Squids in: no shrimping on portions, out-mussels its rivals

Literature lovers gather at Louisiana in August (Photo: Louisiana.dk)
June 22nd, 2012 2:31 pm| by admin
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Seafood doesn’t have to be for snobs. At Oysters & Grill there are no crab mallets, no oyster forks, and no confusing seafood cutlery designed by the establishment to dissuade commoners from tasting the delicious fruits of the sea. At Oysters & Grill, where the philosophy is that the finest ingredients can be enjoyed by all, you will get one set of eating implements – a knife and a fork – and your hands of course. Located in the heart of hip Nørrebro, this restaurant proves there are more than enough delectable crustaceans to go around, no matter what the size of your pay packet. And if you don’t want to get your hands slimy extracting glistening prawn meat, you don’t have to – salvation is served in the form of a juicy steak.  

The atmosphere was cosy and relaxed thanks to homely flourishes like a back wall constructed from chopped wooden logs. Another quaint detail was the lampshades – essentially a selection of upside-down vases covering naked light bulbs. And I whispered a quiet sigh of relief when I saw the plastic tablecloths. Anything that involves seafood is bound to get messy. They might sound a bit kitsch, but they were both practical and festive. The red, green and yellow floral patterns gave the impression we were eating fresh seafood on a beach somewhere. The waiters’ French-inspired white t-shirts, with thin blue and red stripes, tied in nicely with the décor and the menu card. 

Oysters and bubbles seemed an appropriate way to begin the evening. The Danish oysters were unavailable, as they are busy ovulating at the moment, so we took a dozen French instead. The oysters were incredibly fresh and a splash of lemon juice and a drizzle of a finely chopped onion salsa brought them bursting to life. They were suitably partnered by a glass of Casa Mariol, NV Cava 18 Mesos.

For the main course, there are two ways to go at Oysters & Grill. Diners can either share a selection of seafood dishes, or order one of four individual main courses – three of which are meat for the carnivores among us. My dining partner tried the Mullet a la plancha, which was served with pommes allumettes, salad and herb butter, while I stuck with the Seafood platter option. Our waiter was very helpful with our selections, guiding us on how much of each dish we needed to order – the prices are determined per 100g. He suggested the 2009 Domain Binner, Alsace Riesling as a complementary drop. The wine had subtle hints of kerosene and caramel and tasted delightful with the seafood, which was brought out at regular intervals. 

And boy, what a feast it was. The razor shells were delicious and tender, and the rich buttery tasting scallops melted in our mouths. The scallops were served with a roasted half lemon that we eagerly squeezed on top. Most of the seafood was lightly stir-fried and finished simply with blended fresh parsley, lemon and olive oil added at the last minute. The marinade was fresh and summery and let the seafood speak for itself. A definite highlight were the langoustines. They were huge, but their flesh was so sweet and succulent that they didn’t stay on the table for long. The mixed platter of deep-fried soft-shell crab, scallops and prawns was incredibly indulgent, while the vegetable crudités were a welcome change of pace when the orgy of seafood became too overwhelming. I appreciated the way our waiter surreptitiously brought us extra refresher towels when our hands started to look a bit greasy.

Like always, there was room for dessert. I chose the Lemon panna cotta with vanilla ice cream and crispy meringue. The contrasting flavours and textures worked well – the tangy lemon contrasted beautifully against the creamy vanilla, while the crisp meringue added some crunch to the smooth panna cotta. My dining partner went for an old classic: Strawberries and cream. Both desserts were served in charming glass jars with glass lids. To drink, we had a glass of Baronazzo Amalfi 2010 Moscato from Sicily, which was velvety and sweet, but not too sickly.  

If you want to eat like a king without having to dodge a minefield of social etiquette protocols, Oysters & Grill will not disappoint you, or your hip pocket. 

Oysters & Grill 
Sjællandsgade 1B, Cph N, 
7020 6171  
Open: Mon-Sun 17:30-00:00
Cuisine: Seafood and meat 
Top Dish: Grilled langoustines (35kr per 100g)
Price Range: Mains from 145-195kr 
www.cofoco.dk/oysters

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