Birthday dinner at Sikke’s

This year for my birthday we had booked a table at the recently (mid-April) opened restaurant Sikke’s. The restaurant calls itself a neighborhood bistro that you can easily pop into for a glass of wine and a small bite at the bar or stay longer and have dinner. We arrived a couple of minutes early and had to wait a while for our table. Once we were seated we were asked if we would like an aperitif. I ordered a Negroni and hubby a Dry Martini.

A classic Negroni to start

We looked over the menu while enjoying our drinks. The menu consisted of four starters, four mains, four side dish options and five desserts. There were also a specials board with a few alternatives. I decided to start with mozzarella, salted lemons and thyme and hubby chose the beef tartar with crispy capers and an egg yolk. I ordered a glass of Riesling with the food and hubby had a beer. While we waited for our starters I noticed that other tables were served bread, but we did not get any. When the waiter brought the starters, he noticed that we didn’t have any bread and said he would bring some. I would have preferred to have the bread served before the starter which it apparently was supposed to be but at least we got some bread, which was delicious. The starters were both lovely and I was inspired by the salted lemons, I want to try to make them at home.

Mozzarella and salted lemons, a brilliant combo
The tartar meat melted in the mouth

For my main I had Arctic char with a sour milk and cucumber sauce and green asparagus and hubby ordered grilled rosemary Baltic herring with dandelion. With the mains we also ordered a serving of fries seasoned with rosemary salt and served with ketchup and aioli. The mains were well made with top notch ingredients and we enjoyed both. The fries were tasty, and the aioli was good, but we could not decide if we liked the ketchup or not – it seemed to have cinnamon in it, which was quite interesting. Once we had finished eating our mains we still had some fries left but the waiter was extremely quick to come and clear the plates and also took the fires away without asking if we wanted to finish eating them. This seemed a bit odd. The next less than perfect experience was that once the plates were cleared no one came to ask us whether we wanted something else, like dessert or more to drink. After waiting for someone to come for closer to 30 minutes I finally caught the attention of a waiter walking by and asked for the check. It was then brought rather promptly but once we had laid the card on top of the check to pay, we again had to wait for quite a while for someone to come and take the payment.

Beautifully fried Arctic char
Baltic herrings on a bed of dandelions

All in all, a nice dinner in a pleasant restaurant but the service still needs some tweaking. I am sure we will come back, and it will be interesting to see how the menu changes with the seasons. The restaurant also hosts something called pasta Sundays when they serve four different pasta dishes, a salad and focaccia to start and a dessert to finish. I would also like to check this out at some point.

The happy and well-fed b-day “girl”

Kokkeriet – well worth the money

On our last night in Copenhagen we had reserved a table at a one Michelin star restaurant called Kokkeriet. Kokkeriet describes itself as modern and old-fashioned, innovative and traditional, decadent and minimalist, formal as well as down to earth. The restaurant puts out dishes that lean on Danish tradition and grandma’s recipes but does so with a twist and a modern approach. The head chef Morten Krogholm describes his inspiration and philosophy: “For me, food is one of the most beautiful things in the world — it speaks for itself entirely. My style is based on four elements: nature – simplicity – flavor – Danish. In my gastronomic interpretation, Danish is when I’m able to create something that my guests do not immediately recognize, but which can suddenly take them back to childhood memories and experiences with a single special or recognizable scent or dish – although fragmented and assembled anew”.

Exterior image from thefork.com

Kokkeriet is a relatively small restaurant locate in Nyboder’s charming neighborhood in one of Copenhagen’s beautiful, old buildings. The restaurant received a Michelin star in 2006 but lost it in 2007 and managed to regain it in 2009. The Michelin inspectors’ comments on Kokkeriet in the 2019 Michelin guide: “The kitchen takes Danish classics and adds its own modern interpretation; dishes are fresh and colourful and all have their own story. The focus is on the tasting menu; veggies and vegans are well looked after. This very welcoming restaurant, once a corner shop, is intimate and contemporary.”

Interior image from thefork.com

Visiting a Michelin starred restaurants has been a dream of mine for years and now it was finally time to realize that dream. Kokkeriet that offers separate tasting menus for carnivores, pescetarians, vegetarians and vegans seemed like the perfect option. You can choose a shorter (8 course) or longer (12 course) menu which both begin with an amuse bouche. There is an option of a wine or juice pairing with the menus. We decided to try the 8 course pescatarian menu with the wine pairing. But before you even get to see the menu and order you are served 5 snacks to give you an idea of the food the restaurant serves. After the snacks you are presented with the menu from which you can chose either individual dishes or one of the tasting menus.

The first snack is served: egg – pearl onion – ash
Potato – anchovie – roe
Smoked bread – cream cheese – leek The bread rested on smoking pieces of wood
This one was challenging: octopus – lemon – chervil, as I don’t like octopus
The last snack rye bread – chocolate – pistachio was also called beer porridge
The amuse bouche lumpfish roe – buckwheat – cress
The bread basket was absolutely adorable
On to the actual menu, first starter scallop – cabbage – pear
Pike perch – blueberry – licorice Hubby wasn’t too conviced of pairing blueberries with fish but I liked it
Last starter halibut – caviar – thyme
Beetroot – cherry – tarragon Not my favorite as I’m not a big fan on beetroot and his had loads but it didi work well as sort of a palate cleanser before the mains
On to the mains turbot – ramson – celery
Cod – parsley – onion
The actual palate cleanser before the dessert pine – pear – yuzu
And finally, the dessert apple – sunflower – chamomile

The whole dining experience was excellent: the food, the ambiance, the wine pairings, the service… I could not fault anything. It was also a joy to watch the restaurant staff do their job, everything worked like a well-oiled machine. The only time we had to ask for something (more water when we had basically finished eating) the waiter seemed mortified that we had to ask. There were several small touches that I am sure have contributed to getting a star. When you asked for the restrooms you were taken there not just told where they were. One time I went to the restroom and left my napkin on the table it was changed as it had gotten slightly dirty when using it. The check was hand written and with it you got small individually packed handmade confections and a copy of the menu including the wines. As you were ready to leave, the entire staff that had served you came to bid you farewell. Naturally this was not the cheapest dining experience but well worth the money. Now I cannot wait to test out some other Michelin restaurants.

Canal cruise and Tivoli Gardens

On Monday we had breakfast at the hotel and the headed to Ved Stranden to buy tickets for a canal cruise. As the boat that was about to take off was a covered boat I asked the person at the ticket booth when the next open boat would leave which was in around 30 minutes, so we had a coffee at a nearby Espresso House and boarded the boat at 11 am. There was a little bar at the dock where you could purchase refreshments to take onboard (soft drinks, water, beer, etc.) but we opted not to. The cruise was equipped with an audio guide in several languages but there was also a live guide on board who provided us with some additional/alternative information. The tour lasted one hour and was a great way to see the city from the water.

Ready to set off on the cruise
The Little Mermaid statue attracts loads of tourists
Many interesting abodes can be seen on the shores of Christiania
There is a copy of the statue of David outside
Den Kongelige Afstøbningssamling
Church of our Saviour whose serpentine spire was inaugurated in 1752.
The Marble Church and Amalienborg
The Black Diamond is an extension to the Royal Danish Library on Slotsholmen.

Once we returned to Ved Stranden we decided to walk to Torvehallerne for a spot of lunch. We chose to share a margherita pizza with tomato, buffallo mozzarella, cherry tomato, basil oil and fresh basil at Gorm’s Pizza. The pizza was tasty but could have used a bit more spice. We also had ice cream at Is à Bella. We shared two scoops in a cup, pistachio and lime and they were super delicious. We also stopped by Exotic Mix that sells various nuts, seeds and dried fruits, and bought a couple of bags of nuts to take home.

Pizza for lunch
Is á Bella’s selection

After lunch we hopped on the metro and headed out to explore Nørrebro. We strolled around, stopped for some refreshments and slowly made our way back to the hotel. In the evening we went to explore Tivoli Gardens. We decided to buy only entrance tickets without any ride access. The area is really nice with lovely buildings, beautiful flower installations, fountains, thrilling rides and some 40 places to eat. We ended up having dinner at Italia – La Vecchia Signora. I had a La Caprese salad to start and hubby tried the Carpaccio, both were delicious. We opted for the same main: Ravioli ai Funghi al Burro e Salvia (mushroom filled ravioli with a butter and sage sauce), delizioso! When we were finished eating the sun had set and we got to enjoy Tivoli at its best, all lit up with various light installations.

Tivoli houses some peafowls
Inside Tivoli Gardens
A snack to tie us over to dinner
Waterfront restaurants at Tivoli
Tivoli at night
Tivoli at night
Tivoli at night
Tivoli at night
Tivoli entrance

In the next post we will visit Nyhavn and the Marble Church.