Celebrating Chinese New Year

If you have been down Strøget recently you will have noticed the lanterns hanging along its length the celebrate Chinese New Year, which falls on the 16th of February and is the year of the dog.When we lived in the UK we would often head up to Chinatown in London to enjoy the amazing spectacle of the celebrations there and tuck into a delicious meal. There isn’t an actual Chinatown here in Copenhagen but today I thought I’d do a round up of some of our favourite Chinese restaurants and places to buy ingredients to create your own Chinese feast plus a fab Chinese interiors shop.

Restaurants

The Royal Garden at Dronningens Tværgade 30 I believe is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Copenhagen. I took my husband there for his birthday this year and the food was amazing. We particularly enjoyed the sizzling dishes and the banana fritters! Not a cheap option for a meal but worth it.

Fu Hao (Colbjørnsensgade 8) is located behind the main station. It is a very unassuming looking place but the dim sum are fantastic. I have written about this place before here.

Magasasa has four locations in the city, Istedgade, Kødbyen, Vesterbrogade and Amagerbrogade. This is another dim sum place which offers other dishes. We enjoyed a meal in the one in Kødbyen. Like Fu Hao above Magasasa is popular with the Chinese community,  which to me signals it as a good place to eat!

The final place is Noodle House (Abel Cathrines Gade 23). I have not been here but it receives lots of positive reviews so I shall be heading there soon.

Want to cook at home?

There are a couple of Chinese/Asian supermarkets worth heading to for ingredients, fresh produce such as pak choi and also frozen dim sum. Den Kinesiske Købmand has a large store on Nørre Voldgade 54 and also a small stand in Torvehallerne. A bit further out in Østerbro (Østerbrogade 115, a short walk from Svanemøllen Station) is the Asien Supermarket.

For fresh Asian produce (not solely Chinese) there are a number of small grocers behind the main station in Vesterbro and also on Istedgade, as well as other locations in the city. Below are the ones I like.

China Town Market, Reventlowsgade 24, 1651

Kabul Marked, Reventlowsgade 22, 1651

Afghan Market, Reventlowsgade 20, 1651

Eveth’s Filipino Food Mart, Reverdilsgade 8 1701

Thai Asian Market, Halmtorvet 2, 1700

Kakshidi Food Import, Flæsketorvet 42, 1711

Thai Supermarket, Isedgade 134, 1650

Finally if you want your home cooked meal to look authentic with bowls, chopsticks, tea pots and cups etc after being prepared in a super duper wok or steamers then Den Kinesiske Butik at Rosengården 13, 1174 is the place to go.

 

 

 

My five favourite places to eat in Berlin {and other tips}

On Friday I shall be on my way to Berlin for the Hive Conference. I lived in Berlin for about 18 months and today I thought I would share five of my favourite places to eat (plus some other local tips) for fellower Hivers or in case you find yourself in the city this summer. five places in berlin Yumcha Heroes, Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg – some of the best Chinese dumplings ever (IMO). Address: Weinbergsweg 8, 10119 Berlin. Also in this area: Weinbergsweg is also an interesting shopping street, my favourite shop on this street is Schoene Schreibwaren, which sells beautiful leather purses/wallets, pencil cases and glasses cases. At the top of the hill is Glücklich am Park (Kastanienallee 54), a lovely little cafe with a shop selling beautiful and individual clothes and accessories upstairs. The pretty chairs outside are Instagram gold.

Nola’s am Weinberg, Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg – quirky Swiss themed restaurant with a lovely terrace and delicious seasonal menu. If the risotto is on, have it! Address: Veteranenstraße 9, 10119 Berlin. It is situated in a lovely public park, Volkspark am Weinbergsweg, perfect for relaxing in the Berlin spring sunshine.

Da Piadina, Mitte – little family run Italian cafe serving amazing homemade piadina or flat breads. Address: Auguststrasse 49a, 10119 Berlin. Also in this area: Close by is a fantastic magazine and bookshop, Do you read me?, which is well worth a visit. The Barn (Auguststraße 58) is a well hyped coffee house you should at least try out whilst browsing in the galleries along this street.

La Käserie, Prenzlauer Berg – fantastic little cheese shop and cafe. Try the cheese and charcuterie plate, you won’t regret it. Address: Lychener Strasse 6, 10437 Berlin

Cha Cha, Mitte – a Thai restaurant  with a concept a bit like Wagamamas but better. Address: Friedrichstrasse 63, 10117 Berlin

My reviews from 2012/13 here: Yumcha Heroes, Nola’s, Da PiadinaLa Käserie, Cha Cha.

Big burgers at Haché Gourmet Burger

If you are looking for a big lunch look no further than Haché Gourmet Burgers, on Rømersgade, close to Torvhallerne (also in Valby). This restaurant was recently voted number three in the top ten burger restaurants in the city.

They offer a lunch time special at 95kr and you get a burger of your choice (and the choice is wide) with homemade fries and a mayo of your choice. There are added extras such as crispy bacon. I went for a Haché Special and added bacon to it and my son chose the children’s burger meal, which consists of two mini burgers or sliders.

hacheWell as you can see from the photos above, the portions are generous. I loved my burger but didn’t need any dinner that evening! Everything is cooked from scratch. The lunch menu is great value for money in terms of size and quality.

Address: Rømersgade 20, 1362 København K and  Toftegårds Allé 5Valby  2500

Website

Tonkin in the city

I love the Bánh mì from Tonkin in Frederiksberg and when I heard Nickie was opening a new place in the city centre offering hot dishes, I knew I had to get down there and try them. After my tourist morning in the sunshine I was very hungry and as the Tonkin Bánh mì restaurant is a stone’s throw from Amalienborg, it seemed the perfect opportunity.

DSC00410

The interior aesthetic is the same as the place on Gammel Kongevej but a little larger. The menu has the same sandwiches but also hot dishes that the size of the place in Frederiksberg prevents. There are two slow cooked dishes – a beef ragout and a meatball dish plus three hot noodle salads made with Nickie’s signature dressings. Below is the chicken one I chose and it was amazing – perfect combination of spice, crisp salad and herbs and the chicken was deliciously crispy and spiced. It is a large dish but still OK for lunch.DSC00413The place opens at 11.30 and gets busy fast. It was full by the time I left at 12.30 with plenty of people coming in for takeaways to enjoy in the sun.

Address: Dronningens Tværgade 12, 1302 København K

Website

‘Mother’ of all pizza

I have had coffees in the morning in at Mother and never been around Kødbyen at lunchtime to try their acclaimed pizza until last week. My son and I were at an event at Oksehallen and decided to have our lunch in Mother. It was one of the last warm sunny days in September and we sat outside on the rows of benches, along with other diners soaking up the last rays. The menu isn’t vast, which I like, as it can mean that they do a few things well rather than a lot of things just OK. There are also three daily specials – one meat, one vegetarian and one salad.motherUnusually for me I chose a sausage pizza, to which the Welsh waitress commended me on my choice. Apparently the sausage is made by the chef and it didn’t disappoint. They offer smaller pizza for children, which are half the price but not half the size. Unfortunately my son tucked into his too quickly for me to get a shot but the juicy and delicious prosciutto soon disappeared, as did the lovely crispy base.

Normally I can be a bit disappointed by places that everyone raves about but I must say Mother make some of the best pizzas I have tasted in a while and we will definitely be back for more.

 

Amazing Dim Sum at Fu Hao

 

We have been really missing a great Dim Sum restaurant since we moved away from Berlin and I recently mentioned this to a Vietnamese friend here. She immediately recommended Fu Hao in the minute China Town area behind the Main Station (Colbjørnsensgade 15, 1652 Copenhagen). After a second positive recommendation, we went here for lunch this weekend.fu hao It is not the nicest part of town and, if I am honest, without an recommendation I probably wouldn’t have tried this restaurant as I wouldn’t have known whether it would have been good. And I would have missed out. The food was amazing! It is all freshly made and obviously hand made rather than bought in. The menu was extensive and had all our favourites plus some new things to try. It is very reasonably priced, speedy service and all the other customers apart from us were Asian, always a good sign. You are not coming here for the smily service or modern decor but the food more than makes up for this.dimsum

If you enjoy traditional dim sum this is the place for you.

 

Brewpub – beer and pig’s cheeks

The Brewpub close to the Rådhuspladsen is probably my most favourite restaurant and bar in Copenhagen. It is perfect in the summer when you can sit outside on their terrace but also equally lovely in the winter inside with the warmth and the candles burning – it is the picture of hyggeligt!
They brew their own amazing selection of beer and you can have a tour of the on site brewery if your group is large enough and they use their own beers in all the dishes in the restaurant. The menu changes regularly and uses seasonal produce. They almost always have a pig cheek’s main dish and I have it every time and love the variation of how they serve it, this last week I had it with a divine spelt risotto.
We have eaten here as a couple many times, one of the most memorable was about a week before my son was born and I could hardly reach the table. We have also have taken visiting friends, who have always loved the food. 
It gets very busy at the weekends so make sure you book.

Perfect Crepes at Chez Laurent

I am a bit of a Francophile at heart, having spent every summer of my preteen and teenage years holidaying there, so I was delighted when a good friend suggested we met for lunch at a relatively new creperie, Chez Laurent, on Rolighedsvej in Frederiksberg. 
The decor is very French and the menu even more so. Both the savoury galettes and the sweet crepes leave you spoilt for choice. I plumped for the foie gras with fig compote galette and my son had the cheese and ham one. Both were delicious. We shared a clementine crepe for our dessert and again it didn’t disappoint.

The owner told me that they select the best French produce they can and I can agree. It is not a cheap lunch spot but worth it for a treat. They are open in the evenings and the beer and cider selection was also appealing (I didn’t look at the wine list) and I spotted one of my favourite Belgian fruit beers, Kriek, which I bought to enjoy at home later.
If you would like to see more French inspiration check out my French Love pinterest board

Address: Rolighedsvej 15, 1958 Frederiksberg

Granola, Værnedamsvej

You may have guessed by now that we enjoy eating and Copenhagen offers many excellent chances to do this, even if it is pretty expensive. One of my favourite streets in Copenhagen is Værnedamsvej in Vesterbro. This street is known as Little France and it certainly lives up to its name with many French and French inspired shops and the French school located down this street. I am going to write about Værnedamsvej in more detail soon but today I wanted to share Granola, a classically retro cafe, with you.
Granola offers a typical French menu which looks great and appears to be popular but we really come here for the homemade super creamy ice cream – that is if we can get seat as the place is always packed.  But you can get takeaway ice cream from the hatch at the front of the restaurant, if all else fails. 
I once read a little anecdote about the difference between the approach to choice between the French and the Americans. If there was the choice between an ice cream shop selling five flavours and one selling fifty, the French would chose the former and the Americans the latter.  The French would believe that fewer flavours would equate to quality. This cafe offers, I think, six flavours and the ones we have tried are amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about the strawberry milkshake, plus it isn’t too expensive so whether you are pretending it is summer or it actually is this is the place to go.