Saturday, July 13, 2013


Fataar (pastry with spinach), baba ghannouj (eggplant and tahini spread) and kibbeh nayeh (tartare of lamb (?) spiced with cinnamon) on lettuce with pinenuts, zaatar (cracker with sumak, thyme and sesame).

Fresh bread, Khadra (green beans and snap peas topped with with hazelnuts, chili and nigella seeds), labneh (yogurt dip with mint), Mouhamara (red peppers, nuts, and chili) and hummus (no introduction for this one!).

Falafel with yogurt dip and poussin and chickpeas.

Bread stuffed with minced meat and pine nuts and topped with pomegranate syrup. 
A light dessert of knafef (mozzarella-stuffed pastry soaked in rose syrup), caramelized nuts, watermelon and Medjool dates. 

Rosengården 18
1174 Copenhagen K

Behind Manzel stands Sammy Shafi, owner of Group Shafi, which amongst other features Michelin-starred Kokkeriet in its portfolio. Shafi himself is of Lebanese origin, which is also the culinary theme of Manzel. B and I visited the restaurant during its soft opening period, where we had the chance to sample the set menu for a mere 150dkk, which provided us with excellent value. Today the price equivalent is 375dkk, which I honestly would find a bit on the excessive side. We did however have a lovely experience at Manzel - the concept of sharing mezze is always a winner, and seeing that Middle Eastern cuisine generally is little represented in Copenhagen, Manzel is a welcome addition. Few dishes during the night however left me with large impression, naming the few it was the tartare, falafel and the knafeh. The remaining dishes were executed and presented very well, though left me with a feeling of being good but not great. Further to be noted, is that the atmosphere is very clubby, and it appears that the place turns into a night club during (the last and very bad pictures should be evidence enough!), so keep this in mind if you book a table at Manzel - authentic Lebanese atmosphere is not a part of the package. If you're looking for a cosmopolitan atmosphere and do not mind paying a price premium for standard Middle Eastern fare, Manzel may very well be your best option in Copenhagen at current stage.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Den Røde Cottage*

The restaurant, set in the glade of a forest, just by the sea.

Cured salmon with panko crumbs, chives and creamy dots of something I unfortunately have forgotten what was. In our glasses there was Champagne, a non-vintage blanc de blancs by Franck Bonville, to be more exact.

For our second amuse lobster was the main star.

Our final amuse was fried sweetbread of veal with an apple jelly.

Two kinds of bread (one light wheat variety and a darker one) and two kinds of butter (one plain salted and one whipped with buttermilk and pumpkin seeds).

Fried turbut with young carrots and peas, later topped with sauce nage. We had a gorgeous, quite oaky 2011 chenin blanc in our glass, from Chateau Yvonne in Saumur.

White asparagus by Søren Wiuff in different textures. Steamed heads and long strips of pickled stalk, accompanied by a poached egg. Not too excited this dish, though the asparagus were undoubtable of exceptional quality.
Roast chicken with steamed spring onions and cress. For this course we enjoyed a surprisingly powerful 2009 pinot noir from Haute Cotes-de-Beaune.

Danish Thybo cheese set atop morels, crisp bread, mayonnaise (a bit too overpowering for my taste) and topped with cress. In the glass a Blancs de Noirs Champagne.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! A cake of chocalate in different textures and a woodruff sherbet on the side. We had a glass of 2005 Late Bottled Vintage Port to accompany this.
Petit fours for our teas and coffees, including little nut baskets with frozen cream, financier, madeleines and chocolate truffles.

Den Røde Cottage
Strandvejen 550
2930 Klampenborg

Anita Klemensen belongs to the very exclusive Copenhagen club of female Michelin-starred chef - in fact, she's the only member. With previous experience from Søllerød Kro and Kommandanten she's schooled at classic, dare I even say, traditional places, which was also evident from our visit to Den Røde Cottage. The restaurant is set beautifully in a clearing in the woods along the coast line North of Copenhagen. The reason for our visit was the celebration of my father's 60 year birthday, and I shall therefore excuse that only mental notes were taken and unfortunately quite a few details have slipped my mind. In any case, we had a beautiful dinner! The service was probably the most attentive I have ever received in Copenhagen and the staff were generally good at creating a relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant. Among the culinary highlights I will mention the turbot and the dessert, which I found to be prime example of the tastiness that the restaurant represents. However, and to be honest I would not be able to pinpoint any dish that really blew my mind. The  dinner was a such flawless, the dishes were comforting and executed to perfection, but I missed the little quirky details that differentiate a meal from being good to being memorable. The location is however absolutely unique and I will certainly not reject that we might return, as the place also counts among most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants in Copenhagen, and the visit surely made me want to visit the sister restaurant Den Gule Cottage a few hundred meters down the road. Recommended.