There are those times in life when it’s nice to be taken back an era … or three. To experience food cooked from original recipes and to watch waitresses using white cloth napkins from an antique sideboard while dressed in old-fashioned serving uniforms.
Peder Oxe is a great example of a restaurant from another time period. While this Nordic and French-inspired restaurant opened in December 1975, it really does feel like it’s been there for centuries. And therein lies the charm.
One of the quirkiest characteristics of Peder Oxe is its ‘light ordering system’. When you’re ready to order, you simply turn the light on above you and your waitress will be with you. Upon sitting down, our super-friendly waitress was quick to offer us the ‘meals of the day’ and a glass of champagne (there’s no waiting for the good stuff here).
The menu – featuring a charming picture of old Copenhagen – is just what you’d expect from a traditional Danish restaurant … albeit with a few surprises.
Now because I’ve eaten at rather a few Copenhagen restaurants now, it’s fair to say many offer the stock standard starters. Peder Oxe, however, did surprise me with its authenticity.
While the lojrom (caviar) and beef did seem rather enticing as starters, I went for the lobster, while my dining partner was slightly more adventurous and went for the foie gras.
Now you have to give this place credit for even serving foie gras. For the lovers of this ‘rich plate symbol’, you’ll be pleased you ordered this dish here (however, if you’re inexperienced with it like I am, I would just take a bite of someone else’s). It was extremely rich and obviously made from a very traditional recipe with a lot of love and care. It’s well worth a try.
The lobster was also lovely. Unlike some restaurants, they didn’t try and complicate the dish. It was simply served with saffron, tomato and herb mayonnaise.
When it comes to drinks, don’t be scared off by the fact that the wine list looks like a Dan Brown novel. Our hospitable waitress was happy to let us try as many as we pleased before settling on a few.
While we did enjoy a 2011 Tourane Sauvignon Blanc and a 2010 Alsace Riesling, it was the red that really stole the show − an 2009 Andeluna Malbec from Mendoza. Rather full bodied, it had an excellent cling and offered an engaging juiciness. Trust me, just get it.
Looking at the mains, I felt like I was in an episode of Matador: each dish was very old-fashioned and not to mention hearty. But do yourselves a favour and order the Venison with truffle sauce − it was fantastic. Cooked just right, it didn’t have that gamey taste that you sometimes find. It came served with walnuts, cowberries, and butter-roasted potatoes.
Or if you’re keen to stay with the seafood theme, you could always try the Dover sole. It had a very delicate taste, but together with the sides of peas, grilled lemon and small potatoes, it was an excellent combination.
One delightful aspect of Peder Oxe is that it feels like you’re in someone’s dining room, as opposed to a bustling restaurant. While the place was full, it lacked the unsettling air of urgency that you can often feel when dining out. We spent a good five hours there – and that was on a Monday night.
And if you’re a dessert kind of person like I am, you’d be advised to save a little space for the sweet treats. The Belgian chocolate fudge cake is pretty light, but what it lacks in weight it makes up for in taste. I couldn’t decide what to have so I opted to have the dessert tapas that comprised ten sweet bites. The sorbet was outstanding as was the ice-cream.
Everyone needs a trip down memory lane once in a while, so why not take one here. Try food as it was once cooked, untainted by modern touches, while enjoying some of friendliest service you’ll ever encounter in Copenhagen.
Restaurant Peder Oxe
Gråbrødretorv 11, Cph K; 3311 0077
Open: Mon-Sun 11:30-01:00