Since I’ve started writing for Super Burger Bros, I’ve become far more aware of the street food scene, particularly in Cardiff and more generally in the UK through social and mainstream media. On a visit to see my sister and her family in Copenhagen, I was keen to find out, not only how the burger scene in Copenhagen was, but street food in general.
My first Danish burger was from Burger & Bun, operated by a Michelin starred chef on the Friday. My Saturday would be taken up with a visit to Papirøen, or Paper Island, where the paper stock of Denmark’s press was stored, to see Copenhagen Street Food in action.
During the colder months, it is only open at weekends, but in the summer, it’s open every day, and I’d imagine that the combination of exciting foods, waterfront locations, ethical and sustainable sourcing and keen pricing would make this a really popular place to be.
I was there to try out one particular stall, Fat Burger, but there were a few places that caught my eye.
The organic Danish pork was smoked for a minimum of 14 hours before making its way into their bbq sauce. The succulent meat was then placed into, what they called, a butter fried bun, before being topped with some creamy ‘slaw. My girlfriend wasn’t in the mood for the peppers or salsa, so I don’t feel I got the full effect.
Let me explain what a butter fried bun is. Take some butter, Danish obviously, and have it melted in a container which then pours it steadily onto a roller, where you rub your bun across, allowing it to soak up some of the butter, before popping it into a toaster to be crisped up.
While Siân scoffed that, I went off to find Fat Burger and see what else was going on.
We had a taco truck, a Brazilian BBQ, a fish & chip bar, a couple of bars, coffee campervan, Korean, seafood, veggie & vegan, Surf & Turf, cakes & cheesecakes and icecreams and Fat Burger.
I headed over to the sculpted cow’s head and asked for a single burger, they joked that I had the face of a man that should have the double, I resisted, as I knew I’d eat more food later, and it was only 3pm…..and I’d had a double the night before…..and I’m getting a bit tubby.
Their menu was simple. Burger. Regular (175g), Double (x2) or Slider (100g) served with cheddar, bacon, marinated onion, pickled cabbage, pickles, spicy mayo, ketchup and a bit of lettuce in a burger bun.
While I was waiting for this, I also went to the Surf & Turf place, which specialised in beef burgers topped with seafood. I really wanted to have one of these too, especially as I watched the guy go about his business. He told me that his onions had been left to marinade in a Guinness-based mixture overnight and I watched him take the mince from the fridge and make the patty on the hotplate. I was there for sweet potato fries for Siân and my niece though. When I go back though, I’ll definitely be going there for a burger, they looked exquisite. The fact that the dude there was a fan of Scottish black pudding and knew his haggis and my hometown and gave me free fries only made it easier to make that decision. And for the record, these were some of the best sweet potato fries I’d ever eaten. Nothing special about them really, they were from a bag in the freezer and were probably bought in a wholesaler, but cooked perfectly in really hot, clean oil giving it that crunchy and fluffy combo and some salt on there too.
But what about my burger? After a bit of a wait, the burger was in my hands and it did look good. The grilled, golden bun and beautifully brown burger offset by the vibrancy of the pink, pickled cabbage, green lettuce leaves, melting yellow cheese and Heinz Tomato Ketchup were like the work of a master to me. (Although, I would have liked to see a homemade sauce or salsa instead of the ketchup and maybe a creamier cheese for melting)
Biting in, the burger was also pink and wonderfully soft. The flavour combinations of sweet, sour, salty and savoury was a pleasure to eat as each mouthful had a different quantity of each of the ingredients. The Danes are big fans of taking streaky bacon and grilling/frying it until it is as crisp as the crispiest crisp at a crispy crisp competition. It was salty and crunchy and was perfect for this burger, both in flavour and texture.
I think this was the first burger I’d ever eaten with pickled cabbage, and I have to admit that it was a delight too. It was sweeter than pickled cabbage I’ve had in the UK, and softer, possibly as it was wafer thin, but may also have been marinated with the onions. (I have no idea what in though.)
The bun was firm and crunchy, where it had been grilled, but the inside remained soft, with a bready bite. I don’t think it was brioche, as it lacked that sweet, butteriness and was firmer to the touch and held its form, and the burger, well.
The meat tasted great. It didn’t appear to be seasoned; just good old fashioned beef and fat, seared quickly and cooked slowly. I was impressed.
Overall the experience was a great one. Danish street food is more than alive and kicking, it’s racing out there and pushing people to think about creating, and eating, fresh, sustainable, ethically sourced food from enthusiastic and talented vendors.
Oink Oink, your Pulled Pork Burger (sandwich) gets a 4.3 out of 5. (I know it’s not your fault that I didn’t get the full experience with the peppers and salsa not added, so you should probably get bumped up another 0.4, but I can’t, until next time anyway.)
Fat Burger, your Regular Burger, gets 4.4 out of 5. (Again, not your fault that I didn’t double up, but there would probably have been an extra 0.2 if I had)