When I find something that I love I tend to swing between two extremes. I’ll either keep it a secret and guard it like a jealous lover, or I’ll want to shout out to the rest of the world about my new found paramour. Luckily for you, I can’t wait to tell almost everyone I know about how amazing Tom Cooper is. In fact, I loved it so much that I even decided to add a Zomato listing for it!
Located in Camberwell Fresh Food Market, Tom Cooper is a small stall with limited counter seating. What greets you when you arrive, is the ever affable Tom Cooper and a display of salmon, smoked, cured and poached. Tom Cooper has been supplying cafes and high end restaurants for years but this retail store is relatively new.
I have repeatedly said that I am a bit of a salmon fiend. To be more precise I am a complete sucker for salmon (and ocean trout) served raw, cured and smoked. I am usually immediately drawn to the salmon dish on brunch menus for precisely this reason. My eyes darted back and forth between the gravlachs and smoked salmon, as I attempted to make up my mind. In the end we had the best of both worlds. Ryan chose the smoked salmon on a bagel, letting me pick the sourdough croissant with gravlachs.
Tom took his time layering the salmon with thin slices of cucumber, sauce and a touch of pepper. We watched on with eager anticipation. Although it’s not a super speedy process, we really felt the care that goes into each and every morsel. There wasn’t much seating inside, and it was a lovely day so we took our packages outside to enjoy in the sun.
The smoked salmon in the bagel was subtly smoked and not too salty. The dill sauce had just the right amount of tang to complement the whole thing. As soon as I bit into the flaky croissant, I was in heaven. The gravlachs had a subtle sweetness to it and an incredibly smooth and silky texture. If you’re more of a traditionalist I say go for the bagel, but the buttery sourdough croissant really brings it to the next level and makes this taste and feel so luxe.
I had high expectations after reading a few articles, but this completely exceeded them. This would make the perfect lunch on any given day and I imagine that coupled with a glass of bubbles this would the most divine thing ever.
Needless to say, we came back after finishing up our sandwiches and took home almost half a kilo of salmon for dinner that night and breakfast the following day. It was just as good, if not better without any condiments and eaten just by itself or with a side of scrambled eggs.
My only qualm with Tom Cooper is its irregular opening days and the fact that it isn’t closer to home! Otherwise I would be popping by all the time for all of my salmon needs.