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.

Nyhavn and the Marble Church

The last whole day in Copenhagen started with breakfast at the hotel, after which we decided to check out some stores. The only thing we bought was a cookbook, Copenhagen Food: Stories, Tradition and Recipes by Trine Hahnemann. My niece, who lives in Brussels happened to be in Copenhagen at the same time visiting a friend, so we decided to meet up for lunch at ChÀo Viet Kitchen. I chose Bun Nam Bo, rice noodles with shrimp, mixed salad, herbs, fried onions, peanuts and blended fish sauce, hubby ate Chao Ca Ri, a unique Curry coconut milk creation with chicken, mixed salad, herbs, fried onions and peanuts, and my niece had Bun Chay, rice noodles with tofu crispy portobello mushrooms, herbs, fresh mixed salad, peanuts, roasted onions and homemade vegan fish sauce. All the food was delicious and made with fresh ingredients.

Bun Nam Bo

After lunch we decided to walk to Nyhavn, which is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district that originally was a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. The area was packed with sailors, ladies of pleasure, pubs and alehouses. It is lined by brightly colored 17th and early 18th century townhouses that now have been renovated and house bars, cafes and restaurants. This is the area that is prominently featured in all types of travel photos from Copenhagen. After enjoying a drink in one of the many restaurants we decided to take a stroll to the Marble Church.

Nyhavn
The other shore of the canal is not as colorful

The Marble Church, officially called Frederik’s Church was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740 and was intended to commemorate the 300 years jubilee of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg. The foundation stone was set by king Frederick V on October 31, 1749, but the construction was slowed by budget cuts and the death of Eigtved in 1754. In 1770, the original plans for the church were abandoned by Johann Friedrich Struensee. The church was left incomplete and stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years. In 1874, Andreas Frederik Krieger, Denmark’s Finance Minister at the time, sold the ruins of the uncompleted church and the church square to Carl Frederik Tietgen on the condition that Tietgen would build a church in a style similar to the original plans and donate it to the state when complete. Tietgen got Ferdinand Meldahl to design the church in its final form and financed its construction. Due to financial restrictions, the original plans for the church to be built almost entirely from marble were discarded, and instead Meldahl opted for construction to be done with limestone. The church was finally opened to the public on August 19, 1894. Frederick’s Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m. The dome rests on 12 columns. After visiting the church, we visited the yard of Amalienborg castle.

The Marble Church

The ‘swan’ organ, which was built by Knud Olsen in 1894. It is no longer in use; the church also has a modern organ from 1963 by Marcussen & Søn.
The dome of Frederik’s Church
There was a couple taking wedding photos outside the church
One of the four identical buildings of Amalienborg castle
There were guards outside Amalienborg

Then it was time to head back towards our hotel and my niece was catching up with her friend who had been at work. After returning to the hotel we relaxed and got ready for dinner, which was to be our first ever one Michelin star experience. Read all about this experience in my next and final Copenhagen post.

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.