The only thing rivaling the delectability of Kewei Zhao’s food is the story behind it.
Originally from northern China, the soul of Kewei’s cooking remains steadfast in the east, with her dishes incorporating China’s most iconic foods, beginning with a hearty wonton soup and ending with a refreshing red bean ice cream.
The twist is in the fact that the meal has a beginning and end at all, as Kewei emphasises: “The focus on presentation as well as taste was an eye-opener for me. It’s why we’ve gone down the four-course route rather than the traditional Chinese way of serving all the dishes as soon as they are ready.”
Kewei has thrown the classic ‘fusion food’ paradigm out of the window in favour of authenticity, so that true Chinese cuisine can be enjoyed at a Danish pace in the uniquely Scandinavian digs of Spisehuset. In a foodie scene balancing hundreds of differing tastes, cultures and ingredient sources, she provides something refreshingly pure.
Only a few years ago Kewei was living an unrecognisable life, managing the cries and crises of the Chinese PR world, and certainly working more than the Danish 37 hours a week. It’s not a surprise she comes from a communication background, given her mouthwateringly active presence on Facebook and Instagram (Kewei’s Kitchen and @keweiskitchen).
Attributing it to stress and a desire to follow a passion, Kewei left the chaos of the PR world to devote her full attention to something she’d been doing all of her adult life: experimenting in the kitchen. From baking a different bread each week to picking up the painstaking production of homemade ice cream in a matter of days, she’s made her way through what many would consider to be a chore with curiosity and excitement.
That curious nature led to her partnership with Spisehuset, and as an individual with the networking skills of her calibre is bound to do, she walked in following a meal she enjoyed and asked if there was room for a chef of her experience. It turns out there was.
“I fell in love with this space when I came here one night to eat. These are fantastic partners with a great brand already well-established among Copenhagen’s foodies to work with. We have the food, the concept is clear and now we have the venue that we’ve been searching for,” she said.
An aromatic spinach, fennel, and mushroom wonton soup set in an herbal broth crafted with kunbu, turnip and shiitake. Served with homemade bread and a Château Blanc pairing.
Two pieces of steamed sea bass on a bed of fresh cucumbers topped with fermented chili and black beans, served with a white wine pairing.
Authentic Chinese-style pork ribs slow-cooked in a five-spice marinade served with King Sizzle Sichuan sausage-stuffed green peppers, rice and Asian greens. Paired with a French red wine.
Ice cream & pudding
Homemade red bean ice cream and coconut pudding served over a floral raspberry and rosewater sauce. Paired with a sweet Strawberry Fields wine.
Reserve your table
Since our visit in October, Kewei’s Kitchen has taken up residency at Spisehuset to offer a five-course meal every Sunday and Monday night for 350kr (550kr with wine pairing) until December 17-18.
Find yourself a good friend, a good date or even a good book, as the setting and food are sure to make you melt no matter who you’re with.