Väkst in central Copenhagen is actually part of small chain of Danish restaurants; fortunately they don’t all follow the same theme, making Väkst unique – read on. It’s fine dining for sure but not in a stuffy ‘star’ way.
Vakst (English pronunciation sounds like Vext) means grow or growth, a theme to which they stick and I really mean that.
The entrance is surrounded by a plethora of plants, big, green and leafy leading to a warmly lit interior, with a green house right in the middle of it. You can eat upstairs, outside the greenhouse or descend through it to the basement. The greenhouse itself, adorned with hanging plants, is the staircase – it’s fun.
The menu, mixed Danish with English, as everything seems to be in Copenhagen, has a small à la carte section or you can opt for a set menu with an accompanying wine flight – all accompanied with a little chat of course. The front of house are very friendly, attentive and not in your face. I didn’t get the feeling they really loved explaining the dishes and the wine, a little robotic, but the explanations were very clear and still enjoyable.
This wasn’t a testing menu, more a four course (if you can count coffee as a course) but they did throw in a couple of Amuse Bouché – so 6 courses, plus a small loaf of soda bread. A rather long Crémant which accompanied the introduction to chefs ‘brand’ and remember, I’m in a greenhouse.
Two plates and small bronze bowl arrives – the plates contained a crisp green lettuce leaf with some wild mushrooms, wholegrain mustard, bit of Kohlrabi and some chopped kale and a light vinaigrette to bring it together – fine. The bowl on the other hand contained mealworm, that’s right, WORMS – the type I’d feed to my hens as a treat. Sprinkle on top, eat like a taco and the worm taco was good. Mealworm is crispy and salty – can’t go wrong – Bear Grylls has it easy.
First course was noodled Kohlrabi as a little bed on which perched a mixture of octopus, chopped crispy chicken skin, a Vesterhavs cheese from Jutland and handful of mixed herbs. I didn’t notice much octopus, that’s ok, I just love octopus. It was light, almost fluffy, and I enjoyed the Kohlrabi, we love a pasta replacement at ‘The Dish’. The Wine: late harvested German Riesling, so slightly on the sweet side at a cool rather than chilled temperature, bringing the sweetness out a little further.
Main was pork belly, yay another fav, served coiled like an oinks tails. It tasted great, which is the most important thing, but still a little underwhelming. There wasn’t enough narlyness, a little floppy, still better than OK though. The Wine: another late harvested grape, red this time and from Austria, in the glass it looked heavy, but was light and things worked out with the pork as a result – best wine of the night.
Dessert was a quenelle of perfectly white Skyr ice cream served on a bed of cucumber and sorrel with some white chocolate which they then poured over an elderflower cordial – this little greenhouse combo was really good, cucumber for dessert works and it looked stunning.
Coffee, as long as it was Espresso, had a little bit of Carrot Cake on the side, the greenhouse strikes again.
Overall the everything was really fresh, light and tasted great. The wines were well chosen and served in perfect condition, the staff were friendly and knowledgeable and the setting is really clever, an urban country greenhouse.
I’d recommended Väkst, it’s fun and has a genuine quality about it. This was a Thursday night and it was packed with business and leisure folk, you will need to book.
The bill for two of use was about 1,500 Danish Krone, about £150 giving it an excellent value score.
I paid the bill to keep it real.
Price: £ £
Telephone: +45 3841 2727
P.S. Copenhagen is beautiful