Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Coppa Spuntino - the Italian snack shop


The ever changing Brisbane CBD restaurant scene has been active again, with a brand new Italian spot opening in the heart of the city. No, I'm not talking about Jamie's Italian, which opened up a few weeks ago. I'm talking about a funky little spot in Creek Street called Coppa Spuntino, which as luck would have it, can be seen from my office window!

There is a little spot in Creek Street that has had a little bit of misfortune over the last few years. Originally part of the new development at the back of the National Australia Bank building on the corner of Queen and Creek Street, the little spot at 88 Creek Street was once slated for bigger fish.  It was rumored that Melbourne institution Taxi was to take over the lease, but a little thing called the GFC kicked in and killed that plan.  Adelaide coffee institution CIBO espresso got a little bit further, establishing yet another attempt at the Brisbane market before fading away (pretty quickly too).

Cursed site?  Maybe, but well respected Brisbane duo Bonnie Shearston and Tom Sanceau, of Public and Red Hook, saw an opportunity to expand their culinary empire and had Italian cuisine firmly in their sights.  The site is quite compact, so instead of going with a full blown Italian joint, the pair have come up with an interesting concept.  Spuntino means 'snack' in Italian, and that's pretty much the concept for their restaurant Coppa Spuntino.

I'm a huge fan of Public, which in its first year of operation won a Brisbane Times Good Food Guide chefs hat, as well as taking out that year's 'Best New Restaurant' (see post here).  I'm less enamored with their US of A style offering, Red Hook, which is OK, but inconsistent (see post here), but given I love Italian cuisine, I couldn't wait to get in and check out Coppa.  As it turned out, I loved the place so much, I've practically lived there since!

What do I love so much about Coppa?  It's a good question.  My first experience with Coppa was for lunch.  I'd been sitting around thinking what I could do for a bite to eat one day, then it popped into my head: check out the new Italian place across the street.  I made a quick call to SC to see if she could join me for a bite to eat and with a resounding 'you bet', so I met my beloved at Coppa for a bite.

Let's start off with the menu, its quite condensed, but with just over a dozen options, covers a wide range of delicious looking 'snacks'. Then, there is the pizza menu, which adds another dimension to the menu, so what originally looks like a pretty basic range of options becomes quite comprehensive. Best of all, the prices, with pretty much nothing over $18 bucks, Coppa presents incredible value for those wanting something a little more hearty than take away or the other usual lunch time fare in the CBD.

We kicked off our meal with a couple of juices, Orange Juice for SC and Mandarin juice for me. I've always loved mandarins, being probably my favourite fruit, so it was a no brainer for me to try the juice.  As it turns out, mandarin juice is pretty good, almost a blend between really sweet OJ and slightly more bitter fresh lemonade - really refreshing.

Food time and SC really liked the look of the pizza menu and opted for the sopressa with fiore de latte and mint.  The pizza was delivered on a wood bread board and was the perfect size for a single person.  Not only was the pizza just the right size of one, it was delicious, with a slightly sweet tasting base that was in the Goldilocks Zone (not to thin, not too thick, but just right).  The tomato base also had a little sweetness that partnered well with the base, with the sopressa giving a little bit of heat.  It was a great pizza.

I'd gone a little bit of a different route and ordered one of the snack sized mains.  With some of my all time favourite ingredients, I'd ordered the marinated octopus with potato and chorizo, but actually had the stuffed baby squid with salsicca and caponata presented.  It was a small error and to the credit of the team at Coppa, they offered for me to keep the squid on the house and proceeded to put together my ordered dish.  Even though it wasn't my first option, the stuffed baby squid was superb.  The squid was expertly cooked and the filling was of sweet Italian sausage was wonderful.

Back on track, my chorizo and baby octopus dish was soon presented.  While the stuffed squid was quite refined looking, the octopus and chorizo had more of a rustic salad look about it.   I love the pairing of octopus and chorizo and this was a fantastic example, the slightly charred baby octopus was cooked really well and when combined with the sweetness of the sweet Spanish sausage, was gorgeous.  I'd loved to have seen a little more chorizo in the mix, but that's because it was lovely and I just wanted more.

SC and I decided to share a dessert and went with the rosemary pannacotta.  If you're a fan of pannacotta, then you need to get into Coppa to check this one out, it was seriously good.  The pannacotta was perfectly set and extremely wobbly, as if it was only just holding it together.  What made it special was the toasted rosemary and the candy covered hazelnuts, which looked amazingly like tear drops.  A couple of fresh raspberries were thrown in for good measure, but the overall outcome was a dessert made in heaven.

I mentioned earlier in this post that I've practically lived at Coppa since my first experience, which is only a little bit of a hyperbole, but I did head back for dinner later on that night for the equivelant of a margherita pizza.  It was superb but my favourite dish on the menu so far has been the scallops with charred fennel with cannelloni beans.  You have to check that dish out!!  I've also been along for a breakfast sitting as well, which was a couple of days after my first visit, and had some boiled eggs with prosciutto wrapped asparagus with toasty soldiers!

It's not too often that I come across that is so awesome that I keep going back on a daily basis but Coppa Spuntino is just such a place.  Everything I've tried on the menu so far has been superb and there are a lot of other items that I'm going to go in an check out as soon as possible.

It's not just the food though, the team have been really friendly and the service has been excellent.  I love the fit out too, it's not a big space, but they have used the available area really well.  A full bar that doubles as table space when busy, runs down one side of the restaurant and the kitchen is surprisingly big with an interesting looking pizza oven built into the wall.

It's a bit sad that Coppa has opened up so recently, I mean, I'm leaving the country soon and I feel like I've found a comfortable little spot that's cheap, has superb food and has an inviting feeling that keeps me coming back for more.  I really hope I can find a similar little spot in Hong Kong...

Coppa Spuntino on UrbanspoonCoppa Spuntino


  1. I really want to try this place now, sounds amazing. Forgive me for chewing on my monitor.

    1. Hi Mona, I really love the simple flavours of Italian cooking and Coppa do it brilliantly, I hope you've been in and checked it out and you enjoyed!!


Thanks very much for your comment, I really love and appreciate feedback and your thoughts


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...