Work in Progress

For my first fine dinning experience in Copenhagen, I obtained reservations to Work In Progress, so called because its a new restaurant by the Cofoco restaurant group, and apparently they haven’t quite decided on the name or the concept of the restaurant yet. It was located close to the University area, on the first floor of a hotel on Sankt Peders Stræde that also housed a fancy Burger joint.

The first course was a mussel soup with apple and squid, followed by a pork shank that was accompanied by a potato compote with bacon. The last course was ice cream made of honey and pear puree. I was enamored with the mussel soup and the squid was cut into noodle strips. I’m not normally a fan of onions but the potato compote with bacon was covered with onions which was very very good. I finished the whole thing! Bonus? The sides came on a different plate. I understand that its not very environmentally friendly but it did allow me to enjoy my sides without the potato compote interfering with my pork shank.

Here are the details:

Address: Sankt Peders Stræde 34, 1453 København K, Denmark
Open all week – Sunday only open in the evening
Tapas: 12:00-17:30
Dish of the day: 12:00-16:00
Evening menu: from 17:30. The kitchen closes at 22:00
I was told by the hotel concierge that because its a new restaurant, its easy to get a reservation but if you can’t call, try emailing!
email: workinprogress@cofoco.dk
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Relæ

Now that Noma has temporarily relocated to Sydney, Australia, Relæ has taken over the role of the best restaurant in Copenhagen. It’s located in Jaggersborde, which wasn’t too far from the Ibsen’s hotel. I had tried, unsuccessfully to get any reservation but the concierge at the Ibsen’s worked his magic and I found myself there on a nice Thursday night seated to a newly wed couple, who like me live on separate continents. They were absolutely lovely and made a very deliciously expensive meal into an exquisite experience.

I was a little wary at first because some of the online reviews I read were a little mixed. Plus they are supposed to be quite heavy on the vegetables and those who know me know that I’m mostly carnivorous. Still, this IS the best restaurant in Copenhagen and I’ll be dammed if i didn’t give it a try.

Given that this was an unexpected reservation, I had already eaten quite a lot during the day, I ordered the 4 course meal instead of the 7 and politely declined the wine pairing even though it was quite tempting to taste unfiltered wine.

The food was amazing. There was a pureed potato dish with burnt olive that tasted like chocolate. Needless to say I was in heaven.

Anyway, the restaurant is located here: Jægersborggade 41, 2200 København, Denmark 

Opening hours 

Phone number is +45 36 96 66 09

Best to call for reservations. Easily accessible by bus but there is still a bit of a walk. Get off after the cemetery park.

HÖST

On the last night of my visit to Copenhagen, the concierge at the excellent Ibsens Hotel got me reservations to HÖST, a COFOCO restaurant, which supposedly has fine dinning at “affordable prices”. I’ll be honest. I won’t be able to afford eating at that restaurant every week, but while on vacation, it was worth the splurge!

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Anyway, here’s the menu I picked (there were two choices, I believe the main course for the second menu was beef and I much preferred pork).

Höst Menu 
 
Hake 
mussle-cream, baby-spinach, 
purée with parsley 
 
Pork neck 
burned white kale,  
fermented garlic and lingonberries 
 
Spelt ice-cream 
apple-purée, wheat grain, 
and meringues from grain-coffee 
 

Well, in short. The meal was fabulous. The pork was crunchy, yet tender at the same time. The Hake was similar to the one I had at Work in Progress (not surprising since the sous chef apparently works at both places). And the service was impeccable. Everyone was so nice. And explained everything so patiently to me. IT was absolutely yummy. The ice cream was a nice treat to end the meal with, I really liked the crunchy bits. I was surprised at how fresh the fish was as well.  The portions look small but by the time the meal was done, my stomach was *quite* satisfied. I sometimes wish I’m a food critic. And then maybe I can write a nice piece about how soft and stringy the squid was in the mussel soup, or how crunchy and tender the pork neck was. Unfortunately, I’m not the best writer. I just enjoy taking pictures of my food, and then posting it somewhere.

That said, the price of the meal was fair. Definitely cheaper than Relæ but just as enjoyable. Its called fine dinning after all. Well worth the splurge.

Here are important details:

Address: Nørre Farimagsgade 41, 1364 København K, Denmark

Hours:

Saturday 5:30PM–12AM
Sunday 5:30PM–12AM
Monday 5:30PM–12AM
Tuesday 5:30PM–12AM
Wednesday 5:30PM–12AM
Thursday 5:30PM–12AM
Friday 5:30PM–12AM

Copenhenmark, Denmark

Have you heard? The Danes are the happiest people on Earth! I guess they’ve moved on quite dramatically from their depressed schizophrenic Prince of Denmark after their primary residence was changed from Elsinore to Amalienborg Palace.

That said, my latest vacation to Copenhagen was something that I had been looking forward to for weeks, and yet, surprisingly (or not surprisingly), I barely planned for it. And as my sister would say, when you fail to plan, plan to fail. And I sort of did, sort of. I mean, I probably spent more than what I should have, and had I spent some time planning, I might have saved some money. Still, even though I did overspend, a little, I did have a good time. And I think, if I had known, that everything was going to close at 4 or 5 pm, I might have planned my sightseeing a little better too.

But there’s a lot to see in Copenhagen. And there’s also not much to see in Copenhagen. If that makes sense. I think a lot of it has to do with what sort of sightseeing you like to do. I spent a bit of time going to the modern art museums, only to find that I’m still not a super big fan of a lot of modern art. At the same time, I don’t really think that Copenhagen is a big haven for a lot of the Classics. They did have a Golden Age in the 17th century (I think) but I’ve seen a lot of the more classical pieces of art in the past and these days, instead of trying to see everything all at once, I tend to see what catches my eye whenever I enter a room and kind of just zoom in on it. Copenhagen also has a thing for their sculptors, and there are a lot of them everywhere but that’s not necessarily what I’m into either. I do, however, like architecture (that’s a recent thing), and I love old churches (but apparently only the Renaissance and the Gothic ones). So I guess what I’m saying is that if I had done my homework, I could have been a lot more focused in my sightseeing, and saved myself some dough, and perhaps not have been as rushed even though I was there for a week, which is a lot of time to spend in such a small city.

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That said, there are a couple of ways to lower the costs of your stay. Most of the State museums are free. The Hirshsprung museum (a really cool small art museum) is free on Wednesday, along with the Thorvald Museum (mostly scupltures). The Carlsberg art museum is free on Tuesday. The castles and palaces all have an admission fee, and that includes the Christanborg Palace, The Amalienborg Palace, Krongberg and Rosenberg castle and Roskilde Cathedral. Climbing up the Tarnet at Christanborg is free. But to see the Round Tower, it will cost 25dkr, and so does climbing up the round spire at the Sankt Anne church. Freetown Christiana was an interesting experience. I’m not sure what I should have expected. I was expecting happy hippies? But it wasn’t as pleasant as my imagination would lead me to believe. Paper Island has good and fairly affordable food. 7Eleven, surprisingly, has great coffee and some of the best tasting croissants in the city.

I had gotten a 48hour Copenhagen card. I think it released a bit of the pressure on trying to figure out what I wanted to see, and I felt freer about taking public transport. That said, I think I might have saved a bit of money by just getting a 24hour city pass or 24 hour transit pass and using my student card to get cheaper admission prices at the castles. Or getting a Parkmusernee. Unless if you really plan your time really really well, the 48hr Copenhagen Card might not be as worth the price you are paying for.

 

So here’s a big picture summary:

the Copenhagen card which comes in 24hrs, 48, 72 and 120 hours allows you to go to MOST of the attractions in Copenhagen (and some out of it) and also comes with free transportation on all modes of public transport (water taxis, bus, metro, subway) to all the zones (as far as Roskilde and Helsingor). May be worth it if you are short on time and cannot go to the free museum days.

There’s a combined ticket for Kronberg and Amalianborg (but there’s no student ticket price for that). Kronberg also offers a separate student ticket price.

There’s a combined ticket for all 4 sites at Christanborg palace (but if you are only interested in the reception rooms…just get the reception room ticket. Bonus if you have a student pass on you).

All the palaces and castles have student ticket pricing.

There’s a 24hr City Pass that allows unlimited travel on public transport.

The Museum Park Pass (Parkmusernee) will cover the The David Collection, The Filmhouse, The Hirschsprung Collection, SMK (National Gallery of Denmark), The Natural History Museum of Denmark and Rosenborg Castle.

Free Museums:

The David collection

Staten Museum for Kunst (its next to Kronberg castle)

The Botanical gardens (but you’ll have to pay for the greenhouses)

Free Museum days:

Thovald museum is free on Wed

Hirshsprung museum is also free on Wed

The Glyptoteck (that’s the art museum that was built by the founder of Carlsberg) is free on Tues.

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