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Twist on traditional smørrebrød, they recently opened a branch in NYC. est known after Noma?
Smørrebrød is, after Noma, the ultimate definition of Danish cuisine. This is a national open top sandwich, made of buttered rye bread and whatever that goes on top, and served cold. While you can find this sort of things anywhere in Copenhagen and any Scandinavian towns and cities, I am particularly besotted by the posh interpretation of smørrebrød at Aamanns.
There are two Aamanns in Copenhagen, one a cafeteria-like deli and the other a casual restaurant. Situated next to each other and just a few minute’s walk from Copenhagen’s main shopping street, both Aamanns are owned and run by Adam Aamanns who has been nationally and internationally praised for making Danish smørrebrød exciting. I popped into the deli for some late breakfast bite. The interior was quirky but wooden, a lot of design that would be much valued by such magazines as Monocle. I liked but did not fall in love. The staff, on the other hand, was lovable and helped look for an English menu for me. (I arrived at the minute they unlocked the door).
On the menu were many kinds of smørrebrød freshly prepared using carefully sourced regional ingredients. Cheese and meatballs were also on the menu. A piece of smørrebrød was priced between 50 – 65 Danish Kroner (roughly £5- 6). Fried Pickled Herring with Spices, Sour Cream and Pumpkin Compote was flavoursome. The meaty herring oozed light acidity, well complimented by the creamy pumpkin and the vibrant crunch of red onion rings. There was a delectable note of orange zest in the background. Rilette of Pork was less impressive. While very finely prepared, the pork flavour wasn’t big enough for my liking. That said, I did enjoy the contrast in texture and taste from mildly pickled sauerkraut and crispy crackling crumbs. My favourite of the day, however, was this Beef Tartare with Tarragon and Egg Emulsion, which looked like an Ankylosaurus but neatly armoured with crisp discs and spiky gherkins. The proportion of beef was generous for £6 and was spot on for its fresh robustness. The garnish – tarragon, egg, capers, onions – played a very good supporting role and did not aggravate the beef. I loved it. I could eat a few more..
How many pieces would you need? One or two, I’d say. The pieces were big. The toppings were generous. The dark rye bread was customarily heavy. I could manage a piece and a bit and was obliged to discard the rest (as I was on my way to eat at another place). One smørrebrød could easily count as a starter. All in all, a very good, quick ‘n cheap meal. Inventive and all..
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