I recently treated my mum, visiting from Scotland, to a delightful culinary treasure tucked behind Østerport station on the Vestbassin quayside. Conveniently located ten minutes walk from the Little Mermaid, but far more remarkable than Copenhagen’s most anticlimactic tourist trap, is a true hidden gem by the name of MS Amerika.
Shipshape and Bristol fashion
MS Amerika was originally a waterfront warehouse where goods fresh off the boat from the New World were stored. Retaining some of this character in an industrial-styled interior and menu rooted in flavours from around the world, expect to be impressed by a top-rate dining experience in which the attention to detail is observed throughout.
At the entrance we were greeted with a roaring chiminea and equally warm welcome from a waiter who promptly showed us to our table. Sophisticated lighting (another of the owner’s business ventures) illuminates large brick arches above candlelit tables.
A well-stocked bar, subtle background music (almost hipster) and kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing your meal all add to the restaurant’s cosmopolitan feel, but it isn’t pretentious.
Some scintillating scallops
There’s plenty on offer on a lunch menu that caters to the light bite or meaty business lunch. Choices range from Smørrebrød (75kr) and Seared herring with capers (65kr) to Funnel chanterelles a la crème (95kr).
But we were here for dinner and opted for the exquisite three-course menu (450kr), although you can of course dine a la carte if prefer and choose from a concise selection of delicious dishes.
We opted for an excellent house red and nibbled on light rye with crunchy salt-sprinkled butter whilst we tucked into well-presented tapas-style starters.
The Moreish chanterelle croquettes with a smooth dip, Smoky grilled artichokes with with Skagen ham and Nut-covered avocado all hit the spot. But they could not compete with the Scallops served with a mouthwatering combination of hazelnut and thinly-sliced celery. It was cooked delicately to perfection. If you’re swaying between these delectable snacks and have a fishy palate, then opt for this refreshing take on seaside heaven – it is truly sublime.
A rip-roaring ribeye
Following those superb morsels was always going to be a challenge, but MS Amerika delivered with a to-die-for Ribeye served with freshly-cut chips and béarnaise sauce and a succulent steamed cod.
To describe the steak condiment as a savoury custard would be a terrible disservice, as the smooth cream perfectly balanced the rich steak and rounded off the main course in perfect fashion.
The distinctive nut and fish combination made another appearance with the Steamed cod served on a green bean base. Nothing was overpowered in the lighter of the two main courses.
A marvellous meringue
Be careful to leave room for dessert, as the Lemon meringue mousse ran a close second to the scallops. A frothy mousse capped by a crisped meringue topping had, hidden between the two layers, the lightest crumbly layer of biscuit.
And then the chef’s three-cheese platter helped fill the gaps in what turned out to be a perfect all-round meal.
While working lunches remain the establishment’s primary target, it’s sad to think so many of them miss out on what is a brilliant culinary experience with a mid-range price tag.
Maybe it’s the quayside setting or nautical history, but MS Amerika shines particularly with its fish dishes. So if you’re pottering north of Amelienborg Palace with weary relatives in tow, why not skip the Little Mermaid and set a course (or rather three courses) for the MS Amerika.