Sometimes an extraordinary eating experience happens by chance. After a long day in Malmö we are pretty exhausted. Back at our Copenhagen hotel we want to find somewhere nearby and look online. Kødbyens Fiskebar sounds great and is only a 10 minute walk from our room. We try to book a table online but, unsurprisingly, it is fully booked. The hotel receptionist tells us there are several really good restaurants in the same part of town as the Fiskebar – so we head there to try our luck…
We arrive in what used to be the old meatpacking district of Copenhagen, now transformed into a popular area of bars and restaurants. We head to the Fiskebar and the guy on the door confirms that they are fully booked but says he will see if he can find somewhere for us. After a few minutes he leads us to two bar stools at a short bar facing the kitchen and asks if that is OK for us. We have a view straight into the kitchen and, to one side of us, the pastry chef is creating fabulous looking desserts. Yes…I think we will be just fine here.
We are served by Karoline who brings us beers and carefully guides us through the menu. While we are waiting we really enjoy all the activity around us -the place is packed and a stream of beautiful dishes are being brought out of the kitchen by the team. Then a chef comes to other side of our bar, introduces himself as Jamie, and asks if we would like a tour of the kitchen once we have eaten. Later we discover this is Jamie Lee, the head chef, who trained in London under Gordon Ramsay and Jason Atherton. Mr Atherton is one of our food heroes. I’m starting to feel that we are standing at the gates of the foodbloggers heaven.
So let’s see if their food is as good as it looks. Rock and I are sharing all dishes and we start with raw mackerel served with skagen ham, green tomato and fennel. I’m not a huge fan of raw fish but this was super fresh and the flavours worked really well together. Between courses, we are still watching the pastry chef, who we now know to be called Soeren, creating elaborate desserts to order. But it’s not yet time for our dessert.
Next we have steamed halibut with kohlrabi, cucumber, sheep yoghurt and ramson (a type of wild garlic). It is as sensational as it looks. As each plate is set in front of us Karoline, or sometimes Maria, go through the components of the dish so that we know exactly what we are getting. Now we are on to pan-fried brill with cauliflower, bone marrow and stout. Even with foam, emulsion and soil on the plate – this is a simply stunning dish.
Finally it is our turn for one of Soeren’s desserts and we choose the poached rhubarb served with a buttermilk tart, rhubarb sorbet, wood sorrel and meringue. I think he may be a genius. Before coffee, another member of the kitchen team, Balaš, takes us on the tour of the kitchen and we get a real incite into how Jamie and this busy team manage to put these food creations together. Interestingly, despite the Ramsay influence, there are no red faces, lost tempers and no swearing – just a good-humoured team working very hard.
We finish a fabulous evening with coffee and hand-made petit fours. Karoline recommends that we go to the Torvehallerne before we leave Copenhagen (watch out for another blog). The buzz of this place has been exhilarating, the friendliness of all the team has been extraordinary, the service and the knowledge of Karoline and Maria – exceptional. The food has been quite good too!