Look hygge up in the dictionary and it will say Cafe Alma

February 6th, 2012 1:00 pm| by admin

One of the first words one learns living in Denmark is ‘hyggeligt’.  It is roughly translated as cosy and comfortable. It’s that feeling you get when it’s snowing and cold outside, but you’re inside and warm.  Restaurants throughout Copenhagen try to create an environment that is hyggeligt.  Café Alma succeeds in providing this kind of atmosphere – one that is comfy and reassuring.

Upon entering Café Alma, it’s clear the mood is right. The romantically lit candles and low lighting combined with the rustic look of the restaurant creates a lovely feeling.  On the walls there are black and white photographs featuring idyllic shots of town living. There are also old ads, including a French one depicting a woman with lemons and a Danish one for an old group called the KKKK.

The cuisine offered at Café Alma could be described as modern Danish. But really, I think of it as Danish comfort food. The menu is fairly short, which usually means good things are to come. The restaurant values quality over quantity.  And although Café Alma offers quality, the prices are extremely reasonable.

The service at Café Alma was also a major highlight of the evening. The waitresses were friendly and approachable, which also added to the wonderful, cosy atmosphere of the restaurant. They were also helpful recommending wine pairings.For the starter course, we ordered the Lumpsucker roe and the Seasonal plate.  For both items, it was recommended that we drink a French wine, the Petit Chablis.  According to the menu, it is a “classic white wine…with a hint of dryness and a comfortable tannic acid”. It was light and smooth.

The roe was gorgeously pink and flavourful, accompanied by smoked cottage cheese, cucumber, crispy rye bread, and dill. However, it was a fairly light starter compared to the Seasonal plate. The Seasonal plate comes with a whole array of different kinds of meats prepared in different ways. On a literal plank of wood, you are served smoked salmon, smoked prawn, ham from Skagen, smoked doe, roast beef, cauliflower soup and finally, an aioli dip. Though this dish features quantity, everything was of the upmost quality. The sauce that went with each cut of meat was paired quite well, and the sweet-meets-savory combination was glorious.

A waitress brought us some homemade bread that was divine. One was dark malt bread and the other was a white bread.  The bread served as a delicious instrument to mop up the remaining aioli on the Seasonal plate. It was creamy and satisfying. One of the dishes we ordered for the main course was the Beef béarnaise.  The dish features entrecote covered in mushrooms and homemade fries, as well as the Salad with pumpkin (also offered as a starter).  And of course, there is a classic béarnaise sauce.  It is a very classic dish presented in a classic way.

The other main course was the Rooster from Bornholm. It was incredible.  It came with turnips, mashed potatoes and a tarragon sauce. The play of sweet and savory continued with this plate, achieving an amazing balance of flavour. The chicken was moist while the skin was crispy. It was so tender that it was falling off the bone. Utterly and gorgeously rustic, with a delightful flavour profile. The recommended wine pairing was the Syrah Collection of Chile and it smelled incredible.  It tasted lovely as well.

Finally, for dessert we ordered the crème brulée and the cheesecake. The best part of any crème brulée is the caramelised sugar – something Café Alma more than understands. We received a very wide, flat ramekin with the crème brulée. The surface area of the caramelised sugar was incredible. The crème was a little runny, but the flavours were spot on and it was a satisfying way to end the meal. As for the cheesecake, it was surprisingly light and airy compared to the heavy treat it usually is. The crust on the bottom had a great consistency; it was firm but not dry. Overall, it was a delicious dessert as well. Stuffed with delicious food and wine, it was time to end the evening. For a cosy atmosphere and comforting food, put Café Alma at the top of your list.

Cafe Alma
Isafjordsgade 5-7, 2300 Cph S
Open Mon-Thu 11:00-24:00,
Fri 11:00-02:00, Sat 10:00-02:00, Sun 10:00-24:00; 3254 3204
Cuisine: Upscale Cafe
Top Dish: Alma Seasonal Plate
Price Range: Starters 65-85kr, Mains 135-225 kr

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