If you have ever visited Baltzersen’s and thought Yorkshire and Scandinavia is an interesting mix then one of Copenhagen’s most famous lunch spots, The Royal Smushi Café, has an even less likely fusion – Danish and Japanese.
You enter head towards the café by passing through an archway just off plush Amagertorv, an open street in the central shopping district. I have a feeling that as uneducated foreigners we have probably missed some of Copenhagen’s nicest places lurking quietly behind these archways. Despite winter still just about maintaining an icy grip on the city the artificial sound of bird song is all around you as you make your way into the cafes surprisingly serene front courtyard – shared with the Royal Copenhagen porcelain shop.
The café itself is not what you would expect to find next to such serious neighbours. The café’s website describes the interior as ‘funky baroque’ and they have collaborated with some very famous names in Danish manufacturing to create their look including; Royal Copenhagen, Georg Jensen, Fritz Hansen, Bang & Olufsen, Kvadrat, Carlsberg, Holmegaard. The ceilings are tall, walls white with splashes of bright colours and the lighting provided by sparkling privately commissioned Holmegaard chandeliers.
The main event is their fusion concept called ‘Smushi’ which I am sure you have now guessed is a mixture of Danish open sandwiches (smørrebrød – Danish spelling) and sushi. These little bites are available at 48 Kr (£5.60) each or a selection of 3 for 135 Kr (£15.80). We both went for tea and experienced what seems to be the preferred method of serving tea in Copenhagen. Loose-leaf tea scooped into a tea bag and secured on the top of the cup using a skewer, a little plate to deposit the used bag was provided. Wellness Tea and Mary’s Tea nicely served using Royal Copenhagen china.
We plumped for the fish, venison and beef before realising that Katie wouldn’t be able to eat most of them due to pregnancy so we added the soup of the day, which was cauliflower and white fish. They were beautifully presented, arrived with little delay and were polished off within a similar timeframe. The soup was fresh and light and the fish flaky so it fell apart with just a little pressure from the fork.
The operation has been around for a number of years and service is unsurprisingly very slick. The majority of diners seemed to be enjoying a glass of wine with their lunch, upping the average spend per customer and allowing the café itself to be spacious without the need to cram customers in. We enjoyed our lunch and are glad we visited but neither smørrebrød or surroundings were our favourite in Copenhagen.