Won over at Huks Fluks in the flutter of a heartbeat

“Bystro, bystro!” yelled the Russian cossacks when they wanted a quick serving of food during the Russian occupation of Paris in 1815. At least that’s the urban legend behind the nowadays familiar restaurant term ’bistro’, which apparently means ‘quickly’ in Russian. And at Huks Fluks, they have taken the Russian meaning of the word literally and accompanied it with the Danish word ‘fluks’, which means something close to ‘in a heart beat’. All in all, the bistro offers a snappy service, especially on the lunch menu that can be prepared in five to ten minutes. If the clock hits just one second past the promised time, you get a free coffee or drink on the house. Now that’s good service whether you’re Russian or not.

Though nobody likes to wait for food if they’re hungry and in a hurry, a fast pace can remind one of contemporary society’s version of the 19th century French bistro: the fast food restaurant. However, poor quality, greasy food definitely isn’t being served here. While the food is served in a swift manner, it’s prepared with good quality ingredients like, for example, the house speciality: the Black food ham, which ripens in the basement.

Even though the ham looks divine, we go for the other starters on the menu: Moules marinière and Pea risotto. The steamed mussels are served in a creamy sauce of reduced stock with cream, shallots, white wine and herbs, which gives it a light and fresh taste, with some small fresh potatoes and mayo on the side. Though the French might have preferred the accompaniment to consist of ‘frites’, the fresh potatoes do give the dish a nice Danish summer twist. The risotto, meanwhile is mixed with mascarpone and new spring pod peas, which makes it nice and creamy like a risotto should be.

The bistro is located at the charming and colourful Gråbrødre Square in the centre of Copenhagen very close to Strøget. Except for the occasional ridiculously stubborn pigeon, this is the perfect place to enjoy a meal outside when the weather is nice. While the sun will keep the guests warm late into the evening, you can always heat up underneath a blanket (if not your partner) or move inside.

The waitresses are smiley and accommodating throughout the evening, and the restaurant manager, Berit Szymanski, goes out of her way to narrate and explain different stories about the place and food in Danish as well as English.

For the main course, the ‘Today’s special’ is a good offer if you aren’t splurging out on the three-course meal, but unfortunately it was sold out by 19:00. Szymanski explains that they only order a limited amount of groceries for each day, so they can guarantee it’s fresh all the time. It’s all well: we prefer the Steak of beef fillet and the Lamb chops anyway. And it turns out to be a good choice. The lamb chops, especially, are amazing. Nicely arranged on smoked potato puree, they are medium-cooked and almost melt on the tongue. If you aren’t hiding an inner sommelier, the waitresses also provide excellent advice on the best wine combinations. If you’re on a glass-basis, the Barbarzul, cuvee Cadiz from Spain is good for the lamb chops, and the Sembro Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero from Spain for the beef.

For dessert, the only sane choice seemed to be the Chocolate maximum, which is a delicious chocolate cake served with ice cream. After two courses, it’s unfortunately often difficult to squeeze down the last bit of dessert, but if you go for this dream of a chocolate cake, you will try your hardest, because it seems too sad to let any of it go to waste.

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite in your lunch break, or a long evening of dining and wining in lovely surroundings, this bistro is a good way to go. The fast and friendly service, the good quality food and its picturesque environment will surely impress either a business partner or a significant other.

Huks Fluks Bistro & Café
Gråbrødretorv 6-8, 1154 Cph K, 3391 9293, info@huksfluks.dk  
Open:  Sun-Thu 10:00-22:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-23:00
Cuisine: international bistro
Top Dish: Lamb chops
Price Range: mains 95-215kr; 3-course menu 345kr, wine 509kr