Alberto K

When I was in Malmo last year for Øredev last year, we stopped into Copenhagen to have a meal at the michelin starred Alberto K. I’d totally forgotten to write this up, so getting around to it just now. When booking it, I had also forgotten that I’d eaten here once for breakfast before – it has a spectacular view of all of the city being located on the top floor of the Radisson Blu hotel.

Upon being seated, we were given some lovely amuse bouches. The one with the green is a crispy fish skin with some flaked fish. I can’t really remember the one in front of it now.

Behind it sat some fresh sea prawns, served raw with a dollop of mayonaise.

Next up was a fish wrapped in some local shrubbery and then roasted, absorbing some of the flavours. I do remember this fish being particularly succulent and very engaging for us, as diners, as we cut into the delicately wrapped piece of fish.

This is what the unwrapped fish looked like.

Of course, they had some very nice breads. Dark and heavy like the Danish prefer although with a very lightly whipped butter that was very easy to smooth over the bread.

I’m going to be missing some of the details in this, as we ate through so many courses but I forgot what they all are.

Really dig the plating.

This dish was really lovely. I think it was a chicken dish, with very clever components. The outside of the egg yolk cooked and served by itself, so that it would burst and combine with all the ingredients. A delicious thick foam served inside the empty shell, and then crisp chicken skin providing salty contrast.

This would be a licorice infused stock that would form a component for the next dish.

Made up of pork and very earthy flavours and divine local mushrooms.

We then had some pigeon, served with beet room and some local herbs before making our way onto the dessert rounds.

For showmanship, the next course, they made a fresh ice at the table, using the ever spectacular liquid nitrogen.

Before spooning it delicately over some picked pear with walnuts and another scoop of fresh creme fraiche ice cream. Refreshingly light and not too sweet. The iced granita was made out of sorrel.

Before finishing off the tasting menu with a caramelised plum and an intricately detailed plate including roasted “bread” (made with malt) and an almond milk to mix in with the malt.

What I really enjoyed about Alberto K was that they used very fresh ingredients and prepared them in a way that was neither too heavy, nor too rich. It was all extremely contemporary and a very clever composition that lead you to a wonderful finale.

Name: Alberto K
Found at: Hammerichsgade 1 (in the Raddison Blu Hotel), Copenhagen, Denmark

Return to Spicylicious

I recently spent another weekend in Copenhagen, just after presenting at Øredev in Malmö. One of the restaurants I wanted to eat at on my return to Copenhagen was Spicylicious. Although it’s in a very dodgy part of town, on a street that is the complete opposite of the clean, well behaved citizens of the city, Spicylicious is worth the short trip away from the main train station.

Even though we’d booked a table for 9:15pm, the restaurant was heaving with locals. It’s the sort of place for dinner, especially on weekends you really want to book unless you aim for a very early meal. They specialise in pan-Asian cuisine although it’s probably a bit more accurate that it’s a combination between Vietnamese and Thai food. We tried two different appetisers, the Satay Gai (DKK70) and Kung Mapraow Tod (DKK70). Unfortunately both dishes were a little disappointing – the chicken a tad dry and the prawns not as crisp as they really should have been.

It doesn’t really matter because I wanted to come back here for the main event – the curries. We went for a fairly moderately spiced Panaeng Curry with chicken (DKK120) and a much spicier Green curry with guinea fowl (DKK130). We were both far too full from the food to try any of the desserts and very satisfied with the curries.

Name: Restaurant Spicylicious
Found at: Istedgade 27, Copenhagen, Denmark

Brunch at Lele Nha Hang

One thing I never realised about Copenhagen was its fascination for the weekend brunch. I think it’s something that London has drilled out of me where the city doesn’t really start to move until midday. Not great for morning people. Fortunately Copenhagen is a much less sleepy town, at least on a Sunday morning.

Reading about the Copenhagen brunch culture, I started to look around at a number of options and discovered LeLe Nha Hang did a very different brunch. I remember eating here last year, extremely impressed by the combination between classic Vietnamese with some modern techniques and Danish ingredients. What a strange combination a brunch might make when these two worlds collide. We had to go here.

I’m really glad that we did as well. Considering the wide selection and the buffet style, it really is great value at DKK155 (£18) even if you have pay a bit extra for drinks.

To start off the brunch, I needed my daily caffeine fix so the Vietnamese style coffee was definitely in order. Strong and without being too sickly sweet, this was a great start to the day. Of course they offer many other classic brunchtime drinks including all of their intriguingly unusual drinks all very well named. Care for an “Apocalypse Now” (Johnnie Walker Black Label, Cherry Heering, Chambord & Bitters)? What about a “Red Dragon” (Absolut vodka, dragonfruit, strawberry & hot stuff)?

Their asian influenced brunch roughly splits into a small number of tables. There’s the cold cut table where they stock the salads, cold seafood including this perfectly rolled smoked salmon pieces pictures above and the tiny sushi rolls pictured below. Another table stores the hot stuff (split into the western and asian section), a breads and pastry table and then a very large desserts table.

Of the hot stuff, you get everything from the steamed dumplings influenced with vietnamese spices, fried spring rolls, noodles and fried rice all the way to the western waffles, a variety of sausages, hashed potatoes, pancakes and, what would brunch be without eggs and bacon?

I pretty much stopped at most of the mail meal. Despite the wide girth of the desserts table, my widening girth from the other meals made me stop to really think about what I really wanted off the table.

I’m not a big fan of chocolate fondue and although they cakes all looked really appealing, none of them really stood out as being extremely different or out of the ordinary.

I satisfied myself with having a number of sticks skewered with fruit and a few dragonfruit and kiki fruit slices available in the large bowls.

It’s worth getting here early (or at least booking ahead) since the whole restaurant filled up with people and the you-know-its-good queues of locals forming outside in the cold. It’s great value, excellent quality and definitely worth giving it a go.

Name: Lele Nha Hang
Found at: Vesterbrogade 40, 1620 København, Denmark

Return to Reef and Beef

Returning to Copenhagen for a conference, I ended up eating at one of the places that impressed me during my stay here for work last year.

Here’s a summary of what we had:

“Oz Wildfire Wonton” Spiced wildfire crocodile wonton with native honey and passionfruit chili drizzle (DKK95)

“Ranina Ranina” Panko crumbed saffron and chive spanner crab cakes with bush tomato romesco, jalapeno aioli and pickled vegetables (DKK94)

“Redcliff Beef” marinated with garlic, native thyme and tasmanian mountain pepper served with potato fondant, crispy onion rings, caramelised onion puree, seasonal vegetables and shiraz sauce (DKK275)

“Red emperor” – Deep sea fish with macadamia and lemon sauce, cauliflower puree and seasonal vegetables (DKK 192)

“Oz trilogy” – Pavlova, passionfruit cheescake and mango olida eucalyptus sorbet (DKK95)

“Oz trilogy” – Pavlova, passionfruit cheescake and mango olida eucalyptus sorbet (DKK95)

“Death by chocolate” – Five individual chocolate desserts (DKK135)

Name: Reef ‘N’ Beef
Found at: Jernbanegade 4, Copenhagen, Denmark

Era Ora

When my sister heard that I was going to be near Copenhagen for a holiday, she wanted to go and visit the city once again to dine in the one of its many Michelin-starred restaurants. We tried going to Tivoli’s Nimb but it was all booked out so we looked for reservations for our next most preferred, the Italian focused restaurant Era Ora.

Era Ora’s entrance is very discrete, located off a small side street near Christianshavn. We almost walked by it, if not for peering in at the lightly veiled windows to see the soft glowing lights of a restaurant. We dropped off our coat and sat down to the small tables – much less cramped together than many other restaurants. A giant napkin twirled and crossing the, just as equally, giant silver platters on which they sat. I quickly untwirled mine and cast it on my lap to avoid the awkwardness of waiters reaching across me. Fortunately our friendly waiter didn’t try to get there before I did.

Like many other diners that evening, we opted for the tasting menu – something that apparently that Era Ora was made famous for being the first to introduce a series of small dishes to delight the diner. Our first brought out a lovely seared scallop sitting with apple, fried leeks and froth.

When we sat down for our dinner at 7pm, only two other tables filled the dining room. It filled up by the time we left though. Here’s another view of the restaurant before it filled up.

A very wonderfully plated dish of lobster salad with filo pastry and beans

And then a pumpkin lasagne over fried Monte Veronese cheese.

And the plate of trio finished with plaice rolled on swiss chard, potato, sun-dried tomato and Jerusalem artichoke.

Another trio of dishes arrive as the second round of appetisers including Veal tartar in love with crunchy cracker and foam of soya.

A Castagnaccio with orange ricotta, banana chip and honey caramel

Below a stunning venison meatball in beans sauce with deep fried spring onion

All of course very beautifully presented.

Past the trio arrived a herbal risotto in scent of liquorice topped with roasted quails.

Followed by a pasta dish home made trofie pasta rolled in venison ragout and red onion. Italians would enjoy how perfectly aldente the pasta was and the strong reduced flavours in the ragout.

We then had a roasted lamb fillet with eggplant composition and fried tomato.

Our first round of dessert started with a refreshing prune sorbet served with a couple of cheeses (Monte Veronese and Ubriacone), light and palette cleansing.

And then Cream of white chocolate with lemon scents served with fennel and lemon coffee cream, cookie crumbs, dark chocolate caviar and milk sorbet

With our tea and coffee, some petite fours.

And a picture of the very stylish teapot.

And cup.

Not forgetting at least, the pyramid teabag.

Name: Era Ora
Found at: Overgaden Neden Vandet 33, 1414 Copenhagen, Denmark

Second Visit to Noma

I count myself amazingly fortunate to dine at the places that I do. When my sister asked if I wanted to return to Noma, of course I said, even if it meant flying overseas to Copenhagen for a weekend break. Last year, Noma had been voted on San Pellegrino’s Top 50 as number 3 only to move up to number one this year.

I have no idea how long it took but we did manage to get a booking for a leisurely Saturday lunch in October. Since they focus on seasonal produce, this journey was a great test to compare how different or similar the dining experiences.

If our first dish was anything to go by, the entire meal was going to be something completely different. Our first dish, Nasturtiums and Snails brought in a flower vase brought edible flowers for us to eat with the small snail. Already deshelled, the snail provided a soft, slightly chewy texture to contrast with the fresh flavours of the flower both providing very subtle hints to the overall dish.

Our next dish arrived on their standard gray plate made up of Sea Buckthorn Leather and Pickled Hip Roses. It reminded me very much of those flavoured fruit strips you might have eaten as a child, slightly chewy, slightly sweet with the hint of sourness provided by the pickling.

Up next was a savory cookie served with blackcurrant paste, “speck” and a spring of pine”. The cookie had salt instead of sugar that served to intensify the Danish cured pork fat sitting on top. I expected the spring to be excessively chewy but surprised me at its softness – much more like a herb than a plant.

Here’s a closer view of the dish:

Next was a dish I remember from last time, and looking at a number of blogs seems to be a signature Noma “classic” whose filling changes depending on the seasons. Served once again on their gray plate, this dish is crispy rye bread, crispy chicken skin filled with a light paste. You end up with some interesting textures in the mouth with each bite and the skin and filling adds saltiness to enhance the strongly flavoured ingredients.

Our next dish was new to me, made with very simple ingredients and lots of technique they presented Fried leek with garlic. Only the very bottom of the leek had been fried so you had the mellow earthy tones with your first bite with the rest of the leek providing a natural handle for the dish. I’m guessing their garlic was precooked and rolled into a small ball since its flavour tasted so mellow.

Another Noma signature dish arrived in its extravagant shell, pickled and smoked quail egg. It’s still amazing to see the egg open and get the whiff of smoke wafting off the hay and its flavours impacted on the tiny, perfectly cooked eggs.

For me, the next dish, radish and carrot with soil and herbs tasted better for me. Firstly I knew much more how to eat the dish, using the vegetable to better scoop up the yogurt base and catch more of that tantalising crunchy roasted malt “dirt”. Secondly I think the carrot added another dimension of slight sweetness to the overall dish.

A real heart-winner this dish including its presentation and flavours.

Our next dish, aebleskiver, Danish pancakes with a sardine was intriguing upon first glance. Seeing those tiny fish encased in, what looked like, a small donut first looked amusing and then seemed a bit of a strange combination. Just like all the things here at Noma, it definitely worked as well with the sardine not being overpoweringly salty or fishy.

Our next snack was a sandwich that seemed very close to our previous rye bread/chicken skin dish. This blog describes the dish in much better detail than I can, though I certainly enjoyed every single little bite.

By now, all of the dishes that arrived were all the appetisers that had our outstanding meal off to a good start. Then the bread arrived, this time served with butter and pork fat. I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the pork fat since its flavour was too strong for my liking and perhaps just not quite accustomed to smearing it on my bread.

The bread, on the other hand, I couldn’t stop eating. The sourdough bread arrived in tiny blanket to keep its warmth and with its perfect crunchy crust kept us going back for just “a bit more”. Thankfully other dishes soon arrived that distracted me from gorging too much on the bread.

Next up came Roasted lettuce blended with blanched, flaked almonds. I didn’t think lettuce had that much flavour and so they surprised me by how intense the lettuce flavour tasted when roasted and blended down into such a richly green concentrate. The light almonds added a slightly different dimension and much welcome change in texture to this this.

Looking at our next dish, Dried Scallops, Watercress with Biodynamic Cereals and Hazel Nut looked very impressive though I couldn’t help think that that dried scallops looked much more like uncooked prawn crackers than anything else. Drying the scallops intensified their flavours which went well with the other elements to the dish without being excessively overpowering.

Our chefs made a slight mistake bringing the next dish, The Oyster and the Sea out before we’d finished our next dish. I hadn’t appreciated how much effort it took to time this dish, so when it did arrive I better understood they probably had to make our dishes from scratch again. For this dish, the chefs theatrically arrive at the same time, surrounding the table before they descend with a small, heated pot that they uncover at the table to the sight of wilting seaweeds and a fresh oyster half steamed from the fresh sea scents on top.

Next came a dish showcasing onions of many different textures. On the menu it listed this dish as ‘Læsø’ onion, onion cress and thyme + tapioca + onion broth.

Our next dish got us involved in cooking in and was a really fun experience involving very simply but interesting ingredients. We started off with Hay Oil, some herbs and a small pat of herbed butter.

They then brought a Heated plate to the table.

This dish, labelled, The Hen and the Egg had us frying our own eggs for exactly one and a half minutes. Our chef squirted on the hay oil to each of our plates, letting it heat up. We then cracked our egg, letting it fry, before adding the thyme butter with lovage and spinach to wilt slightly. The chef returned a little later to finish the dish throwing herbs, flowers and little potato strands before leaving us to enjoy our own creations. Note that no one was hurt in this cooking process.

Transitioning into our final course for the tasting menu, we had Deer and Wild Thyme, Red Beets and Red Fruit. Accompanied by a rather oversized traditional-looking knife, the deer was so soft we didn’t really need it after all.

Our first dessert course started with Hay and Chamomile Ice with Sorrel and Wild Herbs . It worked really surprisingly well and tasted much better than it looks on the plate.

Our final dessert, “Gammel Dansk”, Ice Cream, Milk and Woodsorrel provided a light way to finish off the tasting menu. If you’ve ever tried the terrible Gammel Dansk (Danes have much fun serving it to foreigners), I was surprised to have its strong flavour infused rather modestly into the ice cream. The light, white milk wafers that you see also ended up being very light and added that lovely crispy dimension.

Finishing the meal, with our peppermint tea, we started on the petite fours that followed – definitely worthwhile getting.

First our waiters arrived with some interesting packages and tins.

Inside laid their justifiably famous bone marrow caramel. It’s a strange caramel that has a strong meat flavour and even served in the rounded bone. Not for the faint hearted and wasn’t exactly everyone’s favourite. I really enjoyed this dish though.

Next up was a bitter chocolate covered potato chip sprinkled with fennel seeds. The fennel provided a savoury contrast to the chocolate and the potato chip adding the crunchy dimension.

We finished off the petite fours with the classic Danish Marshmallow coated in chocolate and sat on a small biscuit base. Fortunately not as big as the ones you see around town since they tend to be excessively sweet.

For my second visit to this restaurant, Noma continued to impress. The waiters, who I think also act as chefs finishing off the various dishes buzzed around and helped make us feel really welcome. In fact, when they found out when we were Australian, they went out of their way to make sure every Aussie chef came to say hello (and there were quite a few).

The fire alarm went off just before the end of our meal and so we rushed outside like any good person. Almost immediately, a staff member arrived with a plate full of champagne flutes, ensuring that we were as comfortable as we could be on the windy dock. The waiters and chefs continually chatted to us as we stood around outside waiting for the firemen to make sure the building was safe for us to return (fortunately it was). For me, this is just yet another reason Noma rates so highly for service and its reputation.

Name: Noma
Found at: Strandgade 93, Copenhagen, Denmark

Favourite Restaurants in Copenhagen

I’ve been meaning to write up several of my favourite places that we ate at during my time in Copenhagen. Here’s a summarised list of them.

Places for Brunch

  • Emmery’s (Bakery) – A series of bakeries dotted around the city offering some tasty treats.
  • The Laundromat Cafe – Interesting atmosphere with some hearty sized portions.
  • Illums Bager (Bakery) – Great for picking up some danish pastries, juice or smoothies for breakfast.
  • Kong Arthur Hotel – Out of all the different hotels, I reckon it had the best breakfast out of the lot (after staying at Hotel Fox, The Square, Radisson SAS Royal, and The Admiral). Has everything including the American style hot buffet, danish pastries, cereal, hearty breads and pancakes!
  • Granola (Cafe) – Cool, retro cafe serving some decent coffee and filling sandwiches.

Places for Dinner

  • Spicylicious (Thai/Pan Asian) – One of our most favourite restaurants for amazing quality and well presented food. Slightly more upmarket than many other Thai restaurants but really, really good. It’s in a bit of a dodgy part of town but still safe. Mains start at around £15-20.
  • Sticks n Sushi (Japanese) – A chain sushi and robata grilled mixtures. Very popular with locals and with an English menu. Between £20-£30 for a set.
  • Reef N Beef (Australia) – An oxymoron representing fine dining Australian cuisine. Plenty of imported unique meats with mains around £23-£30. You definitely have to try the desserts, Death by Chocolate or the Pavlova if you go. Both exceptional.
  • Umami (Japanese) – Great atmosphere with an extensive interesting cocktail list with great quality (but expensive) Japanese (£20-£40 sushi set). Try the plum wine here.
  • Modern American Steak House (MASH) (Steakhouse) – Umami owned restaurant focusing on great quality steaks. Nice dining room. £23-£50 just for the steak
  • Restaurant Badstuen (Danish – now closed) – Warm modern restaurant not reflecting the tourist-laden street, Strøget. Mains start from about £16 and get up to about £30.
  • Customs House (Japanese, Italian, Grilll) – Modern D&D owned building containing what looks like three amazing restaurants. I only ate at the Japanese one super tasty and fantastic atmosphere. Definitely try the grilled pork belly here.

Special Occasions
Be prepared to pay a lot for the following £80+

  • Noma – Good luck getting a booking here. Laid back cuisine focused on using local ingredients. Exceptional quality. Exception service. Good times.
  • Restaurant Paustian v Bo Bech – Another Michelin-starred restaurant with great tasting food focusing on modern European cuisine.


I’m not sure MASH really gives this place the credence it deserves. Standing for Modern American Steak House, MASH is a restaurant focusing on offering a fine dining steak experience to all people in Copenhagen. I remember not having to book for the four of us, although they placed us in the area out front which seemed quite nice, but much less formal that the red-leather sofas and chairs in the dining room out back.


Regardless, I remember having a really great steak. Seared perfectly on the outside, soft and delicious with a wide variety of sauces to choose from and an impressive wine selection to match. Like many other steak restaurants, sides are additional and so we ordered some spinach, chilli fries and some onion rings (the chilli fries being fries dusted with some sort of spicy mix versus the bean chilli mixture you sometimes see)

Run by the same folk as Umami, you’ll definitely pay for the experience but at least you’ll be guaranteed great service (rare in Copenhagen) and fantastic food. Here is a link to a review:

Name: MASH (Modern American Steak House)
Website: (not easily Googlable)
Found at: Bredgade 20, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Laundromat Cafe

Going back through some photos from Copenhagen was this wonderful cafe I had brunch at whilst staying over one weekend. Located slightly north of the great lakes, and on a side street off Stroget, The Laundromat Cafe sits welcoming patrons to its alfresco dining.

I love discovering and trying out unique places like this. It was started as a way of creating a nice environment for people to hang out and enjoy themselves whilst actually doing their laundry (hence the name). I can’t actually recall seeing any of them because I sat outside, but I’m sure that they probably have them out back. Regardless, it was certainly popular with locals.

Their brunch menu seemed quite reasonable and, like most Danish cafes, a nice balanced offering of both healthy options, and the greasy fry up. As you can see below, I opted for the greek yogurt with museli, an orange juice a coffee.


Like most places in Denmark, the coffee was great (although quite large), and the yogurt was also served with some fruit. I’m not sure how much the breakfast was, but I remember thinking that it was pretty reasonably priced.

As a tourist, you’re not likely to stumble across this place but it’s definitely worth seeking out if you want something a bit more unique and for locals.

Name: The Laundromat Cafe
Found at:Elmegade 15 / København N.


Now that I have a bit more time not commuting I’m going to try to backtrack some of the wonderful places I’ve had a chance to eat at in the past.

One of the first that springs to mind is Ebisu, owned by D&D London (formerly Conran restaurants). D&D London is always well known for all their stylish restaurants and Ebisu is no exception, housed in a harbour side building offering three different dining experiences (Italian, Japanese and Bar & Grill). Ebisu is just one of them.

Each table is complete with seasonings including white pepper, salt, and the lovely Japanese pepper mixture, Shichimi, all with a very nicely presented container. Whilst waiting for everyone to arrive for dinner we ordered some wasabi peas and some edamame. Although I wouldn’t think there to be that many differences, the wasabi peas were definitely the best I’ve ever had, strangely fresh and full of wasabi-goodness.


The following dish is the yellowtail carpaccio with an orange and ginger dressing. Light, summery and super fresh tasting.


Disappointingly the following dish, advertised as “rock shrimp” weren’t the same rock shrimp that is farmed in the US that I’ve had at both Nobu and Morimoto. The tempura shrimp was still delicious, light and crisp batter with the grated ginger and delicious dipping sauce.


Definitely the highlight for my meal was the Robata Grilled skewers. The one at the back my personal favourite (pork belly that was soft, lean and yet full of flavour), the other, a beef skewer with miso.


Freshening it up was a wonderful freshly cooked asparagus with yuzu hollandaise. The asparagus was perfectly cooked, still crisp yet soft at the same time. The yuzu flavour wasn’t particularly strong but present enough to give it that extra zing.


Service at Ebisu was pretty impeccable. Our tap water was filled up pretty consistently and we were asked enough whether or not things were okay. Whilst I’d probably keep this place as somewhere particularly special, it was a great treat during the week.

Name: Ebisu
Location: Havnegade 44, 1058 København K, Denmark