort as the meat menu, but Copper & Ink really deliver on this.
Make it happen
Where: 5 Lee Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 9RQ
How: Call 020 3941 9337 or visit copperandink.com to make a booking.
Words by Giverny Masso