Sunday, 16 November 2008


I’ve known Benedicte and Hans Henrik for over twenty years and I’ve never had a Danish meal let alone pay them a visit in Copenhagen. Well thanks to Jan Moir’s enlightening write-up at I decided that my first full blown Danish dining experience would be right here at Madsen in South Kensington.

The restaurant is located opposite a Lamborghini showroom and it’s also surrounded by a plethora of tourist trap eating places (not surprising as South Kengsinton Tube is where you get off for the Natural History, Science and Earth museums). The interior of the dining room immediately suggests a disciplined Scandinavian touch, neither too cold nor Ikea, but very nearly so. I think I must have been the only non-paleface person in the restaurant (except for a sweet oriental waitress) lunching on his own, wielding a camera and perusing the Sunday times over lunch. You could tell the other diners tried very very hard not to stare at my photographic antics and me.

You come here on Sundays for the Smörgåsbord or in Danish, Det Kolde Bord. This is basically a buffet with traditional warm and cold dishes.

This the first platter consisting of three kinds of marinated herring, smoked salmon with scrambled egg, Skagenröra (prawns in creamy dressing with dill and horseradish), curry salad and rye bread.

Second helping of Inkokt lax (traditional Swedish salmon baked in mustard brine), breaded fillet of plaice, rare roast beef with pickled cucumber and more rye bread.

Penultimate helping of Biff Lindström (hamburger Swedish-style, made with onions, capers and pickled beetroot, and served with a fried egg), Streaky pork belly with crackling and homemade red cabbage, Frikadeller (Danish meatballs served with creamy potato salad), more rare beef and sourdough bread.

Final platter of Honey cake with butter cream and cheeses with crispbread.

Although the whole experience was not entirely life changing it was wholeheartedly satisfying nonetheless. I daresay that the best way to sum up this type of cuisine is the perceived blandness of its dishes consistently elates the taste buds and you’ll want more every time.

Skål to Benedicte, Hans Henrik and Madsen.

£25.00 for the buffet lunch and no service charge incurred on the bill.

20 Old Brompton Road

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