Lisa Lov, originally from New Zealand, earned her stripes at the Copenhagen restaurant Relæ. Now she has opened her own place in the bohemian Copenhagen neighborhood Nørrebro. There she serves Asian-inspired food with her uniquely own twist.
Raised in New Zealand by Chinese-Cambodian refugee parents, Lov moved to Denmark in 2010 and landed a job at chef Christian F. Puglisi’s acclaimed restaurant Relæ.
She left Relæ to open a pop-up restaurant with a good friend from the United States. Media wrote that she was about to revolutionize Asian food in Copenhagen. But suddenly Lisa only felt stress and fear. She went away from it all, traveled to New Zealand to visit the family and to Russia and Japan to work. But then she realized that she had to finish what she believed in and returned to Copenhagen.
One of the hottest eateries in town
Tigermom has emerged as one of the hottest eateries in town. The new restaurant allows her to take her skills to the next level as an entrepreneur, offering set sharing menus and matching drinks. The name itself, Tiger Mom, started as a nickname “when I finally stopped being everybody’s bitch and started being the one telling other people what to do,” she smiles.
She made pho and dim sum at home and shared it with her chef colleagues. When they said, ‘You’ve got to do this—there’s nothing like this here,’ she realized a dearth of decent Asian options in the Danish capital.
Tigermom opened last November and occupies a lofty and light-filled ground floor unit of an early 20th-century building with a red brick façade, and which, after having been redeveloped, forms part of an upscale apartment complex.
Lisa buzzes with excitement when she talks about the Asian cuisines she grew up with that now inspire her cooking. “I really want to challenge people’s perception of Asian food and show that it can be done at a very high level. At the same high level as a restaurant in the West, at the same high level as a Nordic restaurant,” she says.
Related: Copenhagen Gourmet
Nordic design with a taste of Asian
Tiger Mom is concepted in collaboration with HOLMRIS B8 and designed by All That Matters, two local practices that effortlessly capture the Nordic sense of design, the aesthetic not only blends East and West, but just as easily pairs lowbrow and highbrow.
When asked if Tiger Mom is a nostalgic project, Lisa answers, “Yes. It feels natural to me to want to eat the food you had as a child growing up, to recreate the flavors you had in the past. There’s definitely a certain comfort and nostalgia about it and things like taste and smell are strongly connected with feelings and memory.”
Bold palette of colors
The most striking element in the restaurant is a bold palette of colors, captured by walls, specific furnishings and fixtures, and it ties in the terrazzo flooring with quirky flower motif. Upon entering, guests see eye to eye with an open kitchen on a slightly elevated floor where Lov and her staff frantically work their culinary magic.
Perfect Timing for Tiger Mom’s New Restaurant in Copenhagen, written by Tor Kjolberg