The final countdown…our last month in Spisehuset

BLOG #8

How time flies. April will be our last month of popping up in Spisehuset. I know, I know…it’s been a journey. No doubt, you’re all wondering about what our next move will be, but let’s have a little revisit first. What did we learn?

Authenticity and creativity works together

Copenhagen is a hotbed of creativity. In some countries, creatives can be subject to criticism. People who have too much time on their hands, scoff the cynics. But not here. It’s taken seriously. And openly encouraged.

At Kewei’s Kitchen, it has also aligned rather neatly with the creative juices that I think imbue our humble little foray into the foodie market. I would never kid myself that we are anywhere near the top of the game. Far from it. But I do like to think that we are making our own little contribution to the city’s vibrant food scene, and helping our ever so welcoming guests to get a wider understanding of what Chinese flavours can be.

Of course, creativity is by its definition experimental, but it should over time lead to ever higher standards of excellence. Not everything I’ve tried has come off (fortunately, I have a willing husband on whom I can guinea pig all my innovations!), but the more one experiments, the better it seems are the results. Practice makes perfect? I like to think so, but I’d also say playing with the ingredients and regain the flavour of home only drives me even further in my ambition to bring interesting, tasty food to the Danish table. And I will never stop that.

Take for instance our new fish balls soup that we tried out on one of our favourite guests last week. He loved it. His table loved it. Home-made and hand-beaten, they come in a delicate vinegar, white pepper and ginger soup with a hint of soy. It’s one of our ‘experiments’ in creativity inspired by the famous Wenzhou dish. However, there’s no way I can get the Chinese river fish in Denmark, so I tried with a few Danish fishes, and in the end we replaced with cod. It’s not quite the same, I know. But I would also rather think that I’ve created something new. This is when I think it, the authenticity and creativity works perfectly together. You ought to try it. It’s on the menu now.

 Hand-beaten fish soup | Photo by Kewei Zhao 

Hand-beaten fish soup | Photo by Kewei Zhao 

Our mouth-numbing steak too continues to earn rave reviews.The authenticity is in the use of the amazingly vibrant Sichuan peppercorn to achieve a fiery heat and numbing sensation. However, in most of Sichuan dishes, they combine chilli and sichuan pepper together which you will not be able to get the numbing sensation without burning from the spicy chillies. In our creation, we lifted the flavour of Sichuan peppercorn out and paired with a premier cut of steak, which transform the juiciness of the steak into an explosion of flavours. Sometimes it can be that simple and by giving these peppercorn a solo moment, we also let our guests to fully experience this new addictive sensation. It’s a dish that we are very proud of.

 Mouth-numbing steak | Photo by Kewei Zhao 

Mouth-numbing steak | Photo by Kewei Zhao 

Excellence and excellence only

Excellence resonate through Danish life. The cycle lanes, the trains, the infrastructure, interior design. It’s even in the work/life balance. Danes will vote with their feet if they don’t like what they are getting. That certainly applies to dining out. The food, the environment, the ambience and of course the service together create the whole dining out experience and we aim to bring you the best as we can.

In our short journey from Kødbyen’s street food market in July 2017 (whatever happened to the summer?) to Easter 2018, we’ve had some incredible luck. Not every new venture, gets the chance to start off in a restaurant so ambient and beautiful as Spisehuset. If ever a restaurant was designed to epitomise hygge then this is it.

It was its hygge qualities that actually first pulled me in. I spotted Spisehuset while wandering around the ‘grey’ area of Kødbyen. Intrigued, I popped in to book a table for my husband and I only to discover they weren’t open that night. And the light bulb went off in my head. We got talking, I explained my vision for Kewei’s Kitchen and from there, we organised a launch in October 2017 that eventually became formalised in November. Sometimes, things can swing on something as small as this. And we’ve never regretted for a moment our tie up with a brand that absolutely embodies quality and excellence.

Spisehuset as a venue has proved perfect for romance and rather wonderful too for big events like our recent hosting of the International Rotary Club on March 26. It’s a venue designed to incubate fun, sparkle and, above all, a good time for all. Provide food to match, and then you are on to a winner. With our commitment to innovation and quality, we like to think we are on the road to doing just that.

 Copenhagen International Rotary Club on March 26

Copenhagen International Rotary Club on March 26

We’ve also watched our colleagues at Spisehuset and the levels of service they bring, literally, to the table. They are good at it. Very good. And we’ve tried to learn from it. Now, we’d certainly not say that Kewei’s Kitchen is an expert in this area, but we do try our best to make our guests feel welcome. There are times when we’ve been so busy that we may have inadvertently slipped a notch or two south of the high standards we have set ourselves, but, though those moments are chastening, we welcome them not only as part of the learning curve, but also as a reminder that we’ve got a long way to go.

The last lap

So, there you have it. We’re on the last lap at Spisehuset and it’s been great for us. Creativity has underpinned everything we’ve tried to do here and we’ve had a kitchen that allows us to indulge those juices. When we find our new venue, we’ll certainly be looking to take forward that fundamental principle and maintain the passion for our food which fuels that process. The day Kewei’s Kitchen stops creating might be the day we decide to pack it in. We hope that such a day is a long way off yet. We hope you feel the same way too!

And as to our next stop? Well we do have something very definite in the pipeline. But we’ll save that for another day. Keep watching…!