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FEATURE: Copa De Cava – Is this ‘Cava Heaven’? (34 Pics)


 

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‘Copa De Cava’ claims to be “the UK’s first dedicated and authentic cava bar”. But can cava compete with its more popular and fashionable sibling, champagne?

Cheers! Copa De Cava owner Richard Bigg

Cheers! Copa De Cava owner Richard Bigg

“Cava seems to have an perception problem” says Richard Biggs, the owner of specialist Cava bar ‘Copa De Cava’. He pours me a glass and describes how it is often considered to be the poor-cousin of champagne and unfairly associated with cheap ‘supermarket fizz’. However Richard is trying to challenge this stereotype with this venue. He is clearly someone who loves all things Spanish and it shows in his current empire. ‘Copa De Cava’ is set underneath the Blackfriars branch of his Spanish Restaurant group ‘El Camino’. His sherry-centric venue, ‘Bar Pepito’ in Kings Cross, has already won over fans of the Spanish fortified wine which is often tarnished with the stigma of ‘grandma’s Christmas tipple’.

Cava served with 'fizz-keeping' pouring spouts

Cava served with ‘fizz-keeping’ pouring spouts

The cava offering here is impressive, unlike most venues where one or two bottles make a token appearance just below the champagne, half of the menu is dedicated to cava. This includes a 2 page ‘cheat-sheet’ for the uninformed and suggested food pairings for every bottle. I stopped counting the number of varieties on offer at 25-30, but I’m pretty sure they have others available off menu if you ask nicely. The prices start from £5 a glass to £95 a bottle, which makes it a lot easier on the wallet than a champagne bar!

Tortilla Siglo XXI (Spanish omelette in a glass)

Tortilla Siglo XXI (Spanish omelette in a glass)

Huge Tentacle! - Pulpo (Octopus, olive oil mash,paprika)

Huge Tentacle! – Pulpo (Octopus, olive oil mash,paprika)

Food pairings are Spanish, as expected, and excellent with a glass of cava. Some had very interesting twists. The “Tortilla Siglo XXI” (Spanish omelette in a glass) is uniquely ‘deconstructed’ and has the appearance of a dessert presented in a large shot glass rather than an omelette of any description!

If you Google images for “Patatas Bravas” they will bear absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the Copa De Cava interpretation! These were uniquely presented like a canapé roll. A cylinder of potato with the tomato sauce element on top. If you like modern twists on classics this and the Spanish omelette are ones to order

The ‘pulpo’ (octopus) was presented rather satisfyingly (more conventionally) as a single chunky tentacle on a bed of olive oil mash and seasoned with paprika. Great if you like suckers!

In essence this venue can be best viewed up as a Spanish version of an Italian bacaro crossed with a champagne bar. It has lots of quality bites to accompany your evening of drinking. Some bites a bit more experimental than others but if you’re daring to experiment with your drink then a little bit of adventure with your food should be ‘de rigeur’

GREAT FOR

  • Those who want to try an alternative to champagne.
  • Those who want a bacaro type experience.
  • Those who want to learn about Cava.

NOT SO GOOD FOR

  • Vegetarian tee-total-ers… but then again, I can’t name ANY Spanish venues suitable for such people…

 

Note: Many thanks to Sauce Communications and Copa De Cava for their hospitality.

Copa De Cava
Ad: 33 Blackfriars Lane, London, EC4V 6EP (map)
Ww: www.camino.uk.com/restaurants/copa-de-cava/
Fb: CopaDeCava
Tw: @CopaDeCava

FOR A SECOND OPINION…

The others present on the night may give you more prospective.

The Cutlery Chronicles (By Leylaa Kazim)
“Nature loving London food writer. Weekly food column @localguardian. Restaurant critic @1TVINE. Food blogger. Eating is my religion – I’m pretty devout”
Ww: www.thecutlerychronicles.com | Tw: @LeyLaLaa

The List (By Matthew Hickman)
“Trying out quirky places to eat, drink and be merry in London”
Ww: speakeasyfindhard.blogspot.co.uk | Tw: @Matthew1Hickman

Crummbs (By Stacey)
“London foodie and drinky reviews”
Ww: crummbs.co.uk Tw: @crummbs_uk

Yelp London (By Alex Shebar)
Yelp.co.uk (or our free app) shows you everything useful, funny and cool in London. Check us out, we come with a no rubbish guarantee. (Also at @AlexShebar)”
Ww: www.yelp.co.uk Tw: @YelpLondon

The Faerietale Foodie (By Chloe)
“All about Coffee, Chocolate, Cocktails, Casual Dining. Is @BespokeWater and writes for @caffeinemag & @CoffeeLondon
Ww: www.faerietalefoodie.com | Tw: @Faerietalefoodie

Snigs Kitchen (By Snigdha Nag)
“Amateur cook, trainee gastronaut, blogger, university lecturer, music fan, Barrister. Views my own. http://www.facebook.com/snigskitchen Pinterest: snigskitchen
Ww: snigskitchen.blogspot.co.uk | Tw: @snigskitchen

Heroine In Heels (By Laura J Hyatt)
“Adopted Londoner blogging about London restaurants, events and fashion”
Ww: www.heroineinheels.com | Tw: LauraJHyatt

It’s a Lifestyle Thing (By Nancy)
“3 is the magic number – food, fashion & travel || Journalist & Blogger || ||Fashion Editor @abouttimemag”
Ww: www.itsalifestylething.co.uk | Tw: @LifestyleLoving

Frou Loves (By Frou)
“She dreams in living colour…big, vivid, beautiful dreams and she possesses a simple power and an unfailing magic to actually make her dreams come true.”
Ww: www.facebook.com/Frouloves Tw: @FrouLoves

The Cafe Cat (By Sally Gurteen)
“CATS. COFFEE. STORIES. CULTURE. Senior Digi Content Gal for Lifestyle at 4PS Marketing & freelance copywriter for travel and food.”
Ww: www.thecafecat.blogspot.co.uk | Tw: @thecafecat

Square Meal Copa de Cava on Urbanspoon

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