Marvellous and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg either

It has always seemed like a crime that Marv og Ben had not received at least one star from the Michelin guide. The food is delicious, the value is incredible for the cost, and you always leave feeling satisfied. Last month, Marv og Ben received some recognition for their efforts.

In late March, Michelin announced that the restaurant Marv og Ben had received a Bib Gourmand. For those who do not know, a Bib Gourmand is given to restaurants that offer “good food at moderate prices”. This is a title that Marv og Ben very much deserves.

Upon entering the restaurant, one is given a view of the kitchen where the chefs are busy working away. The atmosphere is cosy and rustic: not a terribly unusual setting in Copenhagen. Nevertheless, it creates the right mood. And what truly makes Marv og Ben stand out is its wonderful food, which plays on the taste buds in the most unusual ways.

We were seated quickly after entering. The waiting staff at Marv og Ben are well-trained and really know their stuff. They were also friendly, efficient and informative.

Soon after seating, sparkling wine was served. As is the custom at many gourmet restaurants, Marv og Ben gives several amuse-bouches. They are served with little flourishes unique to Marv og Ben. We were given these to enjoy along with the sparkling wine.

It’s important to mention that one of Marv og Ben’s major successes has to be the restaurant’s ability to pair wine. The wines paired so harmoniously with the food, it was as if the wines were made specifically for each dish. They have the best wine pairings, not to mention the best homemade bread out of any restaurant in Copenhagen.

The first course was called ‘Spring announces’. It featured generous amounts of lumpfish roe, a red onion puree, and potato crisps. The potato crisps were an interesting choice and added crunchy texture to the dish. The first wine we were given was a German white wine. It was a light and elegant wine, so as not to overpower the roe.

The following course was ‘From the garden corner’, a dish composed of veal tongue, beetroot, apples, and horseradish mayonnaise. Although it was a gorgeous plate of food, if you dislike horseradish, you may find that it can overpower the dish somewhat. That being said, it adds a fascinating contrast to the other flavours. It is still recommended to eat it with the other components, even if in smaller amounts.

The wine that paired with this dish was a white wine by Valentin Zusslin. It was flowery and sweet, and complemented three components of the dish: the beetroot, apples and horseradish.

For the third course, we were served ‘Visit the garden’, a lamb dish with savoy cabbage, red sorrel, garlic puree, and pickled elderberry seeds. The flavour of this dish was surprisingly and enticingly deep. Each flavour built upon the next like an orchestra building a crescendo. It is a wonderful example of how the sum can be greater than its individual parts. It was paired with an Italian red wine. It’s a strong wine with lots of tannins and lots of volume.

Last, and certainly not least, came dessert. The creamy and airy lemon mousse is served with white chocolate and crunchy little meringues. This is a traditional Danish dessert done in an unconventional way. Personally, I hate white chocolate, but this dessert converted me into a believer! It was paired with a French muscat dessert wine. The wine is quite fresh, although also sweet, with lemon notes to match the dessert.

After dessert, it seemed a shame that the meal would end. Luckily we received plenty of coffee and tea. Served alongside the drinks were petitfours – in this case, delicious chocolates stuffed with salted caramels.

Going to Marv og Ben is always a treat. For what it offers, it’s insanely affordable. The menu is concise enough that if you go as a party of two, you could basically try everything offered. The restaurant never fails to deliver a wonderful meal, taking seemingly traditional dishes and pulling complex flavours from the components. The chefs are maestros at creating masterpieces every time they enter the restaurant.

Marv og Ben
Snaregade 4, 1205 Cph K;
3391 0191,;

Open Mon-Sat 18:00-22:00;
Cuisine: Gourmet New Nordic
Top Dish: ‘Visit the garden’
Price Range: 2-course menu 275kr, 5-course menu 375kr