It might change your outlook on food forever. “Our philosophy is to share our stories and emotions,” explains Jakob Mielcke, the owner and executive chef of Mielcke and Hurtigkarl. “Just like in the fairy-tales you’ll never know what to expect.”
Mielcke wasn’t just reeling off words when he made this statement. From our first glass of R&L Legras Blanc de Blancs Champagne in the pavilion, to the last homemade beer-fudge chocolate, these words rang true.
Situated in Copenhagen’s stunning Frederiksberg gardens, the surroundings are an integral part of the organic experience. And while the gardens may be cultivated, Mielcke aims to inject as much “organic wilderness” into his cuisine as possible.
Princess and the pistachio
This was evident from the moment we sat down with our starters on an outdoor terrace reminiscent of those in Provence.
We enjoyed leeks rolled with pistachios and puffed potato, freshly-picked carrots with a carrot cream, and lovingly crafted ‘leaves’ made of sea-buckthorn with garden herbs.
And just as we thought we were on a journey through the spring garden, a Japanese street food called Takoyaki was served up.
This was my absolute favourite and a fine example of Mielcke’s aim to present elements that are “playful and in the moment”.
After moving indoors here, you quickly notice that Mielcke’s obsession with nature has been captured in the interiors.
The walls are artfully painted with greenery, and if you look closely, you’ll even notice the small plastic garden bugs too.
Pork takes the plaudits
Having been spoilt by the starters, we moved onto the fish and meat courses.
Mielcke is on a mission to play with people’s senses, and the dish that best embodied this was the asparagus.
Surrounded by a green curry sauce and a generous dollop of cream infused with Italian pork breast, the dish etched a place in my mind due to its sheer creativity and complexity.
After five fine courses we reached a main of pork infused with a richness that I’ve rarely tasted.
Fermented in miso for two days, then cooked over charcoal with black garlic, it came served with hearty flamed overtones.
This was offset by a salad component that was tart, fresh, and earthy.
Pairings and puds on par
Now while the food here is magnificent, the wine pairings are certainly also on equal par.
The delightful sommelier, Jose Santos, fills the room with a charm and a passion for his craft.
He sources the most in-demand vintages from around the globe and works closely with the chefs on a daily basis.
After a night here, it’s certainly clear why this restaurant was awarded ‘Best wine experience 2014’ by White Guide Denmark.
The desserts here are made for the moment. Take the Woodrof for example. Made with apples, almonds and wild herbs, it was fragrant and raw.
The dessert wine – a 2013 Spätlese Burgenland Weingut Kracher – further enhanced the dish. An Austrian drop made with Chardonnay and Welsh Riesling, it was acidic yet sweet.
A fine dining game-changer
A dining experience at Mielcke and Hurtigkarl is one of those fairy-tale gastronomic journeys with surprises at every turn.
Never have I witnessed such a creative expression of food that left such a strong impression.
I can’t recommend this place highly enough. The gastronomic journey in Copenhagen might change your outlook on food forever.
Written and photographed by Emily McLean
Published by arrangement with the Copenhagen Post