Amass – Copenhagen – Denmark
For 500 bucks, you got nothing
For 500 bucks, you find yourself in the harbor area of Copenhagen, in front of an industrial building that does not even have the excuse of a certain originality, access via a metal staircase that gives little hope for disabled people. Maybe there is an elevator but it is well hidden. And there is no call bell.
For 500 bucks, you reach an entrance with improbable lighting, a second metal staircase (the disabled will still appreciate) which goes down to a room that looks like a warehouse, would not it be tables and chairs that te subodorize the restaurant.
For 500 bucks, you are greeted by a “Hi, guys”. Even in the worst fast food in Europe, I never thought I had a “Hi guys”. But hey, maybe it’s a local custom.
For 500 bucks, you are shown a disused elevator that serves as a cloakroom. Don’t forget you’re supposed to be a cool guy. Remember the “Hi guys” …
For 500 bucks, you have a pretty box with pretty cutlery in it. And figure it out.
For 500 bucks, you have two toilets that are not awarded Men / Women. All you have to do now, Ladies, is to flip a coin, hoping that the gentleman before you has shoot straight or get seated.
For 500 bucks, you have a room with concrete walls decorated with a huge tag on one side. Polished concrete floor, industrial style lighting, banal tables and seats in the 70’s design but very comfortable.
For 500 bucks, you have a super smiling service, slightly (euphemism!) incompetent in the kitchen and especially in the dinning room. Indeed, this is the first time I see the transfer of liquid between partially empty bottles. Several flasks are open as part of the food and wine pairing. And several times during the service, by several waiters, the opened bottles were transferred in others more full. On the central service in hall … Hallucinating!
For 500 bucks, you have the cooks who come to serve you the plate they made. Cool ! And when you see the big cohort go upstairs serving a big table, you think it’s cool. And when you see the cooks go down again, letting them slide their right hand over the railing of the stairs (yes, the one used by all the customers for years and which may have to be cleaned by the cleaning staff, when they get the idea, and rather with a blow of cloth than an industrial disinfectant) and to return in the kitchen without going through the washing of hands, there, you tell yourself that your 500 bucks begin to hurt you.
For a country that has experienced a “slight” concern for hygiene with a restaurant more than renowned located a few hundred meters, the Noma not to name it, we could expect better.
But what about the plate?
The tasting menu, as too often, becomes ridiculous by the size of the portions. A selection of original products but offers nothing exceptional in the mouth.
We start with the base of any table: bread. We have here a puck certified for the World Ice Hockey Championship. A round and compact thing. Very compact. Another local tradition …
The appetizers are funny, playing on the vegetables grown in the garden front of the restaurant. I ask myself the question of the quality of the land in a secular port area that had to see thousands of ships laden with more or less clean cargoes. We can hope that the agricultural soil has undergone a little more than the interior decoration.
The zander is probably the most interesting preparation, with a very good agreement with a water of salted melon, in spite of a very dull presentation. The beautiful plate saves appearances.
The second dish could have been beans with tomato pulp, mussels and coffee oil if it had not been badly dosed and carried the entire plate. On the other hand, it is the most visually beautiful dish. I forgot to photograph it, I apologize for it.
The beef tongue could have caught our attention but hard to test it with the ten grams.
The goose liver with almonds and salty rhubarb was heralding a slightly more festive meal. Unfortunately, it was the heat that was not there. The product is served barely warm. It is impossible for the product to express itself thoroughly under these conditions.
Presentations between the pitiful for the quenelle below, and the “not too bad” with goose liver slice.
The goose meat is well hidden under a bed of julienne vegetables.
Fig cream has a supermarket pastry appearance. Fortunately, the taste is much more delicate. Even if the shortbread could be a little thinner, given the general delicacy of the product.
Why do you avoid burning caramel in the kitchen? Because it becomes bitter. So what do you think happens with a deliberately burnt caramel? Well, it’s very bitter …
The final cake with black beet, pine cookie and bitter chocolate was fooled by the chef who decided that it would only be eaten with a spoon. So refusal to give me knife and fork to cleanly break the cookie blades.
An instructive experience that, you can imagine, I’m not ready to renew, because 500 euros for two people, for a rather average meal, amateur service, frightful and dubious hygiene, it borders on the scam under cover of “coolitude”.
But when leaving you can have a look on refrigerators containing meat maturing. I did not ask for the price of “take away” …
A conclusion ? Do you really need one?
I know perfectly well that Denmark is an extremely expensive country. But here it is abuse.
It must either be in a delusional blindness or a terrible culinary incompetence to find anything sublime in these dishes and especially for the price requested. With this amount, I excite my taste buds and leave me good memories in hundreds of other places around the world, starred or not.
Tel: 00 45 43 58 43 30
Addrese: Refshalevej 153, 1432 København, Danemark