I had a friend from Australia visit not so long ago (she left the day before I became sick, which was lucky for her!). We picked her up from Nyborg train station the Tuesday of around noon and went straight to Odense to eat at a local restaurant – “Den Grimme Ælling” (“The Ugly Duckling”). It serves old-fashioned Danish food, so we figured it was a good place to start.
The place is cheap, and the food is alright. Nothing amazing, as such, but fine, and good value for the money. A lunch visit costs around 100 kr. without beverages, so it’s affordable. Her visit was in late November, so of course the lunch buffet consisted mostly of Danish Christmas lunch items, such as æbleflæsk (fried apples with bacon), medister (Christmas sausage), fish filets and herring in different sorts. I was surprised at how many of the items she actually liked. The tartelette was very bad, though, so it was a good thing she didn’t get around to trying one. It was the ham variety, anyway – usually the chicken and asparagus is better. They’d burnt the sauce, though, that was the problem, so it had a really bad taste. They should’ve omitted it from the buffet rather than serve something that was obviously ruined.
It was a very busy place, which also surprised me – we arrived on a regular Tuesday afternoon but we were slightly worried when we walked in that we couldn’t get a table. We were lucky, though. The place was packed with pensioners, but it is a good bargain place if you want to eat old-fashioned Danish food, which a lot of Danish pensioners probably want to.
After lunch we went on a walk around Odense city centre and eventually went back to our place for a cup of tea / coffee and an opportunity to stare at the cats. My friend – Tara – surprised us with an Australian cookbook as a gift for having her visit.
There are some very interesting recipes in there, unfortunately I haven’t managed to read it closely yet. I hope to have an Australian inspired dinner party eventually. I love theme dinners. I want to do a British one (again), too. I want to have a go with yorkshire puddings. I probably won’t be cooking possum pie, though! It seems too cute to eat anyway.
For dinner the Companion did a chicken wok dish to show Tara a more modern Danish meal. The Companion and I always eat with chopsticks when we have wok dishes, so it was definitely not old-fashioned Danish food! It was fun to show Tara both the old and the new.
We also had dinner for the following day all planned out, and since we were going to do a traditional Danish Christmas dinner, I cooked risengrød (rice pudding) for the dessert the night before. I used real vanilla beans for extra flavour.
We spent most of the day and evening talking, which was a lot of fun. I hadn’t seen her in two years, so it was comforting to know that we could still find something to say. She went to bed a bit early, though, which was understandable since Denmark was her first stop on her trip, so she was a bit jetlagged after 24 hours of travelling, even though she did arrive in Copenhagen the afternoon before.