Copenhagen Restaurant Series: VeVe

Recommended to me by a number of people, booking a dinner reservation at VeVe was a no brainer. With the name originating from the Danish words, Vegetarisk Verdenskøkken, (meaning vegetarian world cuisine) its no surprise that, as a vegetarian myself; I was immediately drawn to it. Given the higher price level of the restaurant, we saved it for a special occasion and made a booking to celebrate our 3-year wedding anniversary. And let me tell you, it really was worth the wait.
The entire evening was a complete experience that started right from when we were greeted by one of the waiters. We were first shown to the lounge area and served an aperitif from a limited selection. As I don’t drink alcohol, I opted for the only non-alcoholic option of a rhubarb juice, whereas my husband went for champagne. Immediately after, followed a steady trail of snacks to whet our appetites. The small dishes were creatively displayed with my two favourites being ‘A slurp of the ocean’ and the ‘Onion shell’. The former gave me my first experience of “slurping an oyster” – not literally of course. The dish was a liquid flavoured to taste like seafood alongside an oyster leaf, a small red wine ball and some other garnishes that I really can’t remember at the moment. The leaf was served in an oyster shell, which I thought was very interesting. The latter was a simple onion flavoured crisp served standing in a bag of onion and with a hummus dip. A simple concept but such complex flavours. We were already impressed and the evening had only just started!

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When we were ready, we were moved over to our round table for the start of our 6-course meal. To start, we were served their sourdough bread with a dollop of white butter, which looked more like a soft meringue than traditional butter. We were also asked to choose from their range of olive oils originating from different countries. So many choices! Although the 6-course menu can be enjoyed on its own, it is offered with both a wine and juice pairing. Between us we opted for one pairing each, although I have to say I definitely struggled with finishing each juice serving with each course. I’m not very good with large volumes!
A range of beautifully presented and innovatively flavoured dishes followed, paired with a different juice or wine to suit. Each dish was so different that it’s impossible to compare them, but as a lover of cheese, course number 4 was our favourite, the Smoked Radish with Lancashire Cheddar. The last dish before dessert also had a twist we liked. I won’t completely ruin the surprise but lets just say you get to finish the dish off yourself by adding some instant noodles in a far from conventional way. Rhubarb and liquorice, two things I have begun associating with Denmark, since moving here, were the stars of the dessert course. The black tea with berries and grape juice paired with course number 4 and 5 were definitely my favourite juices and two of the only times I managed to finish the servings!

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Every single dish was delicious and brought out such distinctive flavours, in my opinion. It really does show that vegetables can be flavoured just as well, if not better than what’s normally expected. You can see their current menu here on their website but they do change their menu completely as the seasons change and the availability of fresh vegetables varies, so definitely keep an eye on their website for the new menu. I know I will!
The menu for the evening was cleverly printed on a brown paper bag, which at first seemed a little too simple for such a high class restaurant but by the end of the evening completely made sense. Read on to find out why…

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To end you have the option to return to the lounge area with comfy sofas for some coffee and their selection of petit fours. We were bursting at the seams so politely declined but a quick glimpse of another couple being served the petit fours definitely left me intrigued. Let’s just say, I saw some Lego and a bag of chillies, hmmmm….
Before leaving, we asked to speak to the head chef and not only to express our gratification for the delicious dishes but also to satisfy our curiosity about what inspires him to create such a menu. As a fellow Englishman and very involved with the customers, he was more than happy to chat to us. We were surprised to learn that he himself isn’t vegetarian. That made the skills shown in every dish that little bit more impressive. I think in some ways, it actually gives him that extra edge as he can incorporate flavours or ideas normally associated with meat into vegetables to create a completely unique combination. He also told us that the restaurant really fills a huge gap in the Danish market for a fine dining vegetarian restaurant of this style and I completely agree with him!
We were incredibly impressed by this dining experience and felt the service was also on par with the image of the restaurant but the food really was the superstar of the evening. We completely recommend it! They even gave us a gift as we left. Remember the menu being printed on a brown paper bag? Well, as the evening came to an end, our delightful waitress disappeared with our menu only to return with it filled with two sticks of rhubarb!! A thoughtful parting gift and something we completely didn’t expect.

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If you are interested in dining at VeVe, make sure you book early. With space only for 30, seated at the round table, the restaurant gets booked up months in advance!


Written by Guest Blogger Sheetal Premdjee

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