Saturday, October 31, 2009

København

Clockwise from top left: Hunky's favourite smørrebrød with shrimp; my roast beef smørrebrød with crunchy deep fried onions and boiled eggs; homemade roast pork by Hunky's old friend; the poor old half fish-half human; Tivoli Garden comes alive in the evening.

Copenhagen. Land of lego, herrings, sexy furniture, mermaids and pastries. Not necessarily in that order. It was my first time visiting Copenhagen and it was wonderful to see the Scandinavian side of my new husband. Husband. I will need some time before I can say it without giggling. Anyway, on the morning that we arrived it was wet, cold and gloomy. Fortunately we were blessed with blue skies from the following day onwards. Still, it was miserably cold. 7C during the day with icy blasts of wind coming in from the sea. Brrrrr. And yet, walking the streets you wouldn't think any one else was cold. I love watching the well dressed women on their bicycles. How do they stay so composed despite the chill? And such great posture! I told Hunky I want to get a bicycle when we get home so I can er...cycle to the supermarket. This was met with a hug and a "You're going get run over lah". Possibly true since they don't have allocated bicycle lanes like in Copenhagen. And of course there is that small problem called Malaysian drivers. Oh well!

Clockwise from top left: I'm a happy power point; delicious, mouthwatering smørrebrød at Ida Davidsen - wheres the bread??; rush hour in Copenhagen; pastries at Reinh Van Hauen; assorted herrings on rye

Hunky had already made a list in his head of all the things he wanted me to try. On the top of his list was smørrebrød. And we had a lot of smørrebrød (I stopped trying to pronounce it after the twentieth attempt) which are open face sandwiches that people eat for lunch. One things for sure, they sure do like their mayo here. Everything has mayo or a sauce that has mayo in it. Hunky's favourite is the shrimp one. Not just any shrimp but cold, deep-sea Scandinavian shrimp (don't quote me on this!). Kind of like having really nice prawn cocktail on dense rye. I like mine with herrings. Admittedly, after staring them for a while I do feel kind of squeamish but eating them is a different matter entirely. I like the sweet and sharp tangy flavour together on that dense rye bread. Mmmm. I like it with red onions and capers, with dill, in curry, I like them all. I also really enjoyed my roast beef smørrebrød at Ida Davidsen that was topped with deep fried onions. I think they started off as onion rings that were deep fried beyond oblivion. So crunchy and sweet! I did crave warm food by the second day. After all, all these cold sandwiches are hardly a comfort when its cold outside. I want hot, cockle-warming soups and stews. Instead we had two rounds of roast pork for dinner. We actually never made to any of the restaurants for dinner on the three nights that we had to ourselves. Mostly because it was so darn cold. And expensive too. Everything is so expensive! I thought London was bad but London is cheap compared to CPH. Those tiny smørrebrød cost on average Kr65 (RM46) and you really need to eat two before you are full! No wonder people in CPH are so slim! They bike around and can only afford to eat one smørrebrød! If I moved here I would be soooooo thin! Oh but then there are the pastries. Danish pastries! No, the ones back home are a travesty! Flakey, crisp pastry filled with all kinds of delicious fillings, mainly cream. They sure do love their cream. Speaking of cream, Hunky and I went to La Glace which is apparently the oldest patisserie in Copenhagen. Its a quaint little cafe located on a side street in the shopping district. The shop front has a big window display with all kinds of pastries and cakes to tease you into submission. The first two times we went it was so busy that we couldn't even get into the cafe. On our third attempt, we went in the morning. I know! Cake for breakfast- how fantastic is that?! I was immediately attracted to the pink icing-topped eclair. I guess I'm just a girl at heart. Hunky had his favourite "potato" cake. It is so adorable! It really looks like a potato. Its a choux pastry that is filled with creme patisserie and cream and wrapped in marzipan and dusted with cocoa powder. It is as rich as it sounds. Thank God for the industrial strength coffee that we had. Mine was lovely and light but the icing tasted odd and Hunky told me it was laced with rum. Huh, who would've thought! Yum!

Clockwise from top: The view from the top at Marble Church, thats Sweden in the distance; to-die-for pastries at La Glace (this is only 1/4 of displayed items!); moreish fish cakes with remoulade at Tivoli Hallen- the consistency is light and souffle-like. Definitely not like the stodgy potato ones. Gorgeous!

I was told that I must try a hot dog when in Copenhagen. I asked if it was really good and I was told that it wasn't. Eh? Its just one of those junky things that people ate I guess. Sure enough there were hot dog vans everywhere and they did not look appetising at all. I was meant to have a hot dog after all. One very cold evening at the famed Tivoli Gardens. We were lucky to have arrived when we did because Tivoli had just reopened for that week to coincide with school break. The place was decorated in a Halloween theme. It was so festive and vibrant. I think most people go for the rides but Hunky and I were happy to just feel the fear from ground level. All the rides I wanted to go on were for pre-schoolers. Oh well. Anyway we had got there around 5pm and watched everything come alive as night fell. So did the temperature! We debated going to Herman at Nimb which is a Michelin restaurant serving up the best of Danish fare had to offer. However after looking at the prices (from RM500 for 4 course), I decided I would rather bring home a tangible piece of Denmark with me. After all, how can I leave without owning something from Poul Heningsen/George Jensen/Arne Jacobsen/something with a -sen in it. We did eat at Nimb - at a hot dog stand serving up "gourmet" hot dogs. It tasted really good but I think we may have just been cold and hungry. It was so cold that I couldn't feel hot the dog was and burnt my tongue. I must be getting old. The cold never use to make me feel so miserable. Blah.

Clockwise from top left: Hunky's favourite "potato" cake; go green! Cycle!; sexy furniture everywhere!; beautiful, delicious and organic pastries at Cascabel; one lonely bicycle, very unusual to see just by itself!

We were supposed to go to Malmö, Sweden on a day trip but we ran out of time as there was still so many things and people to see in Copenhagen. I did get to see Sweden across the sea. We had a fantastic view from the top of the Marble Church on one beautiful day. Access to the roof is only at 1pm and 3pm sharp. We so happened to be there at the time so we decided to go up. I forgot how steep and narrow the stairs can be in old churches. Thank god it wasn't for very long as I was starting to feel really claustrophobic. Shudder. The view was phenomenal and made our knees weak. We also went up to Louisiana, the art gallery not the state, which is located in Humlebæk north of Copenhagen. Its a 30 - 45 minute train ride depending on which train you hop on to. It well worth it because the museum is sprawled over a huge space with amazing views of the sea. It was freezing that day so as much as we wanted to enjoy the outdoor space, it was far too cold to sit for more than a minute. And of course we went to see the Little Mermaid. She is a tiny little thing. I don't know why I always thought she was on a beach but really the view behind her is quite industrial and not too pretty. Anyway, that story is so darn heartbreaking anyway. That Mr Andersen is one twisted individual.

I would like to go back and see the rest of Denmark and maybe some other parts Scandinavia. Still so much to see, taste and feel! First, have to save money! And pray that the ringgit strengthens. Heres hoping!

Tivoli Hallen - Vester Volgade 91, tel +3311 0160
Great place for lunch featuring typical Danish dishes and a small selection of smørrebrød. Delicious fish cakes with consistency of or jien!

Cascabel - St. Kongensgade 80-82, tel +45 3393 7797
Fine eco-friendly cakes and pastries

Ida Davidsen - St. Kongensgade 70, tel +45 3391 3655
A smorgasbord of smørrebrød! Call ahead for reservations.

Reinh Van Hauen - a small chain of bakery that has delicious fresh pastries. Perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea. There is one on St. Kongensgade and another at Magasin food hall.

La Glace - Skoubade 3, 1158 København.
Forget the diet! Make sure to try the "sports cake" and let me know what it tastes like. It looks
like a giant ball of cream!

One thing to remember is that most of these places only open for breakfast, lunch afternoon tea.
Check the website for opening hours to avoid disappointment.

Clockwise from top: Henry Moore sculpture at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; haute dog from Nimb at Tivoli Gardens; our favourite brand of Luncheon Meat - TULIP!

13 comments:

  1. the closest i got to copenhagen were pictures printed on the containers of kjeldsen's cookies..hehe. i've never really thought of including this city in my Scandinavian holiday. u post has changed that! great trip, paps!

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  2. Thanks Nic! Ah kjeldsen's! I still like it you know. It brings back such fond memories! Pssst...I didn't see a single tin in Copenhagen! :-)

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  3. woah... LAU NUAH! (drooling)

    love the shots.. and keep the stories coming. Love!

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  4. So what tangible Dane DID you bring home other than a Hunksen? ;)

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  5. Yummy looking grub. I could get used to living in a Scandinavian country. At least they are bicycle friendly. And yes I agree with Hubby Cyclists stand a very high-chance of getting run over by Malaysian Drivers

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  6. Chikaaay! When are you going to London?! Ya, still so many posts to go. Aiyo, hard to maintain steam. Heh heh

    Rabbitgut - we got a clock from Georg Jensen. Ahhh, a fresh meal each time we look at the time!

    Really ah? Its pretty darn cold. Brrrr. Ya, lifestyle is pretty wholesome over there. That definitely is appealing. Sure you not just interested in those hot girls I described on the bicycles? :-p

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  7. I love herrings too, something I picked up in London long ago when I used to stay with my Jewish friend's family - no rye bread but matzo crackers with herrings plus loads of tea. Love the pixs and everything. Wish I had tons of monies now to visit though.

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  8. Your lou-kung is a Dane ar? Funny. He looks half-Chinese in your tea ceremony photos. Do you think if you live in Copenhagen long enough, you'd start to look like a Dane? :D

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  9. 1. "Husband. I will need some time before I can say it without giggling."

    So cute lah you. :)

    2. Not sure if I ever had herrings, but if I did, I must not have stared at them first before eating... LOL

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    Can you give me the authorisation.

    Tk u!

    ReplyDelete
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  12. Hi Suzanne

    Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you found what you were looking for eventually! :-)

    ReplyDelete
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