Copenhagen never ceases to impress me with the array of gourmet food establishments to choose from. This time seafood restaurants appeared on my radar and Kødbyens Fiskebaren was the choice made without much considerations.
I’ve chosen Fiskebaren for two reasons: I was in the mood for seafood dinner, as Torvehallerne – food market where one can feast on fresh seafood does not operate in the evening hours. The second reason was curiosity to explore Copenhagen’s meat packing district in Vesterbro I had heard of before and to see if it would be anything similar to the area with the same name in New York.
Copenhagen’s meat packing district did remind me of New York a bit, but on much smaller scale. There were many restaurants set up in former industrial buildings with buzzing crowds enjoying food and drinks in the outdoor settings. The newest Mikkeller venue Warpigs was there too, but as tempted as I was to check it out, I resisted the temptation and decided to stick to the original plan.
Fiskebaren appeared to be quite full and people standing in front of me had reservations. My friend and I were offered seats at the bar and we happily accepted them.
Minimalistic interior with no unnecessary details and industrial feel reinforced by using lots of steel made us feel like sitting in a fishmonger’s shop, watching the bar tenders serving their customers and enjoying quirky atmosphere.
Judging by the amount of cocktails the mixologist was making while we were sitting at the bar, they must be worth ordering there. Our theme of the evening was beer though, so we chose a beer with a rebellious name “Fuck Art – The Heathens are Coming” by To Øl. It was made of a blend of rye and wheat malt and came in a bottle with a clear white label. With hints of exotic fruit and yellow plum it was a refreshing start to our dinner.
Food menu had four different types of oysters, a selection of raw fish as well as hot dishes that were divided into two sections based on the size – medium and large. We decided to go for a couple of medium-sized options to start with.
The presentation of bread and butter on ceramic bathroom tiles looked creative, but even more creative was the flavour of the spread: creamy butter was blended with cucumber and dill reminding me of Tzatziki – very summery and light. On a slice of fresh bread it was a real treat to our beer while waiting for food to arrive.
Pan seared mullet with turnip, lovage and hazelnut had a nice and crisp skin and was soft inside. Crunchy ribbons of turnip worked well with the fish, but three different vegetable emulsions served with it were a bit masking the subtle flavour of the mullet.
Poached Limfjorden lobster was nicely plated and equally enjoyable for both our eyes and our taste buds. It was hiding among green peas, morels, bone marrow and tarragon. The lobster was cooked just right and all the elements on the plate were complementing each other.
Both dishes were relatively small, so after sharing them we decided to order something else in addition. Our choice was blue mussels steamed in apple cider. We could taste hints of lemongrass and the creamy sauce they were cooked in was beautiful. Medium serve of the dish appeared to be quite large and it was more than enough for us.
Another drink sounded like a good idea after the dinner and we took off exploring limitless options of Copenhagen’s bar scene.