Kokkeriet – a study in lightness

DINING OWL AWARD3rd – for feeling healthy

When I visited: August 2014

Location: Copenhagen

Team: David Johansen (Head Chef), Sammy Shafi (Head Sommelier)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: 1 star – then and now

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 4/5

What to wear: Men – smart trousers and shirt; women – smart dress or smart skirt / trousers and top

Ambience: very Danish, clean, light, quite intimate

Course of the meal: Quail egg with smoked herring and radish

If I could change one thing: More open-plan restaurant

Review:

Kokkeriet is one of those restaurants that feels undermarked in the Michelin Guide. It has 1 star but really feels like it should have 2. Despite the number of courses I ate, the very light use of carbs meant that I didn’t feel horribly full afterwards – in fact, I felt great.

I visited with my partner Owl and we had the ‘Danish classics’ dinner menu. First of all we were given a huge variety of tasty ‘snacks’, a very Copenhagen tradition: oat with haves cheese and almonds; cod with vinegar and mustard; smoked salmon and sour cream; beetroot with duck liver and chocolate; and game meatball and barbeque sauce. The ‘amousse’ that followed was green asparagus with shrimp gel.

On to the listed menu itself: this wasn’t strictly divided into starters, mains and desserts but the courses gradually shifted from seafood and vegetables to fish and meat and then sweet elements. The first few courses were crab with fresh cheese and chamomile, white asparagus with hen’s egg and herbs, spring cabbage with scallop and clam juice and buttermilk, and carrots with grape and trout roe. These were all so light that you felt healthy for eating them, rather than indulgent, and more than ready for what followed.

The next courses consisted of haddock with celeriac and Kornly cheese, yellow split peas with beets and spruce, walleye with crisp bread and nettle, and quail egg with smoked herring and radish. Again, they were very small in size but big on the taste; each course is put together so carefully and you feel encouraged to savour every bite.

The meat section consisted of tongue with peas and horseradish, wing with rhubarb and pickled cucumber, duck heart with mushrooms and Gammel Dansk, potato with cream and smoked ham from Skagen, and pig with mash, onion and bacon. Remarkably, even all this red meat was presented in a very restrained way, with only a few bites for each course. It is hard to pick my favourite but I did particularly enjoy the sumptuous duck heart.

The sweet section consisted of sweet bread with lemon mousse, meringue and verbena, followed by anise with berries, beetroot and nougatine. The use of beetroot in both traditionally savoury and traditionally sweet courses is something that I’ve noticed is quite prevalent in posh restaurants, and is often done very well.

I would thoroughly recommend Kokkeriet as a destination restaurant in Copenhagen, and would reiterate that it probably deserves more than the one star it has in the Michelin Guide. If you want to feel full without being uncomfortable and experience some of the best food that Copenhagen has to offer, this is the place to go.

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