The produce was so divine it brought lumps to their throats
Shielded by Copenhagen’s old Custom House and the grand headquarters of Danish shipping company Maersk, the existence of Restaurant Lumskebugten is not immediately obvious to either locals or tourists. This makes the old cliché ‘a hidden gem’ very apt, because once discovered, it won’t be forgotten.
Grand old man of gastronomy
Lumskebugten’s owner, Erwin Lauterbach, is one of the grand old men of Danish gastronomy. Throughout his long career, vegetables have played a dominant role in his cooking. At Lumskebugten, seasonal vegetables are used both as central ingredients in the delicious dishes and as informal, stylish decorations in vases, which means that both the restaurant’s menu and decor change according to the season.
My companion and I visited on the last day of spring and found a menu characterised by asparagus, peas, salads, new Danish potatoes and fresh seafood. Seated in the cosy restaurant that used to be a dingy sailors’ pub back in the day, we started off with a lovely glass of 2005 Vollereaux champagne – specially produced for Lauterbach, according to our waitress.
I went for the set three-course menu, while my companion chose à la carte. My starter was a nettle soup with morels, wild mushrooms and milk foam – a mild, elegant soup with subtle flavours. My companion, however, won this round with his crispy sweetbreads with asparagus and a dressing of capers and lemon. It looked beautiful and tasted divine.
For the main course I had chicken. I was actually a bit disappointed when I saw that was the main course on the menu because I thought: “How much can you really do with chicken?” Well, a lot apparently! Served with perfectly cooked cabbage, onion, new Danish potatoes and a most tasty tarragon sauce there was both chicken breast and boned thigh, the latter being particularly succulent. My companion had a whole lemon sole with fried lemons, lemon butter sauce, parsley, new Danish potatoes and a lovely little summer salad on the side. No pretence, simple and delicious. With our mains we had a fantastic red wine from Bourgogne, a 2011 Volnay-Santenots from Domaine Matrot, which was rich and delicate at the same
The menu contained no descriptions of any desserts, which being a big dessert fan I found a tad worrying! I had no need to worry though – instead of a written description we were presented with five actual desserts on a dish accompanied by the waiter’s detailed description of each one. “That’s more honest than the highfalutin dessert menus you see in most restaurants,” a man from the neighbouring table remarked.
I chose the chocolate ganache cake with sea-buckthorn sorbet, which was nice, although a little bitter for my liking. My companion went for strawberries with vanilla ice cream and meringue, which on the other hand was sweet and light. It tasted heavenly! With the desserts we had a French port wine (2009 Maury Vendange from Domaine Pouderoux), which complemented the desserts deliciously.
Our visit ended with coffee and homemade butter biscuits based on a secret recipe from Jutland, as our friendly and attentive waiter told us with a wink. It was a lovely way to end a lovely night!
Esplanaden 21, Cph K
Open: Mon-Sat 11:30-15.00, Wed-Sat 17:30-22:00
Three courses 450kr excl wine