Some people like Tour de France, others (me) prefer tour de food.
Inspiration often finds its way to me when I’m most desperate, which I was when I craved for dimsum but couldn’t have any right away. So I asked myself, which dimsum restaurant in Copenhagen is the best. And so it began: My quest for examining and tasting of dimsums in Copenhagen.
Quest #1 : Fu Hao /w my brother
Fu Hao was the restaurant my brother and I visited the most while growing up. It holds memories from my childhood in Denmark. Memories about food.
Coming back as an adult, I suddenly see this place much clearer than before. Or did the plates and glasses always been a little……oily?
Let’s just say that hygiene was not at its peak at Fu Hao.
When we got passed the hygiene part (can you really get over an oily glass bottom though…), the food still tasted fine. I was intrigued by the xiumai with seaweed and not with the usual flour-made dough wrap, but I must admit that I still preferred the ‘original’ ones.
My brother enjoyed the meal quite much. He liked the food and the mood at the restaurant. Most of the people who come to Fu Hao are local Asians who bring their family, and then there are the tourists, since the location is very central (right behind Central Station of Copenhagen). You’d get a feeling that this is a place for families – especially Asian families who has been living here for generations and goes out once in a while to find the taste of ancestors.
My overall rating is that the food is fine but you really need to ignore the slightly oily plates and glasses. The service was not bad. The waiter takes your order and delivers your food within an acceptable amount of time. Nothing more and nothing less. The accommodation was very “classic” Chinese style inspired, with “classic” I mean the kind you see in almost every Chinese restaurant in Denmark – for example the characteristic mark of red wooden furniture.
quest #2 : Royal Garden /w my brother and his friend
I liked this place very much ! This time my brother brought one of his friends who has never tried dimsum before. We ordered everything that is worth of trying for a first-timer.
My absolute favourites are egg tarts and charsiu bao! I have a sweet tooth… We also had xiumai, both the regular ones and the ones with seaweed, Har Gau, Xiao Long Bao and so many others.
It’s always my regret that they don’t make Xiao Long Bao with soup, because I’ve always wanted to try one. I was too excited for so many things while traveling in Shanghai that I forgot to try Xiao Long Baos with soup and I forgot again while studying abroad in Beijing. Maybe Xiao Long Bao and I aren’t destined to cross path…:(
One of the classics that I absolutely dislike, is, chicken feet. My brother loves them. As I understand the deal about chicken feet, is the taste of the sauce or the marinated skin that you’re sucking and chewing on which you enjoy. I’m sure it’s tasty, except that I’m scared of the shape of chicken feet and the idea of chewing a finger does not appeal to me.
My overall rating is that the food is delicious and points to Royal Garden for having egg tarts. Everything was clean ! My brother and his friend liked it very much. The service was fine, the waiter was kind and polite. The accommodation was more of a modern interpretation of the “classic” Chinese style look – which was nice, because you still had a sense of coming to a Chinese restaurant but not the kind with a buffet and filled with smell of deep fried food.
Quest #3 : /w my friend Gustav
The last but not least… Hidden Dimsum. My friend and I came one day with no reservation and there was no free tables at the restaurant, but luckily they could house us downstairs at Hidden Dimsum by Night (still the same restaurant, it’s just downstairs and with a cool neon light). If I remember correctly it was the first time he tried dimsum. So we went for all the classics (or most of them) !
I wanted him to try my favourites: egg tarts and charsiu bao, then we also had xiumai, Xiao Long Bao (no soup), gaozi, spring rolls and fried rice – because we were starving. The thing is, the dishes were no more different than the other two, but it felt different. The dishes were served in bamboo steamers and the plates were different from the same ones as Fu Hao and Royal Garden used. Thing as simple as steamers and plates created a different mood.
I was there with my brother once, and he didn’t like it. I remember that he said, he thought the food tasted fine but the restaurant (upstairs) looked too Scandinavian. I think when my brother goes to a dimsum restaurant, he is there to yumcha, he wants the authentic experience. Even though he knows that he can’t find it in Denmark, he still holds on to the earliest memories of yumcha back in China. I understand him. We’re not eating dimsum just to eat dimsum, we’re looking for an experience or maybe a memory from a good time.
When I was there with my brother, they didn’t have the downstairs restaurant yet. Maybe he will enjoy the atmosphere downstairs better, since the theme is less Scandinavian and more Chinese style inspired – not the “classic” style but more of a Hong Kong street style.
My overall rating is that the food was splendid. I loved the egg tarts, they were fresh and hot. Gustav’s favourite was charsiu bao, also a must-order if you ask me. The service was really good, even though the waiter knows me, he would still explain every dish passionately and make sure that we know to be careful when a dish might be unexpectedly hot. I like the accommodation downstairs better because of the design. The dark walls, dark wooden furniture, the neon light and old posters on the walls make you feel like you’ve entered an old movie in Hong Kong.
If you ask me, I would say, go for Hidden Dimsum or Royal Garden.
All photos are taken by yours truly.