There is a new restaurant in town and we like it a lot. Just when you thought serial restaurateurs Cofoco could do no more, they opened Väkst – a cosy little greenhouse-restaurant hybrid right in the heart of the city centre. With its earthy menu and incandescent lighting, it is Copenhagen’s own answer to a secret garden: a paradise of assorted flora sprouting from all directions.
Never stops progressing
Väkst – previously Cofoco’s Work in Progress – is tucked away down pastel-painted Sankt Peders Stræde. Opened as a sister restaurant to multi-award winning Höst, it is only natural to expect a certain standard of excellence from its gastronomic counterpart.
When I finally got around to paying it a visit, I was not disappointed. Inspired by the softness and serenity of an organic garden, Väkst (which translates as ‘growth’) feels relaxed and luxe in equal doses. Designed by Genbyg – a studio and retailer that specialises in recycled building materials – it is undeniably Nordic and has a rustic charm that is hard not to love. At the heart of the two-storey restaurant is a greenhouse packed with suspended plant pots. Most of the furniture is sourced second-hand, and the provided by old milk cans transformed into pendants.
The restaurant’s menu, curated by chef Jonas Christensen, mirrors the interior’s emphasis on greens. Vegetables of the season take priority, while fresh, high-quality ingredients are artistically prepared and served in abundance.
We placed our trust in our friendly waiter and followed his epicurean suggestions for the evening. For starters, we shared the squid and baked kohlrabi in a mussel sauce – a delicious dish exuding flavour. Served with a glass of sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne, it was the ultimate indulgence.
For our main course, I had the grilled trout with broccoli, thyme and hazelnut sauce, while my friend had the beef tenderloin with white asparagus, tarragon and pepper sauce. If there is one thing you can praise Cofoco for, it is their attention to detail. Plated up on a beautiful ceramic saucer, there is very little I could fault. The trout, in particular, was our favourite.
Full of surprises
One of my favourite aspects of the menu was the handful of ‘surprise’ dishes served between the courses. All in all, we were served three ‘surprises’ – each and every one an exciting revelation for our taste buds.
For dessert, we followed our waiter’s recommendations and ordered the rhubarb ice cream with white chocolate, caramel cream and crumble. Danish summer is synonymous with rhubarb, so it seemed an obvious choice. Note: always leave room for dessert as the cheese with gooseberry compote is also a must-try.
Immersed and impressed
Sophisticated affordability is the hallmark of Cofoco’s appeal, and Väkst does little to take away from this. As always, the entire experience was a total dream, without the hefty bill. The wines were modern, light and European. The service was impeccable.
At Väkst, it’s all about immersing diners in the experience, combining interesting flavours with the freshest produce. You’ll want to try every last item on the menu – that much, I can promise.