On the city’s most bootylicious street lies a groovalicious gem

Thai food is always one of my go-tos when I’m feeling like a change from my everyday and want something a little … spicier. There’s something about a good curry that can turn a terrible rainy day into bliss. On the particular night that my friend and I walked into Restaurant Spicylicious, I was having a stressful day: my bike Champ had been stolen, I had a figurative ton of work to do before the week was through and it felt as if it was -10 outside. I met my friend outside the restaurant and just managed to save myself from slipping in the slush on Istedgade. With a sigh, we entered. But before I even tasted the curry, I felt the warmth of this place melt away my worries.

The bustle of the street right outside disappears, and the ambience of Restaurant Spicylicious is as inviting and homely as can be short of eating in your own kitchen. They aren’t working with much space, but that serves their purpose even better. With small tables that can be combined for eight or separated for two, tall candles everywhere and a low ceiling, this eatery provides a warm canvas for a hyggelig dinner.

As we peruse the menu, we notice that there is a good amount of options – not too many but not too few. You can pick from a variety of starters that sound so delectable that you can’t even begin to imagine what you’ll want to eat for your main course. Wok? Pad thai? I was combing through the curries when our friendly waiter Mike came by and asked for our drinks order.

We were still lost when Mike made a suggestion: do the mixed menu of four starters, three mains and a medley of desserts with a bottle of pinot grigio from Alsace. Sounded perfect. “Do you want to know what the dishes are?” he asked. “I think we’d rather be surprised.”

The starters were quickly served. Displayed minimalistically and symmetrically with orchid flourishes, it looked clean and unfussy. It was an unpretentious presentation that let the food speak for itself. Goi coun (fresh Vietnamese spring rolls with prawn and chicken), Po pear tod (fried Thai spring rolls with pork, glass noodles and mushrooms), Satay gai (marinated chicken on a spear) and Kung mapraow tod (coconut marinated tiger prawns) were paired with sauces that accented each starter nicely. The vegetables were fresh, the chicken woody and grilled and the coconut layer on the prawns delectable. “I could eat these for the rest of the night and be happy,” my friend told me. I couldn’t agree more.

With such a great start to the meal, we were excited to get into our main dishes. The crisp pinot cleansed our palates, and we were smoothly transitioned into the next round. A presentation similar to the appetisers – with more orchids – served Beef wok with chili and Thai basil; Chicken wok with cashews, ginger and pineapple; and a Red curry (!) with duck, vegetables, lichee and cinnamon. A mildly hot bowl of white rice accompanied the colourful options.
These plates were marginally less stellar, but still made our tongues water. The Beef wok was nicely chewy, and the Chicken with cashews had a bright flavour that paired well with the spicy (and I mean spicy) red chilli sauce. But I only had eyes for the Red curry with duck. The flavour was expertly balanced, and the cinnamon pushed it over the edge into “God damn, that’s good” territory. With some curry-soaked rice, the duck was dark and tender and the lichee was a fresh surprise. I didn’t recall the last time I’d had this kind of Thai and been so pleased.

We had to call timeout. As delicious as the food was, we needed to pace ourselves. We switched to a dry cabernet sauvignon from Argentina and simply looked around. The restaurant had a low, warm hum that made it feel simultaneously full and intimate. Everyone looked to be enjoying their meals as much as we were.

Ten minutes later, Mike came back with the coup de grâce: a Coconut parfait with fresh fruit, a Mango sorbet and a Crème brûlée. We ordered espressos and soaked in the final rich touches of an exquisite meal.

If you’re craving something deliciously savoury, Restaurant Spicylicious has you covered. Take shelter from the snowy cold of the city and tuck yourself away in this gem in the heart of Copenhagen. Their name doesn’t lie.

Restaurant Spicylicious
Istedgade 27, Cph V; 3322 8533;
Open: Mon-Fri 17:00-23:00; Sat 17:00-24:00; Sun 17:00-22:00
Cuisine: Thai/Vietnamese
Top Dish: Red Curry with Duck
Price Range: starters 65-70kr; mains 105-160kr; desserts 60kr


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