Ask your average Melburnian what they know about Denmark and they might struggle to make a list. Princess Mary would probably be the first answer, and Carlsberg beer might get a mention. Maybe Hans Christian Andersen and his little mermaid? Design lovers will probably utter something about nice furniture with clean lines. And, beyond the obvious buttery lure of Danish pastries, chances are no-one will have the slightest clue about Danish cuisine. Which is where DANSK Restaurant could teach us all a thing or two.
Here you can sample the purity of contemporary New Nordic cuisine without needing to shell out for an expensive airfare to Scandinavia. Located in Denmark House, home of The Danish Club, DANSK is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and all those snacks and drinks in-between).
You could start your Danish smorgasbord with snapas, small bites of food served with a fiery shot of alcoholic snaps – just don’t forget to sing a snapsvisor, a traditional ditty to express your love of the fiery brew.
Follow that with smushis, an open rugbrød (rye bread) sandwich heaped generously with gravlax and a dill and mustard sauce, or pickled herring with horseradish and apple, or a tartar of beef, spiked with capers, onions and egg yolk. Oh, and don’t forget those delectable frikadeller, Danish meatballs with a red cabbage and cucumber salad.
Dinner moves into more refined à la carte territory, where the seasons are celebrated with locally sourced produce cooked using traditional Nordic methods. If you have room for dessert, the rhubarb trifle will almost definitely hit the spot. Or, you’ll be happy to know, Danes do actually eat Danish pastries.
Level 3, 428 Lt Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9600 4477
Open Mon–Tues 8am–4pm, Wed–Fri 8am–8pm, Sat 12–8pm