It’s finally Vesterbro’s turn to get some of the acclaimed and affordable food that has made Madklubben famous. Value-for-money is exactly what you get at this newly-opened sixth sibling of a chain of restaurants that includes three other Madklubbens, Frankie’s and Tony’s. They are owned by the chef Anders Aagaard Jensen, who you might know as the jaunty but tough judge on the TV reality cooking show Masterchef. Other than appearing on TV, Aagaard likes to give people a quality food experience where they don’t need to feel inferior by their lack of vocabulary and knowledge of fine dining. This is why Madklubben – in Vesterbro as well as its other locations around the city – offers food you recognise at a price range that includes everybody.
The concept is easy to understand. The menu is merely one page long. You simply pick one, two, three or four courses for a price of 100, 150, 200 and 250 kroner respectively. Each course has three to four different options, with the possibility of getting additional salad and potatoes, but be aware that they do charge an extra amount for a few selected dishes. And in keeping with the laid-back approach, you can even opt to have a cheeseburger or what the restaurant staff eat.
On the night we visit, the restaurant is obviously busy, especially for a Tuesday, but this doesn’t ruin the cosy mood. We start off with a glass of cava, before our starters – clam chowder and goat’s cheese salad – arrive with a glass of Chablis. The clam chowder is one of their recommended dishes with good reason as it was to die for. Creamy, tasty, amazing. It was one of those meals you wish would never end.
The restaurant is situated in the heart of Vesterbro on what appears to be the preferred street to open restaurants this spring (Claus Meyer will join later on in April with his new NamNam) in an old Fona store. On the outside it has kept its spacey façade, but on the inside the records are gone and the place exudes a cosmopolitan and urban, funky style with a big open kitchen where solo-diners can eat at the bar, long tables with room for bigger parties, and a quieter end with small two-person tables.
After a starter like the clam chowder you’re almost afraid that it can only go downhill, but that’s not the case at Madklubben. For the main course we order the beef with onions and the braised pig jaw. The beef does cost a bit extra, but the two meals definitely confirm the value-for-money part, and though there were leftovers on the plate after the 350 gram fillet of beef, it wasn’t a sign of dislike, merely a lack of room and our wish to try the desserts.
Other than the satisfying food, the service is also very friendly and attentive at all times, and even though the restaurant’s manifesto states that the staff aren’t picked for their knowledge of wine but instead their good mood and infectious laughter, we were able to get some good advice on both the wine and food. The manifesto does make it clear though that this is a restaurant experience where you play an active part – other than eating the food you also have to pour your own wine and read about the ingredients of the food in the menu.
After sitting for a while, we finally felt like dessert, and if you’re two people you might as well take all three desserts for an additional 50kr per person just because you can – as they temptingly write in the menu (the fact that most doctors would diagnose us physically incapable at this point didn’t seem that important).
All three desserts were amazing. The first was an almond pie with double cream, the second a liquorice ice cream with coffee crème and liquorice crispy sprinkles, and the third a lemon mousse with burned meringue and white chocolate. All of them were really good, but the liquorice ice cream with the crispy sprinkles is something I would recommend even to those who claim they despise Danish liquorice.
Overall this is a cosy, accommodating and urban chic restaurant that offers quality food at an affordable price and is definitely a place to try out.
Vesterbrogade 62, 1620 Cph V;
open Mon-Sun 17:30-24:00 (kitchen closes at 22:00)
Top Dish: Clam chowder
Price Range: 100kr for one course, 50kr for additional courses