Smørrebrød (open sandwiches) has always been an integral and beloved part of traditional Danish cuisine. In its most basic form, it consists of rye bread with butter and different sorts of cold cuts, fish or pâtés.
Aamanns is one of the most prominent smørrebrød restaurants in Copenhagen right now, and the place has received international recognition for its culinary excellence and modern take on the classic Danish delicacy. For a long time, I’ve wanted visit Aamanns, so when I was meeting two friends for lunch the other day, Aamanns was the place to go.
The lunch menu was plain and dictated by seasonal ingredients, yet it was hard to choose, as everything sounded really delicious. We therefore decided to order each our different smørrebrød and share it all together, so we got the chance to try as much as possible. We had beef tartare with vendace roe, herb salted salmon and two different types of herring, before we finished off with Arborio ice cream with beetroot, blackcurrant and licorice.
I really liked the herring, which was served with pickled pumpkin on top, but all the things we had were really tasty. The salmon was not too salty, so the fine taste of herbs did not drown, and the dessert was exquisite.
As a restaurant guest, I want to be treated with respect, but I do not like when people bow and scrape for me. In many countries, the restaurant staff’s salary is either very low and/or highly based on tips, resulting in an unequal relationship between the guest and the personnel: There is simply too much sucking up going on. This is seldom the case in Denmark. Instead, restaurant personnel at certain places can be both arrogant and rude.
At Aamanns the service was impeccable. It was the same gentleman who served us throughout the meal, and he was well versed in both the menu and the ingredients. In addition, he caught my friend’s concern about having to share the plate and cutlery with my budding cold sore and arranged for two separate plates and flatware for our shared dessert without us even asking. This is Danish service at its best, and one of the reasons (in addition to the excellent food) why I would not hesitate to recommend Aamanns to anyone who visits Copenhagen.