Cafe Sopra at Fratelli Fresh and their no photo policy

I have read a few blog posts now where people warn against taking photos, or at least asking politely, at certain restaurants and cafes. Even though my blog is still in it’s youth I have been avidly taking photos of food for many years. Lunch at Cafe Sopra was the first time I have been asked not to take photos and to be honest I was a bit stunned.
It seems to me that if you use your common sense about when it is appropriate or not to get your camera out you shouldn’t get into too much trouble. I didn’t take photos at the Waterside Inn or Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley as I didn’t feel it was an appropriate atmosphere for photos but my camera was going crazy at The Fat Duck.  I am discrete, I don’t use a flash and only take a tiny point and shoot to restaurants.

I thought I had used my common sense at Sopra. It’s a very relaxed place, in fact it sits above the Fratelli Fresh warehouse in Danks Street, Waterloo. Fratelli Fresh stocks fresh food and produce for commercial use by restaurants. They also open their doors to the public to purchase the same stock as the restaurants, such as Iggy’s bread, smoked trout, olive oil, herbs, imported pasta and cheese etc etc.

I managed to briefly snap two pictures before being politely asked not to take photos. Unfortunately they were before the food arrived, so no food shots. 

It was another steamy day in Sydney, the place was very busy and I sat at the bar very close to the till. They have some new wines from Italy on their menu and a ’08 Paolo Sordo from Roero Arneise, Piemonte ($9.50 a glass) was recommended to me as a crisp dry wine. Loved it so much I had a second.

Sitting so close to the till I heard one of the waitresses come past mentioning to the other that she had to tell someone else not to take photos. So curious to know why, I asked. The waitress said the owner doesn’t want any of his team photographed in a compromising position and that the concept is his original idea and he doesnt want anyone to copy it.

Interesting, yes the produce warehouse/cafe is a great idea but hardly ground breaking and it’s open for anyone to walk into, you don’t need a camera to copy ideas. I don’t get it. I think there is more to the story than just stealing concepts.

All being said, the staff were very polite and happy even though it was hot and they were woking hard. I could sit then and enjoy my meal thinking it was a bit crazy but knowing I wasn’t the only one told ‘no photos’ today and I wont be the last.

The smoked trout fishcake with soft boiled egg and a herb and caper mayonnaise ($20) came out looking like it might not fill me, with one fishcake on the plate but it was huge and the potato mix inside the crispy fried 2 inch thick fishcake definitely did the trick.

My eyes being larger than my tummy decided that I must try some dessert too. Orange cake with almond sorbetto. Baked in a flan tin with thinly sliced orange decorating the top with the almond sorbetto melting into it. It was great but I could only manage half, yes too full.

If you want to see a post of someone who managed to get some photos here is the link to one by Grab Your Fork