Quite possibly the longest meal of my life (Kokkeriet, Copenhagen)

at the end of a wonderful day exploring copenhagen, it was Restaurant Kokkeriet that my family and i headed to for our michelin-starred dinner – a must-do activity in this danish city that is famous for its range of exciting gastronomical options! we were only in lovely copenhagen for 2.5 days prior to boarding our cruise ship and because they were a sunday and a monday, we didn’t have many options to choose from (most of the restaurants open tuesday-saturday). case in point: noma, consistently named the best – with the occasional slip to 2nd best – restaurant in the world, was on our must-try list but it wasn’t open on both sunday and monday! just means that we’ll have to make another trek to copenhagen sometime, i guess.

kokkeriet is located a short distance away from the busy city centre of copenhagen. it is a small and cosy restaurant that is smart-looking without being pretentious. service was very good, with each dish being introduced as it was served, and the restaurant prides itself on the the modern twist it introduces to traditional Danish dishes ie using plenty of traditional and seasonal danish ingredients like potatoes and beetroot in modern and exciting ways.

for dinner, they had 3 options – an a la carte menu where you choose 3 dishes (starter/main/dessert), a “large menu”, and a “smaller menu”. we opted for the large menu despite the scarily long list of dishes we were going to be served, going along with the mantra of just going all out since we were there anyway hahahahaha. as it turns out, “large” was quite an understatement but hey, no complaints from any of us, even when we took close to 5 hours (see post title) for the entire meal 😉

the menu for the night:20140602_184935
(
the smaller menu excludes the dishes in italics)

before service of the actual menu got underway though, we were served 5 light snacks to kickstart the meal. they were really interesting bites and a good preview of what was to come over the course of the rest of the meal:20140602_182801
smoked salmon/sour cream
i remember thinking that this wasn’t what i expected at all based on how it was described. the salmon was in floss form, and i couldn’t really discern the sour cream?

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oats/cheese/almonds
the “snakes” on those sticks (inedible, as the waitress kindly pointed out, just in case we were over-zealous foodies hahaha!) were breadstick-like things. we really enjoyed this! had a very addictive savoury taste and if they came in any larger quantity, we could imagine a situation of having unknowingly consumed a whole bowl/pack.

20140602_183435 game meatball in barbeque sauce

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beetroot/duck liver/chocolate 
i found this the most interesting of all the starter snacks and this was my favourite! because of the really unusual combination of flavours, it was quite an acquired taste i think, but i personally thought they were delicious little morsels with a really interesting mix of textures and tastes!

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cod/vinegar/mustard
another favourite at the table – paper-thin pieces of crispy fish. i remember this to be perfectly crispy, flavourful and light, with no hint of oil despite being fried. reminded me of the fried fish skin that tops thai green mango salads!

we also had bread before we started on the main meal, and oh my, the bread was out of this world! we all agreed that it was one of the best breads we’ve had – served wonderfully warm, crispy on the outside but perfectly fluffy within. made even better when eaten with the accompanying butter (left) / yoghurt-chive mix (right)!
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we each had at least 2 rolls i think? and had to remind ourselves to exercise self-control and not go for thirds despite being offered, lest we run out of stomach space for everything else that was to come! when we raved about the bread to the waitress, she told us that their secret (oops, guess its not a secret anymore now) is that when they first bake the bread, they only do so halfway. the completion of the baking is done just before serving their diners so it really has the taste and feel of being fresh from the oven!

one final thing before the actual meal – amuse-bouche:20140602_185843
green asparagus/shrimp gel

and finally after all these, our tongues were (more than) sufficiently tickled and appetites sufficiently whet for the start of the actual 15 courses from the menu we chose! Feast your eyes on all that FOOD:
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crab/fresh cheese/chamomile

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white asparagus/hen egg/herbs
for those who have been following this blog for a while now, it’d probably come as no surprise that i repeat the fact that i ADORE wet egg yolks that burst in your mouth. well, hidden under the pieces of white asparagus was one such amazing egg yolk 😉

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spring cabbage/scallop/clam juice/buttermilk
this was a family favourite – the scallop was perfectly cooked and very naturally sweet and juicy. yummy!

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carrots/grape/trout roe
an interesting combination, but a good one nonetheless!

more food:20140602_195108
haddock/celeriac/kornly cheese

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yellow split peas/beets/spruce

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walleye/crisp bread/nettle

keepin’ it comin’:20140602_202756
quail egg/smoked herring/radish
i remember the smoked herring broth of this dish to be delicious! it was very light and tasty, a good break from the heavier sauces that were stronger in flavour prior to this.

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tongue/peas/horseradish
okay, unfortunately this definitely took the prize for least well-liked dish of the night. we all thought the combination was just rather odd and unfortunately, nobody finished this dish! the green soup/sauce thing tasted extremely raw, like we were drinking wheatgrass juice and somehow it just didn’t work for us…

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wing/rhubarb/pickled cucumber
delicious chicken wings! cooked to perfection such that the meat fell off the bone.

20140602_210701
duck heart/mushrooms/Gammel Dansk
my first time trying duck heart and i’m not gonna lie, i was initially rather apprehensive. the texture was just as i imagined it to be – quite chewy since its muscle-y, but it was well-cooked so that it didn’t end up being rubbery. it was actually quite flavourful and had a nice bite to it!

okay by this point we were getting sleepy (though very happy):20140602_211841
potato/cream/smoked ham from Skagen

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pig/mash/onion/bacon
this was my personal favourite dish of the night! it was like the finale of the dinner and the sauce that was poured over the pork was set on fire on the plate right before your eyes. not only was it visually exciting, it tasted really good too! the pork had a crispy skin, the meat was really tender and juicy, and the mash by the side was delicious and had bits of bacon mixed into it rather than just sprinkled on top of it. this made for a really satisfying and hearty end to the (savoury bits) of the meal in my opinion!

and finally, dessert! sorry for the poor quality of the dessert pics, it was getting dark outside as we made our way through the meal and i didn’t want to use flash cuz it wouldn’t do the prettiness of the food justice. you can thus see how the pics became progressively darker because of the sun setting outside, but the pics in the collage below are slightly brighter i think!
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sweet bread/lemon mousse/meringue/verbena
loved the varied textures in this dessert, and the lemon was very welcome and refreshing at the end of such a big meal.

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anise/berries/beetroot/nougatine
you can’t see how pretty this dessert was because of the extreme darkness of the pic (sorry about that!!!) but just imagine everything in the most vibrant shade of fuschia pink, my favourite colour! looked good, and tasted good too!

and with that, it was close to midnight and we had finally reached the end of this gastronomical adventure. if you’re looking for some traditional danish food with a modern twist while in copenhagen, then kokkeriet is definitely the place for you! in fact, one of the waitresses told us that it was the first danish restaurant in denmark to receive a michelin star! reservations are necessary, so do make them in advance, and go with a big, empty stomach 😉

it was a really good night with great food and even better company in the form of family. a wonderful start to the trip! happy, happy times 🙂

Restaurant Kokkeriet
Kronprinsessegade 64
1306 København K
www.kokkeriet.dk

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ps. some pics of copenhagen:
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the fantastical tivoli gardens

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best hot dog ever!!! organic hotdog from dop, a chain of hotdog stands that you may be lucky enough to chance upon. there’s one right by the round tower!

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made our own magnums at the magnum store! YUM. (didn’t matter that it was a cold and wet day)

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postcard-perfect nyhavn

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smorrebrod aka open-faced sandwiches all day every day! gotta love their really dense rye bread!!!

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