Marchal at Hotel D'Angleterre

With its pastel velour chairs, polished wood tables and muted grey carpets, Marchal is visually reminiscent of the hotel in which it is contained. Its edible offerings also follow suit, with dishes that are impressive and well executed, but not overly showy. The fare at this one Michelin star establishment is centered around traditional Nordic and French cooking styles, reinterpreted in a contemporary and unfussy manner. Dinner is presented by a tall, narrow-bodied waiter in a fitted grey suit whose personality couldn't seem more appropriate for the position as he sweeps the room, elegantly comforting guests with light humor and twinkling eyes. The first offering from the kitchen is a small basket of homemade sourdough bread (which the waiter admits to having trouble staying away from in the kitchen), accompanied by a yoghurt-whipped butter, and a fresh goat's milk spread which delights in its color, so white it almost appears as negative space to the eye. Minutes later, the first proper dish of the meal arrives—fjord shrimp with celery and green strawberries, which plays again with the idea of blinding whiteness, this time in the form of a smooth sheet of rose cream that acts as a sort of shroud, covering the colors of the interior ingredients until it is punctured with a fork. This delight is followed by a similarly impressive bowl of Lumpfish roe, potato purée, cress, and crispy chicken skin, organized in luscious mounds that more closely resemble an aerial view of a ski resort. The roe itself is a dense purple in color and when mixed with the neighboring mashed potatoes, combines to deliver a wonderful sensation of taught, fishy-crispness followed by a wave of warm comfort. The highlight of the meal, however, comes in the form of a poached egg yolk with gently fried mushrooms and leeks, floating in a murky mushroom bouillon. This dish is delivered to the table by the chef himself, who explains in detail the process by which the egg was delicately poached for hours, imbuing it with intense flavor. The result is a deeply creamy paste of silken umami that mystifies the senses. A miniature steak and a dessert of French toast that follow are pleasant enough, but simply can't compare to the subtle beauty of the egg, whose deep yellow core is echoed by the sun setting over the nearby square of Kongens Nytorv as the dinner comes to a close. JR

This review is included in TTA9. Click here for more information about the issue.

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