Hot Chinese virtuosity in the heart of Copenhagen
In my experience a lot can go wrong when it comes to Chinese food in Europe, especially if you’re looking for good quality and authenticity.
This isn’t surprising of course, as doing justice to 5,000 years of culinary culture is not the easiest of tasks.
I was all the more delighted, therefore, by the delicious flavours, generous portions and good value for money at Magasasa.
Combined with the genuinely friendly and forthcoming service, this chinese restaurant deserves to be called one of the best in Copenhagen.
Spoilt for choice
I certainly have a love-hate relationship towards menus, as they never make it easy for me to choose from a number of delicious-sounding dishes.
I was almost jealous of my friend who’s a vegetarian and was able to narrow it down at least a bit more easily, if not significantly.
(All photos: Becks Kaysen)
When in China
While we were struggling through the challenge of choice, the restaurant’s manager Simon Husum took the time to explain to us that there are many different local cuisines in China.
One of them is the Hunan kitchen, which uses only fresh spices (i.e fresh chilli instead of dried) and lots of garlic, while another is the Sichuan, which uses dry spices.
All the chefs at the Magasasa restaurants are Chinese, and we were informed that ours was a Hunan chef.
Needless to say I decided to go for a Hunan beef dish while my friend opted for a Sichuan vegetarian meal with green beans and other veggies fried in spices.
We were also served a local beer, Qingdao from Tsingtao – a place in China close to the North Korean border. The only difference was that the beer has been appropriated to Danish tolerances, and it therefore has a higher alcohol percentage than the light version drunk in Asia.
Central station essence
As there is nothing worse than having to wait for your food once you’ve decided what you want, we were positively chuffed with how fast it came!
Husum pointed out that customers never wait more than 20 minutes, as fresh food is prepared swiftly to keep in the spirit of Chinese food being enjoyed immediately and a dining experience not needing to last more than one to one-and-a-half hours.
Genius in the simplicity
Not only was the food served in beautiful wooden pots that pleased the eye, but it was also delicious.
Fresh ingredients with just the right amount of spice were combined with a quality and simplicity that allowed every flavour to enfold its potential.
It’s the kind of meal you don’t want to reach the end of, which accordingly made us all the more thankful for the generous portions.
While the two Magasasa restaurants in Amager and Istegade should definitely be on your list of places to go for eating out, be sure to check out their restaurant, tapas and cocktail bar opening in Kødbyen, the meatpacking district, where you don’t want the evening to end after dinner.
We will be stopping by because who doesn’t want to try authentic Chinese cocktails?
Magasasa Istedgade, Istedgade 4, Cph V; starters: 18- 65kr; mains: 69-168kr; open daily 11:00-23:00; 3323 8088
Magasasa Amager, Amagerbrogade 44, Cph S; open daily 12:00-23:00; 3297 9999
Magasasa Dim Sum & Cocktail, Flæsketorvet 54-56, Cph V; open daily 11:00-24:00; magasasa.dk