Strewth and ooh la la: put another garlic on the barbie

When an Aussie meets a Frenchman itÂ’s unlikely theyÂ’ll bond over their choices in food. The Frenchman may find the AustralianÂ’s palate a little too primitive, maybe conjuring up images of kangaroo steaks and damper. The Aussie on the other hand may find the FrenchmanÂ’s taste buds a little too pretentious, perhaps struggling to understand why itÂ’s so important to add garlic to every single dish.

But one unlikely duo have done the extraordinary, bringing primitive and pretentious food to a middle ground. At no other place will you find Australian and French cuisine blended in such a way that it just works. In other words it’s ‘Tight’.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definitions of tight is “having everything together”. From the service, to the homely yet sophisticated cuisine, to the wine matches, this is one restaurant that knows how to do it.

Tight is the result of a chance meeting between its Australian and French co-owners Joel Cox and Nicolas Lammin, who met at Reef  N’ Beef where Lammin hired Cox as a waiter. One thing led to another and the once abandoned nightclub (literally) at Hyskenstræde 10 was turned into CopenhagenÂ’s next big thing. 

ItÂ’s hard to imagine this place was once a trashed club. Surrounded by polished wooden floors, brick walls and big candles, diners feel more like theyÂ’re hanging in their friendsÂ’ trendy New York loft. Adding to the inviting feel is a collection of the ownersÂ’ travel photos adorning the walls.
And much like a friendÂ’s home, the food they serve is made with love, and lots of it!

Diners can choose a two or three-course menu, or if theyÂ’re hungry for a bit of everything, the new five-course small portion menu is perfect. I myself had this one, and IÂ’m thankful I did. The portion sizes were enough that you felt satisfied at the end, while the palate had one heck of a ride.

Beginning in France, we started with the truffle soup, which was rich in flavour with a thick consistency that gave it a hearty feel. It was served with a fried malt bread (something I never would have thought to do with bread) that gave the soup a whole new angle.

Seafood can be a challenging dish for any restaurant to nail. Tight certainly rocked it though. Marinated overnight in lemon and maple, the salmon they served was a fresh twist on what can at times be a run-of-the-mill dish. Served on rugbrød, with dill cream and pink peppers, the balance of spicy, sour and tart was rather loin–stirring.

But if thereÂ’s one dish Tight should be rewarded for, perhaps three times over, itÂ’s the 300 gram piece of Omaha sliced beef known as ‘Surf nÂ’ turfÂ’. This true blue Australian classic has been refined to fit even the most discerning French diner.  My dining partner testified that this steak was ‘among the best three pieces heÂ’s tried in CopenhagenÂ’. More than tender, without being undercooked, IÂ’ve never experienced a steak where the flavours are so available they were literally pouncing onto the tongue.

Cox says a forward-looking menu will always have its challenges, but he feels they’ve found the right equilibrium: “French cuisine elements are easy to fit into any well balanced menu, the Australian food is a little harder to fit, but we make the most of the meats.”

Wine-wise, the best French drops are on offer as well as the classic red Australian wines. Each wine matching was extremely tight too. Cox says the wine makes a huge difference to people’s dining experience: “We want to give people something different, something they enjoy, so we don’t skimp on the wines.”

They also don’t skimp on the customer service. As an Australian, a friendly and generous disposition usually comes with the territory, and Cox makes the most of his hospitable cultural background. From the moment you step in and are greeted with a big “G’day guys”, to the time you step out with an “au revoir”, it’s the enthusiastic and warm comments that top off an already great experience.

Tight (according to EmilyÂ’s dictionary) is a restaurant with an inviting atmosphere serving innovative and downright great tasting food.

Hyskenstræde 10, Cph K
3311 0900
Open Sun-Thu 11:00-22:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-23:00
Cuisine: French/Australian
Top Dish: Surf nÂ’ turf
Price Range: three-course menu 275kr