Adil Azim enjoys exquisite New Nordic cuisine at Höst in Copenhagen
BY ADIL AZIM
In an inspiring show of spontaneity, thirteen friends and I descended upon Copenhagen for a weekend of music, food and general debauchery. As we all trickled in to the gorgeous city at different times with varying plans for the weekend, we all agreed on the need for everyone to share at least one genuine Nordic meal together. But which restaurant would accommodate a party of 14 on short notice? As it turned out, Höst could.
Höst opened its doors last year, introduced to Copenhagen by Cofoco, and specialises in New Nordic cuisine. The stunning interior was designed by the team at Norm Architects and Menu. Our private dining room in the basement was the perfect blend of rustic and industrial – one which gives the restaurant a distinctly minimalist, yet homely feel. The combination of clean slate, smooth concrete and exposed wood inspired countless “When I design my dream dining room…” conversations in our group.
The meal itself was as sublime as the setting itself. While officially a three-course set menu, we were also treated to two amuse-bouches.
The first of these were placed in front of us, curiously, in sealed containers. Upon uncovering the containers, our table was momentarily shrouded in a dark grey smoke, which brought with it the aroma of burnt wood. Hidden away within the wood smoke were Danish new potatoes on horseradish cream dusted with burned onion powder.
The rest of the meal was, if not as dramatic in its presentation, equally delicious. A melt-in-your-mouth starter of hake with oyster cream, wild asparagus and buttermilk was followed by our second amuse-bouche – a warming cream of clam and shellfish soup which left us oohing and aahing at first spoonful, but also left us collectively saddened when completely consumed by the third.
My main was a ribeye steak with pickled and burned spring onions, cep mushrooms and watercress. Having not been given a choice on how the meat would be grilled, I was slightly disappointed to find my steak on the well-done side of medium but despite the texture, I could find no fault with the exquisite combination of flavours.
Dessert was a mousse of soured milk sprinkled with fresh liquorice, accompanied by a rhubarb sorbet. Despite my raised eyebrows, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the airy, fluffy mousse perfectly complimented the tangy sharpness of the sorbet.
The unsung hero of the evening was undoubtedly the seeded Danish bread which was nibbled on, dipped in soup and used to lap up any remnants of sauce or cream throughout the meal. The Danes certainly know their bread.
Service, at all times, was impeccable and always delivered with a smile. A variety of dietary restrictions were catered for, including an allergy to shellfish and requests for vegetarian and pescatarian options. One friend was errantly served a vegetarian starter – this oversight was rectified post-haste, and with an extra helping of oyster cream, many envious eyes were turned towards his bowl.
Despite being incredibly busy on a Saturday night, Höst had a very relaxed vibe and we did not feel rushed at any point during our evening. The ambience was wonderful, the food even more so and the friendly service made our experience at Höst one of the highlights of our short soujourn in Copenhagen.