The club where the only membership criteria is liking good food

A new addition to Hellerup’s culinary stomping grounds is Hellerup Klub. Opened just over a year ago, this brasserie has very quickly built a name and reputation for itself with the local residents of Hellerup – especially the ones tired of always making the journey into the centre of Copenhagen for a dining experience. What Kasper Jørgensen, the head chef at Hellerup Klub, wanted was to bring good quality food to the local residents of Hellerup and create an atmosphere where one could just walk in for a drink, for a quick meal or even for a nice three-course meal accompanied by a selection of fine wines, and this he has managed to accomplish.

As I walked into the restaurant with my dining partner on a cold windy evening, what initially caught my attention was the elegant bar and warm lighting. Not a full minute into the restaurant and I was greeted by the staff and was shown to my table, a cosy table for two by the window, which I am told is the best seat in the house. The welcome drink arrived in the form of an Andre Clouet, Brut. While devouring a starter course of Ravioli stuffed with veal shank and ricotta served with truffle butter and parsley with a glass of Le Bruniche 2012, my friend enjoyed the signature dish of Langoustine lasagne. In between savouring the dish, I took a look around the restaurant. Like any other weekday evening at Hellerup Klub, the place was almost full with a wide range of diners, from a group celebrating a birthday to a family of three, and from a single diner enjoying a quiet meal to a table of suited men at what clearly looked like a corporate dinner. Being located close to the embassies, consulates and a number of large organisations, Hellerup Klub is also a popular venue for corporate dinners. Additionally the restaurant also holds events and conferences in the elegant rooms upstairs.

The main course consisted of a serving of Pan-fried cod with boulangere potatoes and Brussels sprouts in a mild burgundy sauce accompanied by a glass of Sancerre Clos de Bouffants that  was    well chosen and hugely complemented  the meal. Like every restaurant, Hellerup Klub too has its own philosophy of food. According to Chef Jørgensen, a perfect dish is one that has the right combination and proportions of flavours, ingredients, carbs and proteins. The kitchen is passionate about bringing out the richness and flavours of its food and is not willing to compromise on the ingredients. All the produce is obtained from Danish suppliers and some of the key ingredients, like the fish, is bought fresh every day.

Just when the main course began to settle, our desserts arrived in the form of a warm chocolate fondant served with cherry sorbet and a French toast served with vanilla ice cream and espresso  sauce. The chocolate fondant, being quite rich, was just the right portion size, and the cherry sorbet on the side helped subsidise the richness. To wash it down, we were served a Pacific Rim ice wine from Canada. Frederik Bech, who is the restaurant manager at Hellerup Klub, is an ardent oenophile, which means that at the brasserie one can find 250 fine wines.

One could argue that Hellerup Klub’s menu does not stand out from  that of any other gourmet restaurant in the city, but this is something the restaurant itself does not deny. If it is an experimental kitchen or menu that you are after, then you are bound to be a little bit disappointed. The dishes are simple and cooked to precision, but what is unique about this brasserie is the atmosphere. It is definitely hard to find a restaurant where the manager knows most of his diners by first name, or the diners know each other and get up and have a conversation with an acquaintance at another table.

The staff are friendly, informed and accommodating without being too interfering. In other words, the restaurant has managed to create a dining culture that can be found in other countries, but is something a lot of other restaurants in  Copenhagen seem to have overlooked.

Hellerup Klub
Strandvejen 203, Hellerup;
3962 2140,;
Open: Mon-Sat 11:30­-15:30 & 17:30-22:00 (Fri-Sat to 22:30, Sun to ­21:00), Sun brunch 10:30­-16:00;
Cuisine: Gourmet European
Top Dish: Langoustine Lasagne
Price Range: mains 200-300kr