Copenhagen Travels: Hearty Dinner at Radio

Out of all the New Nordic restaurants we’ve been to in Copenhagen, Radio stands out for being the most accessible, and the heartiest. This was probably the first time that I actually felt pretty full after a meal. I think it’s because the proteins and produce they featured were less dainty than the ones we’ve had at other places. It was truly more of a meat-and-potatoes place, much like the restaurants in America!

The prices are also a lot more budget friendly than a Relae or a Geranium. A five course dinner costs 400 Dkk ($80), while the 3 course option costs 300 Dkk ($60). It was a pleasant surprise to see prices set below $100, especially for a restaurant with a Noma alumni pedigree, which can demand a huge premium.

The setting is very casual, including the service, which was a little inconsistent and slow at times. It took a long time for someone to bring us water or take our order, probably about 15 minutes or so, which was annoying. However, once the drinks and bread basket came out, the pacing of the meal resumed some normalcy.

Each table received a small plate of radishes dressed in some cream and seasoned with hip rose and sugar. It was a light and fitting way to start a summer meal.

radish with hip rose, sugar and cream
radish with hip rose, sugar and cream

And of course, the requisite sourdough bread basket. The bread was a little less sticky and glutinous than the one at Relae. The onion butter was fantastic–the Danes know how to season their butter!

sourdough bread and onion butter
sourdough bread and onion butter

The first course was the scallop with cucumber and seaweed. It was definitely a crowd pleaser–the scallops had been roasted to perfection, and the char melded well with the surrounding cream sauce. The slight hints of pickles and briney seaweed kept things interesting, and the sliced cucumbers had a nice meatiness to them.

scallop, cucumber, seaweed
scallop, cucumber, seaweed

The second course was raw mackerel in buttermilk whey with olives, parsley and burnt lettuce. Let me tell you another thing Danes do well–they really know how to grill their leafy vegetables. I loved the smokiness of the lettuce, which complemented the strong flavors of the mackerel, as did the buttermilk whey. The buttermilk was full and muted enough to absorb and soften the impact of the olives and the parsley. It was a dish with a lot of strong flavors that were curiously in balance.

mackerel, lettuce, parsley
mackerel, lettuce, parsley

The third course was dehydrated potatoes and beans. I’m a little ashamed to admit that this was my favorite one. It was just so hearty and satisfying. The potatoes had these amazing golden, blistered outer edges, and it paired perfectly with the smoked cheese. The chubby beans just enhanced the robust heartiness of it all. A master class in rustic comfort food.

potato, smoked cheese, beans
potato, smoked cheese, beans

The fourth course was chicken with cabbage and garlic. The chicken had been seasoned with juniper, which provided it with a very peppery flavor, and an almost bbq-like spice rub. The cabbage leaves were delicious and gave the dish some good texture. I’m not quite sure if I liked the juniper seasoning, but I loved the quality of the chicken itself, and how much meat there was on my plate!

chicken, cabbage, garlic
chicken, cabbage, garlic

The last course was dessert–strawberry, spruce and verbena. I was relieved to find that this didn’t taste like evergreen trees and flowers. Instead, it tasted very much like a refreshing strawberry sorbet with shortbread cookies on top. A great way of incorporating seasonal fruits into a dessert.

strawberry, spruce, verbena
strawberry, spruce, verbena

I left the restaurant very satiated. The meal I had at Radio was probably the most similar to something I’d have in New York or San Francisco–locally sourced, generously portioned, rooted in more traditional cooking methods. It was definitely less refined and inventive than Geranium or Relae, but I liked that it was homey and familiar. I’d definitely recommend Radio for those who want a more accessible introduction to New Nordic cuisine, while staying true to the farm-to-table traditions.


Radio
Julius Thomsens Gade 12
1632 København, Denmark
+45 25 10 27 33

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