Variety’s the spice of life, so why not treat the office to an Indian?

What comes to mind when you think of a canteen lunch? If it’s sprouts so old they’re cultivating their own, gravy aptly named after your most likely post-consumption destination, and cutlets so turgid they more closely resemble … then it’s likely you’ve never enjoyed one at a Danish company, because it’s something the folks here take really seriously. Whether it’s tray upon tray of female-friendly fare (think salads, couscous and plenty of beetroot), or a daily delivery from a cheery domestic guru, office workers enjoy their subsidised grub with gusto.

But still, while Denmark boasts some of the best quality office lunches around, there will always be the notion that maybe some spice might be in order beyond the eco-manic extravaganza that tends to get served up.

So last week on Wednesday, we decided to put our staff’s necks, or better stomachs, on the line and experiment with what it may be like to veer off the Danish cuisine bandwagon.

And given our British flavour – there are several in the office, four if you include our man from Belfast, and it’s our house style choice of English – there could only be one choice for our collective lunch: Britain’s national dish, the Indian curry.

We had high expectations and they were very much met when the containers of fragrant Basmati rice with sweet raisins, naan bread, creamy Butter Chicken, peach-infused Lamb Korma and Palak Paneer all arrived from Indian Flavours to anxious rumbling stomachs.

An atmosphere of quiet excitement and expectation grew into lively chatter and sociability. People started pulling in chairs and conversations began in earnest: travel plans, gossip and the news (the non-Danish centric variety of course). All in all, it was the cheapest team-building exercise that a company could wish for.  

“The food was awesome!” enthused Hristo Aleksandrov, our admin intern.  “I really liked the Korma as there were also other things (vegies and/or nuts) swimming together with the meat in the sauce. I also liked the raisins in the rice because their sweetness among the spiciness was like an oasis in the desert …  very good indeed.”

Aleksandrov was less enthusiastic about the naans and the packaging though – something he felt the restaurant needed to improve. “I guess they have a different one for the single orders but should think about larger orders as well,” he said.

Christian Wenande, a journalist, was also impressed. “The Butter Chicken had an unexpected but welcomed heat that I really appreciated and the lamb meat in the Lamb Korma was as tender as it gets,” he said, although he was less certain about having a curry at lunch. “Since the feast occurred during my work lunch hour, I could only imagine washing the scrumptious meal down with an ice cold Kingfisher.”

Both news editor Justin Cremer and editorial intern Amy Strada were fans of the Korma. “The Korma had just the right amount of kick,” observed Cremer. “The Korma was particularly great − spicy enough to give a kick, but not an extremely overpowering taste,” chimed Strada.

While our vegetarian layout editor Aviaja Nielsen was pleased with her option, although a little fussy as most veggies are prone to being. “I had the Palak Paneer with rice, which I found nice and spicy,” she said.” It’s a bit on the greasy side yet very tasty.”

The Danes among us reflected on how things had changed since their packed lunches of cold cuts of meat and slices of rye bread. It was agreed that as more internationals arrive in this country and make it their home, there is also an influx of influences that are worth embracing, and where better to start than office lunches.

Cuisine, as has been proved by various initiatives over the last decade, gives Danes and foreigners a talking point − a rare commodity on the road to integration, sorry inclusion, and one that the aforementioned Brits have been using for centuries.

By simply taking out a lunchtime curry, Danish businesses can enrich the experience of their employees. After all, we all know that variety is the spice of life, and combined with some spice in your food, it’s a winning combination.

Indian Flavours
Kongens Nytorv 19, Cph K, 3213 4848
Open Mon-Fri 11:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-23:00;
Cuisine: Indian
Top Dish: The Office Takeaway
Price Range: Special lunch offer available 12:00-16:00


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