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SALT
The restaurant at the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel
Article added on April 1, 2004
 
The "white gold" of the Middle Ages, salt, is a product essential for any human being. It is related to the sea, shipping, travel, hospitality, cuisine and warehouses. Reasons enough for the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel to name its new restaurant (the old one was named "Pinafore"), which opened in early 2003, after this vital ingredient.  SALT offers a light European cuisine with a Danish touch. The menus at SALT change twice a season and the special SALT menu every fourteen days.
 
Design and concept for SALT (restaurant and bar) were elaborated in close cooperation with London-based Terrence Conran (Conran & Partners), who had previously designed restaurants in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. SALT restaurant with its pure modern design with red and blue chairs, rectangular chrome mirrors and a partly open kitchen deliberately contrasts with the also simple but rustic and ancient wooden construction made of Pomeranian pine beams.

From a four star hotel restaurant, which heavily relies on tourists and tourist groups from all over the world, one does not except gourmet cuisine. But that is what chef Casper Vedel offers. He sets astonishingly high standards in the kitchen. Previously, he successfully cooked at Søllerød Kro.

A vegetarian dinner at SALT
Tested in 2003
 
On my day of testing, Casper Vedel was on holiday. Therefore, sous-chef Christensen Thomas (*1970 in Copenhagen) ruled in the kitchen. He began his career as a trainee in the Hotel Mercure (1990-94) and then worked in several restaurants in Copenhagen from 1994-2003, with an interruption in the summer of 1999, when he cooked in an Italian and fish restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island. Since November 1991, he works at the Copenhagen Hotel Admiral. To make it short, Christensen Tomas was an excellent substitute for head-chef Casper Vedel.

As a vegetarian, I could of course not test fish and seafood, the core of Danish cuisine. My starter was SALT's tomatsalat with Danish pickled plum tomatoes with mozzarella and balsamico and a terrine of slowly baked tomatoes with basil and olive oil. A simple but well composed dish which already showed the restaurants "philosophy", which consists of Danish and European cuisine with a twist of Danish kitchen. Fine, fresh Danish ingredients are used for all dishes.

The most typical Danish alcohol is of course beer, above all the famous brands Carlsberg or Tuborg. Since I hate beer, I asked for something special created by SALT and got Splash, a refreshing aperitif with white port wine and tonic water.
 
As main vegetarian dishes, spinach, vegetables with many herbs and pasta as well as spinach with pesto and tomatoes were served. It was light summer cuisine, nothing very elaborate, but everything done with taste.

The desserts were one better than the other. I started with a fine pure caraibe chocolate, followed by a raspberry and orange mascarpone on sablé layer with glazed peach and raspberry sorbet - a delicious, subtle dream. Finally, I tasted a coconut bavaroise with cherries and crystallized lavender with a granny smith sorbet great, an exquisite and original composition.

In short, a gourmet restaurant of this level is very unusual for a four star hotel mainly frequented by tourists. SALT is excellent to the point that it is worthwhile coming to the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel just for a dinner.




SALT restaurant. Photo © Copenhagen Hotel Admiral.
 

SALT. Photo © Copenhagen Hotel Admiral.