Copenhagen: Christian Puglisi Part One: BÆST

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Bæst

One of the chefs in Copenhagen that we really like is Christian Puglisi, a Sicilian-born chef who moved to Denmark in the ’90s. Before this trip we had only dined at Manfred’s and it was the highlight of the visit. So this time we decided to try as many as possible…beginning with Bæst!

A few highlights from the Bæst website with their food philosophy:

A place where the best Danish, local, sustainable and organic produce is combined with Italian craftsmanship to create a unique dining experience. Made by hand and eaten by hand!

Instead of importing mozzarella, we make it ourselves with the best raw milk – from our 16 cows grazing at Farm of Ideas, just 50 km from the restaurant – and stretch it by hand several times a day.

A restaurant where pizza is made of local flour, gently fermented, then baked at blasting 500°C in a wood-fired, custom made oven, built for us in Naples.

 

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STHLM Brunch Club

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Koen’s shashuka with poached eggs

 

We made it to Stockholm! After 2 days on the road we finally arrived to our new home in Sweden!

Okay, but like I mentioned in my last post, we still need to make the drive back to Belgium and then fly to Stockholm to finally be residents in our new city! At least the trip back we only have two small suitcases, so it’s safe to park our car. So for the drive back we’ll revisit Copenhagen and spend a few days there, then overnight in Hamburg, before ending in Antwerp. Exciting!

But before we can leave we wanted to try one of the restaurants in our neighborhood for brunch and were happy to find STHLM Brunch Club! I love all day brunch places and was excited to try it out before hitting the road. We were a bit nervous we’d have to wait (no reservations) but I think 10 on a weekday is not their busiest time 🙂 Brunch was fantastic, as was the bottomless coffee!

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Copenhagen: Plant Power Food

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Inside Plant Power Food

We’re moving to Stockholm!!! But it’s going to be a long process… After a lot of researching and planning we decided on driving to Stockholm with our essentials, then driving back to Antwerp, then flying back to Stockholm. A lot, I know – especially considering I accidentally let my driver’s license expire, so Koen will be doing the 18 hour drive twice while I keep him awake and happy 🙂

On the way to Stockholm means a car full of valuables, so we took two days, only overnighting in Copenhagen. So that means we woke up early drove through Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany, then drove onto a ferry and took the boat to Denmark, then the final two hour drive to Copenhagen. We arrived late and needed a good night’s rest. But before the final leg to Stockholm, we indulged in a delicious plant-based  brunch at Plant Power Food in Nørrebro (Northern neighborhood in Copenhagen).

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Restaurant Siphon in Damme, Belgium

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Restaurant Siphon

Restaurant Siphon in Damme is where Koen used to eat every summer with his family when they’d stay on the coast. When I came to visit him for the very first time, Koen took me to the Restaurant Siphon for dinner for a delicious fire-grilled steak with a glass of red wine!

It was such a nice coincidence when our friends suggested having dinner here because they were staying in Knokke, on the Belgian coast. Of course we were very enthusiastic and gladly drove 1.5 hours to have dinner 🙂

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Takumi Ramen in Antwerp

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Takumi

 

Of course right when we’re about to move ramen shops start opening in Antwerp! At least we were in time to try Takumi, a Sapporo-style ramen restaurant that just opened on the Marnixplaats! We met our friend Joachim who just returned to Belgium after traveling for almost a year. Glad we could catch up before Stockholm!

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Steak Tartare

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Ingredients out and ready for our handcut steak tartare!

 

On Sundays we love preparing brunch at home. One of our favorites is steak tartare! It may seem a bit daunting, but it’s not too hard to prepare. You need to flash freeze your steak, then chop it up finely. I recommend doing half very fine and the other half a bit more roughly chopped to have an interesting texture. Once you’re finished, add plenty of salt and put back in the refrigerator – the salt kills any bacteria. Then play around with whatever flavors you prefer! I like my tartare a bit sour and spicy, so lot of mustard, capers, red onion, and tabasco!

 

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Ready to eat!

Fiskebar: Koen’s Birthday

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The Birthday Boy

 

This year for Koen’s birthday we headed to one of our favorite seafood restaurants in Antwerp – Fiskebar Fiskebar on the Marnixplaats. We enjoyed oysters, North sea shrimp, and fish…plus we were excited to find a limited edition sea buckthorn beer from Mikkeller on the menu!

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Kaiseki New Year’s Eve Dinner

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2 glasses of Veuve Clicquot to start our evening

Koen and I see New Year’s Eve as a reason to indulge. Normally that means champagne, lobster, foie gras, and any other decadent food or ingredient we can think of – but this year we decided to challenge ourselves to create a kaiseki dinner for the two of us.

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Christmas

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Christmas Dinner

 

This year we made a traditional Christmas dinner, with Beef Wellington as the star. This year Nikki wasn’t able to join us, which meant that for the first time we could have meat at dinner. Koen and I have a tradition of eating Beef Wellington every Christmas Eve and it seemed like a fun idea to make altogether at our place in Antwerp. For the starter Barbara made her famous pear and butternut squash soup with fried sage and bacon. Yum!

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