Taste of Denmark
Years ago, I read an article about restaurant NOMA and that was the first time I start to realize that there is more than just Fairy Tales like "The Little Mermaid" that is fascinating in that country. Apparently, Copenhagen becomes the forefront of the New Nordic food and a revolution is underway to challenge our imagination on what food can be. Finally, I had my feet on the ground and ready to encounter what Copenhagen brings to the plate.
As always on these food trips, I had my eating events planned out. First stop, the new popular Copenhagen Street Food Market. Despite the pouring rain and tricky drive, we dived into a fully crowded indoor food hall. From Chinese to Mexican, Indian to traditional Denmark food, you have all the choices under the sun. My mission was not really looking for varieties, but rather, hidden gems. And I found one - the little shop that applied crème brulee to donuts!
How genius is that! The mix of softness of the yeast cake with the crispy burnt sugar, all come together under the fire touch - there are so much we can do with the ordinary foods!
Our next food stop was another food market - Torvehallerne KBH. This is a nicer and quieter market with more Scandinavian style food. From Smorrbrod (open face sandwich) to fresh seafood, this gave us an immersion of the Denish food.
I highly recommend this market to explore many of wonderful delights.
Smorrbrod is very popular wherever you go. We tried many variations of that. There are the warm ones and cold ones. It is typical to have boiled egg and pink shrimps, liver pate and chicken salad as the topping. The most interesting find for me was also the popular soft drink - elderflower soda - refreshing and said to bring health benefits.
Unfortunately, NOMA was yet to reopen while we visited. For the new Nordic experience, we visited the youngest new Nordic restaurant - Mes. It was just opened a few months ago. Owned by young chefs, the concept of the restaurant is "affordable luxury". Indeed, for only about $50, we got to try 5 amazing courses.
So what really defines new Nordic cuisine, you ask? There is a lot of focus on foraging locally grown wild herbs and edible flowers. Take this butter, for example, it is smoked and topped with wild onion flower.
There is also the amount of simplicity and creativity that sets new Nordic cuisine apart. A dish as simple as grilled tomato, the whole dish centers around tomato as the main ingredient - from the grilled tomato steak to sauce and even to the topping which is a unexpected layer of crispiness made out of tomato as well. Never before has I been impressed by a simple tomato dish.
Another simple leek soup, the texture was diverse and the color was artful.
A bed of beef tare seasoned by perfect blend of curry, hidden under plant leaves that can only be found in Scandinavian land. I never imagined I would ever love raw meat, but it happened.
The peak of the freshness of strawberry packed into the smooth sorbet and carried by the buttery short bread cookie. Can not be more simple, but the color burst out on that black dark plate. Inspired by this plating, I bought myself a few black dark plates after this trip.
When food not only touches your stomach but also touches your heart and soul, that is my interpretation of great food. Bravo to the two chefs that made the highlight of our food trip.
For the sight seeing, we visited the old palace which got burned down twice but still standing. The most interesting part of this Palace tour compare to the many other palaces we visited so far is the royal kitchen. A brief day dreaming of cooking in the kitchen was very inspiring.
Taking a cruise on the canal was a great way to enjoy the landscape of the city.
A day in the Tivoli Garden was also relaxing and fun.
We waved goodbye to the city with a happy stomach and a determination to return soon!