Claim to fame: Copenhagen’s hottest (in many respects) Asian restaurant opening to date.
Reason to go: Eclectic, pan-Asian dishes, served family-style, made with the best organic produce.
To look out for: The cannabis tent out back, not used for the kind of weed you think.
In this pan-Asian universe, it’s Lisa Lov, aka Tigermom, who calls the shots. Forget ordering a pad thai to go––here you take a seat and obey Tigermom’s rules. The only thing you get to decide upon is if you’re going to have the Family Meal or the Family Feast, and if you want the spicy chili-pairing to go with that (you definitely do).
The ambiance is as warm as the crimson walls, and the food as edgy and kaleidoscopic as the glittery tabletops. Lov’s gastronomy defies borders, as she herself does. Born in New Zealand to Chinese-Cambodian parents, she worked in Canada, Thailand, Japan and Singapore before landing in Denmark in 2011. Here she swiftly worked her way up to a sous chef position at Michelin starred New Nordic bastion Relæ.
Consequently, a meal at Tigermom is a study in Asian aromas, coaxed out of carefully sourced Nordic produce. Grilled Danish squid is dressed with a spicy fish sauce, fresh herbs and Cambodian chili flakes; hearty green cabbage is slicked with comforting, deeply flavorful roasted garlic- and chili oil, the latter a surefire mood booster when those winter doldrums are at their worst. The Nordic noir-feel of this rather drab, yet delicious dish, is lifted with a glitzy neon pink cocktail containing cold brew oolong tea, hibiscus, lemongrass, vermouth and gin. Sure, you can drink (natural) wine at Tigermom, but why would you when legendary London bartender Mr. Lyan has curated the cocktail menu to pair with the food? Go for the conservative Tipsy Monkey option or make a night of it with the Drunken Dragon flight of five cocktails for 395 DKK––a price few Danish cocktail bars can compete with!
One thing you’ll always find on the menu is Lov’s Chinese “master broth”, an extraordinary cure-all with layers and layers of flavors, achieved by what must be eternal simmering on a back burner. Needless to say, everything here is prepared with ultra-local produce, the most local of all being the green herbs, grown in the back of the restaurant, in an indoor cannabis tent––ahem––greenhouse. Because, lest you forgot, Tigermom makes the rules.
A boozy yin and yang coffee-whisky slushy before we go? Don’t mind if we do.