Copenhagen is a wonderful city with an incredible character but just as great as it is, it is terribly cold and what we discovered to be the best way to warm yourself up is entering one of its many stunning restaurants and scoffing down some delectable food. Our first stop when eating in Copenhagen is the recently opened Barabba restaurant which is near Nørreport Station. Barraba specialises in Italian food but while their food is amazing their wine collection is possibly better. The restaurant prides itself on maintaining a strong relationship with wineries and in doing so, the Barabba staff can tell you the story and journey of every bottle of wine that confidently sits on their impressive wine rack.
Speaking with the head chef, Riccardo, the landscape of the restaurant was purposely designed to resemble a home in order to create a comfortable and warm feeling. This is coupled with the stripped back concrete walls, quirky and stylish chandeliers, fresh flowers and candles. For our starters, we had their tasty sourdough homemade bread with extra virgin oil, which was the perfect starter and helps with warming our bodies from the sub-zero temperatures outside. As mentioned before, Barabba’s staff really know their wine and rather than just randomly selecting a bottle of wine of his choosing, Juan, our host asked us what we’re in the mood for. We both agreed we were after something white, fruity and light and almost like a mathematician doing mental arithmetic; Juan knew exactly what bottle we needed. He brought us Peggy et Jean Pascal Buronfosse, a very light and fruity wine from France and gave us the story of its importers and how they make their wine. The extra detail really went a long way in making our dining experience even more amazing than it already was and this is something more restaurants ought to do.
For our mains, we had grilled octopus with potatoes and olives, as well as duck breast with kale and a venison tartare.The mains were extremely flavoursome with small additions that help to create a tasty experience. The octopus had a great texture that made it easy to eat, the potatoes were chunky and mash and were both presented extravagantly. The venison tartare is by far the best tartare I’ve had yet, the flavours were strong but not too dominant, it was the perfect combination of being tender but still tasty. This was by far our favourite meal of the day and one we implore anyone venturing Copenhagen to try. For dessert, we had the walnut cake with caramelised apple and if you’re someone who doesn’t have a proper sweet tooth, like me, then this is the perfect sweet treat for you. The cake is sweet but not overwhelmingly sweet, the apple perfectly complements the cake and both do a great job to help settle the big dinner you just consumed.
All in all, Barabba is a great restaurant that really knows their food, wine and most importantly takes pride in their attention to detail that helps to make your experience at the restaurant feel even more special.
On the Saturday, we ventured to Østerbro’s Tony’s which is right by the Nyhavn harbour and, as the title suggests, specialises in traditional Italian food with their own unique twist on the dishes. The great thing about Tony’s is you can order your own 3-course meal for just 225 DK (£27) which is a bit of steal considering their quality of food.
Entering Tony’s you immediately get this chalet-esque feel, the logs of wood stacked on top of each other create this warming aura that’s needed when tolerating the cold Copenhagen weather. The mood lighting, blackboards with writing on them and bookcase help to create this homely feel to the restaurant. Expect some ’80s soul like Chaka Kahn’s “I Feel For You” or George Benson’s “Give Me the Night” to be played discretely in the background that further create a rich warm mood.
Glancing at the menu we knew we were in for a treat, the menu was authentically Italian with some interesting additions from Tony’s well-versed kitchen. For our starters, we went for the fried chicken wings that are marinated in buttermilk and the langoustine that’s served with garlic butter. Being a chicken-lover myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the wings as it wasn’t something I expected any of Copenhagen’s restaurants to serve. The wings were crispy but tasty and were the perfect size to help ease you into your main. The langoustine was very delectable and the combined flavours of the garlic butter made for a great collaboration. Alongside this, we had some very scrumptious bread with artichoke cream as the dip – this was the first time I had tried artichoke cream and it certainly won’t be my last.
Our choice of wine was the Sabstiani Chardonnay as it was recommended by our host for its crisp and fruity flavour and its ability to go well with most meals. For the mains, we opted for Tony’s meatballs that come with very juicy meatballs in tomato sauce with linguine and herbs. We also had the cream risotto with roasted Jerusalem artichokes and pickled lemon with pan fried cod. The meatballs were delightful and totally embody Tony’s restaurant with its traditional flavour with subtle new additions; the tomato sauce was rich but not overbearing and linguine was cooked to perfection. The risotto was luscious with the sauce having just the right of flavours so it didn’t dominate the cod which in itself was cooked to the right level and was the perfect companion to the creamy risotto.
For sweet lovers, the Tiramisu is the right way to go as it comes with coffee, mascarpone, ladyfingers, marsala and cocoa. The various components of the Tiramisu work in harmony to create a mesh of flavours in your mouth. You almost wonder how you still have space for it after the two enjoyable courses, but its flavours help for your brain to forget it is full.
Tony’s is a must go to for couples who are venturing to Copenhagen with the restaurant facing the harbour and its intimate landscape helps to create the perfect date vibe. Tony’s is a must attend when you’re in CPH.
The last restaurant we headed to was the renowned Mother restaurant that has been blessing customers from across the globe at its old meatpacking district located restaurant since 2010. Mother is known for its famous sourdough culture that goes into every batch of their pizza still to this day. I was eager to try out Mother as it had been recommended to me by every friend of mine that lives in Copenhagen or has been to Denmark’s capital before.
The restaurant is dominated by its rustic wood-fired oven and the rustic warm feel is consistent throughout the restaurant with its wooden tables, candles and logs of wood stacked up against the wall. Whilst admiring the restaurant’s landscape, we met the head chef, Carlo. Carlo has been a part of Mother since its incarnation 7 years ago and he spoke boldly of his passions for food and always having the urge to try new things to further the Mother brand. One of his latest additions is Mother’s introduction of using seawater in their pizzas. The use of seawater in place of regular salt and water provides a healthier and tastier way of making pizza dough. When chatting with Carlo about Mother’s food it was clear to see his passion for the restaurant and the quality of their food; he spoke about how Mother make their own cheeses locally in Copenhagen, have their own wine are our pioneering a new way of making pizza with the use of seawater. And it’s through Carlo’s constant need for perfection that has helped Mother become Copenhagen’s best spot for pizza.
For our starters, we had an array of options in an almost tapas setup. This included a vegetarian appetizer mixed with focaccia, deep fried cod, ham and garlic bread. It is easily the most authentic Italian starter that I’ve had outside of Italy. The veg was sweet and crispy; particularly the peppers which even the most ardent anti-veg-eater would’ve adored. The cod was succulent and its Roman way of deep frying created the tastiest coating for the fish. The ham was delicious without being too salty and the garlic bread was soft and flavoursome with the oregano oils adding to its flavour.
For our drink choice we went for Mother’s very own Rosé, which has a very sweet but light taste and really goes well with the Bruschetta, do take a sip of the wine to help digest your bread. For our mains, Carlo recommended the Porcella which comes with organic sausage, porcini, tomato and mozzarella. We also tried their recently released four cheese pizza that comes with mozzarella, ricotta, gorgonzola piccante and parmesan. The most noticeable thing about Mother’s pizzas is their base which is thin but have an almost hidden thickness about them that deep pan pizza lovers would enjoy. Their Porcella pizza’s flavours are subtle and allow for the sausages to take lead on the taste, while their four cheese pizza is a festival of cheese flavours that party in your mouth. If you’re a big foodie, then the size of the pizza will be great for you as it’s a good size for pizza lovers.
Following so many recommendations, I now understand the Mother buzz and personally feel I have an attachment to the restaurant due to its constant want to improve their flavours, make their food healthier and be creative with their pizzas. Fortunately for us Londoners, Mother has now opened a restaurant in Battersea, we implore you to go and try it out!