Will appeal to everyone – apples and oranges even

The first thing that strikes you as you enter Restaurant Orangeriet is the natural light. This little rectangular building, tucked just inside the border of Kongens Have, has three walls lined with gloriously large windows that both provide views of of the city’s prettiest parks and allow gigantic amounts of daylight to fall on the herringbone wooden floors and crisp white tables.

The studied simplicity of the interiors is the next thing you notice. Oh so very Danish and oh so very stylish, there are Eames DSR Eiffel chairs set beside small square tables on which ferociously starched tableclothes are laid over a softer, muted grey underlay, while the Royal Copenhagen crockery and green-tinted glasses pick up on the hues of the olive and orange trees that soar into the airspace.

Orangeriet was founded two years ago by the chef Jasper Kure and his partner Marie. They met at Krog’s fish restaurant – just one of many top-notch restaurants (including Prémisse, now AOC, and Brøndums Hotel in Skagen) that Jasper has worked at. Here the ambition is more modest, simply to create a relaxed restaurant serving fantastic seasonal dishes at reasonable prices. Somewhere you could pop in for cake and a coffee while walking the dog, or equally meet some friends for a long gossipy meal without fretting over the prices.

And they have done just that. On the Wednesday that we visit, the room has a mellow buzz. There are a few couples romancing, older ladies laughing, a group of men who appeared to be taking the wine list more seriously than their business, and us, spoilt by the choice on the menu.

The obvious move at lunchtime is to opt for one of the open sandwiches, the smørrebrød. Priced between 70 and 75 kroner, these include classics such as Roast beef, grated horseradish, roasted onions and pickles and more adventurous offerings such as Fano smoked salmon and apple-celery remoulade. To start we try the Fried herring with red onion, dill and capers. Piled high with delicately flavoured herring and capers that had escaped the fate of their brine-soaked, overly salted cousins, it was a delight. For a light lunch this and perhaps a dessert would suffice.

But alas, the restaurant reviewer has the perfect excuse to be a glutton so we pile in to the mains. Today we’re seduced by the a la carte options of Baked goat’s cheese salad and Steamed mussels with fennel flakes, but there is also a daily three-course set menu on offer for 245 kroner. Again our plates arrive arranged to pristine perfection, but it’s the portion size that makes us gasp. These are very generous portions, which considering they only cost 135kr, the same price as a sandwich in some of Copenhagen’s tourist traps, is an absolute bargain. They’re tasty to boot. The salad peppered with pickled walnuts and succulent raisins was simple, but done well. The mussels  – with their rich, herby, buttery sauce and thin linguine-like strips of fennel  – were a fantastic derivation of the ubiquitous garlic and white wine dish. We sip on glasses of fruity and slightly sweet Riesling from the Mosel region, a mid-range choice from an extensive wine list that covers most of Europe, Australasia and the US.

Can we fit in a pudding? It would seem rude not to seeing as this building was originally a konditori providing sweet treats to Copenhagen’s finest. The Braised pineapple with rum and vanilla, caramel, coconut ice cream and raw liquorice sounds amazing, but instead we opt for the Petit fours and coffee. They arrive at the table in a pretty floral tin and when we pop open the lid we squeal with delight at the six beautifully crafted delicacies within. Salty peanuts clustered together with white chocolate, a mini slice of marzipan cake, a truffle bursting with dolce de leche, mini brownies, walnut fudge and cool coconut cream encased by dark chocolate. We finished them all. Gulp.

Three hours after we entered the restaurant we leave having filled our bellies with simple, fresh food cooked and presented exceptionally well. This really is a fantastic option for lunch, even more so from May 1 when tables will spill out into the park. Or you can book for dinner, when more hearty dishes appear on the menu. On Sunday there’s an extended cake menu too – perfect after an appetite-inducing stroll in the park.

Restaurant Orangeriet
Kronprinsessegade 13, Cph K
Open: Mon-Tue 11:30-16:00, Wed-Sat 11:30-24:00, Sun 12:00-16:00, kitchen closes at 22:00
Cuisine: Danish; Tel No: 3311 1307  
Top Dish: Smørrebrød
Price Range: Smørrebrød 70-75kr, 3-course menu 245kr


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