Good food, great company!

I always feel so lucky when I go somewhere, and I get to meet up with friends. Lucky for me, Heidi lives in CPH! Her and her boyfriend (TB) are so sweet for showing me around. Here is the super fun couple!

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We went to Dyrehaven for lunch. It’s a cozy restaurant frequented by locals. The place use to be a bar and then it was purchased by someone else and now they serve smorrebrod as their specialty. The place is easy going, relaxing -very Danish.

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It was a smorrebrod feast. My first was a fried fish smorrebrod with dill, this creamy mayo-like sauce, and some pickles. The second one was a potato with this creamy sauce and fried onions. Both extremely tasty and very filling.

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TB ordered a roast beef and a bacon one.

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Heidi went with a goat cheese salad.

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They also had a very good selection of beer on tap. Being extremely satisfied, we went for coffee and sat outside to enjoy the nice weather.

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Thank you Heidi and TB for being such wonderful hosts.

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Rain on my holiday. It’s fine with me.

Needless to describe how rainy the weather is in CPH. The wind was gusting up to 28km/hr. I road a bike I borrowed from Heidi for the first time, and boy was is scary. The wind was so strong, especially when it was blowing from sideways. I thought I was going to fall over on my bike. Either way, despite the rainy weather, I got up fairly early and left the apartment at 10am. I made my way to Torvehallerne again for breakfast.

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I decided to start with fresh juice. This time, I tried the carrot and ginger one. It was tasty, but I think tomorrow I will have the avocado one again. 🙂 I ordered a large this time, and it cost 60DKK (that’s a bit more than $10 CAD)

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I walked pass the smorrebord place again, and decided to pass for now because I will be having some with Heidi & Co. this weekend.

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I headed over to the other building for some fresh pastry. I ordered a croissant to see how it was compared to the ones in Paris.

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And the verdict was… very tasty. Comparable to the ones in Paris. The croissant was very crispy on the outside, and soft and slightly chewy on the inside. I can taste the butter flavour more in this croissant than the other ones. But I wouldn’t say that it’s more oily or anything a regular croissant.

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Being satisfied for now, I headed for the Stork Fountain. It’s an old street that’s pedestrian only, filled with all your brand name shops.

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I went right to Illums Bolighus. It is one of the largest design shop for home and furnishings, carrying works from major danish designers. Here are a few snaps of goodies I found.

Beautiful 3 piece mirror. I’ll take the sofa too.

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And what do you think of this Carl Hansen & Son piece called the Shell Chair.  Only 5k CAD. They deliver worldwide by the way!

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As for me, I would not be able to afford anything in this shop. Maybe these miniature ones.

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It was raining pretty hard and the wind was gusting like crazy when I was ready to leave. So I went inside another shopping mall, and browsed around. This one looked like the one in Paris.

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When the rain died down, I headed for nyhavn, got lost and ended up in Christianshavn.

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Coffee break from the cold weather. I have to say, good coffee is hard to come by in CPH. I’ve only had good coffee at The Coffee Collective. I’ve tried 3 different shops, and I’ve been disappointed 3 times. My latte taste worst than the ones from McDonald’s back home. It’s so watery, can’t taste the coffee, and the milk taste like water too.

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Anyways, I walked along the canal, to check out these new buildings. They were once old industrial building. Efforts were made to turn them into new office buildings. So here it goes, my first shot at architecture photography.

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So Danish

After much tossing and turning, I finally fell asleep last night at 3am.  When I woke up it was already 12 noon.  I must have been super exhausted.  Realizing that I already lost the morning, I headed out for Torvehallerne.  It’s one of the biggest markets in Copenhagen featuring the best meat cuts, fresh fish, and small food stalls for people to eat in at the bars or take out.  The market looks very posh and so Danish.  The whole building is class to allow for ample amount of sunlight in and allows those outside to see all the happenings inside the market.

 

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There’s definitely something for everyone.  Cheese shop…

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Bottled juice goodness…

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Danish baked goodies filled the air, tempting all by-passers.

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An abundance of fresh vegetables. Perfectly arranged, grown in a nice shape. The Danes approve.

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Here, I also had my first Mikkeller beer. And let me tell you, it’s so good!! SO GOOD! They were recently featured in the NY Times.  I’m not a big beer drinker, but boy did the beer go down easily with a smoked salmon asparagus smorrebord.  I’m going to make sure I have a few more pints of Mikkeller before I go home.

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And if only I had more room in my tummy..

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I also tried an avocado, citrus, ginger juice from the juice bar. Their tag line? Look good naked! (So Danish) Great message, hits home, sticks with you. Bravo once again to the Danes.

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..and as for my juice? Delicious!! You can barely taste the avocado, but the consistency is there. You can taste the ginger, and citrus.

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And as always, there is a focus on relaxing, comfort and enjoying life. Like these girls..

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And this couple, stealing a kiss behind the lemon tree.

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Balkan Bites

We were ecstatic about joining the Balkan Bites food tour.  The tour is free, and runs everyday at 2PM.  The meeting point is always the same:

There was about 15 people on the tour.  A bunch of people from New Zealand studying in England was there, and also a Belgium woman and her Canadian boyfriend was there.  The boyfriend is living in Sofia as of now, and they purchased a rose farm in Bulgaria.  How awesome is that?!!  And we had a camera following us as we were going to be featured in the news that night!!

Watch Video for the News!

Our first stop is Supa Star.  It is a traditional Balkan soup shop.  The decor in the shop was very cute.  It was colourful, fun, and very cozy.

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They serve a variety of cold and hot soup.  We tasted a soup made out of yogurt.  Balkans is known for their yogurt, as they were the original inventors of yogurt.  In fact, Bulgaria is one of the largest exporters of bacterial cultures for yogurt fermentation.  This cold yogurt soup is made simply out of water, dill, cucumber, walnuts, garlic and salt to taste.  It was delicious, and very refreshing.  I think I would try to make this again in the summer.

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Our next stop was at a placed called Lubimoto.  They are a traditional family restaurants tucked away in the corner of a building.  Here we tried the Shopska salata.  It is a traditional salad that is commonly served at dinners.  Usually consist of white cheese, salad, olives, and tomato.

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We also tried Bulgaria’s national drink: Rakia.  A clear alcohol similar to brandy, made by the distillation of fermented fruits (grapes, plums, apricots, pears, apples, cherries, figs, quinces).  The alcohol content is approximately 60% which makes it the drink of choice during the winter season, and summer parties.  It is meant to be sipped slowly, but our New Zealand tour-mates decided that bottoms up was the way to go.

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Feeling all warm and fuzzy from the Rakia we had, our next destination was Sun Moon.  It is a bakery/ soup and sandwich shop.  We tried various homemade jams with bread.  The soup looked very tasty, and Ru and I actually came back here for dinner.  She ordered a bean soup and I had a latte.  So that was the end of our free food tour and we gave a generous tip to our guide as the tour was very fun and informative.

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Other tasties in my tummy from Sofia included:

This Chinese hot dog bun looking thing.  It tasted like one, except the sausage was Bulgarian style and so was the bread.  The bread was so soft and chewy.  Very fresh.

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We had a fish crepe. The crepe was very thin, and it was served with a side of tomatoes and cucumbers.  The sauce in the middle was made of potatoes.  It was slightly sour, tasted a bit like sour cream.  The crepe itself was fresh, chewy.  The mouth feel is a bit different from the ones you get in Paris (which is the standard used when assessing crepes).

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And elder flower fermented tea.  Slightly sweet carbonated tea.

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Resturant Hopping

I was invited to a networking event downtown.  I usually dread going to these things because they are so awfully boring.  I went anyways.  Hung out for two hours and that was about as much as I can take.  I gave Ru let’s get out of here signal and we both ran away.

So there we were, Saturday night in downtown Toronto.  Haven’t had any food yet.  We decided to do a night of restaurant hopping.  First stop was Raijin Ramen (雷神ラメン).  I’ve heard my friends rave about this place, but it’s about time I tried it out for myself.

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The atmosphere is pretty casual.  It’s a big restaurant with a lot of room at the back for large parties.  We chose to sit in front of the chef so we can watch them make food as we ate.  Knowing that we were going to be hitting up another restaurant later on, we decided to order one ramen to share.  The decision was easy, as we were both feeling spicy.

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Tonkatsu Karamiso Ramen (トンカツ辛味噌ラメン)had a spicy miso soup base.  It had pork shoulder, ground pork, green onions, bean sprouts, cabbage, corn and a bit of chilly oil.  The soup base was very yummy!  It wasn’t too rich and the spiciness was on the light side -which was fine.  The noodles were pretty good, not the best I’ve ever had.  I thought that it could be a bit more QQ (chewy).  Ru thought it was very good.  Overall, Raijin is one of the better ramen I’ve had in Toronto.

Where: Raijin Ramen 雷神ラメン
Location: Downtown Toronto
What: Tonkatsu Karamiso Ramen (トンカツ辛味噌ラメン)
Verdict: I’ll be back for my ramen fixes.

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When it comes to ramen, I’m a bit of a snob as I’ve been spoiled by all the ramen I’ve had in Japan.  So if you are reading this blog, and I’m reviewing ramen, you probably will not see the words “Best ramen ever”… unless I’m back in Japan.  That being said, we were completely happy with our ramen and ready to move onto the next restaurant.  I will review the next restaurant in a separate post for various reasons. -keep reading to find out why!

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