Groundbreaking green gourmet
Claim to fame: Deeply satisfying, meatless cuisine, fearlessly charting new veggie territories.
Reason to go: Even the staunchest carnivore will love this haute-vegetarian fare.
To look out for: The magically intense baked tomato: an insta-trip to Provence.
A gourmet restaurant serving no animal protein. Sounds dull, right? Think again. Veve has scripted Danish culinary history by giving lacto-vegetarians (and garden-variety vegetable-aficionados) a real place to eat. The restaurant is another stroke of genius from gastro-entrepreneur Henrik Yde. The owner of Kiin Kiin put Thai street food on Denmark’s culinary map ten years ago, now he’s doing the same for meatless cuisine. Cue loud applause from Copenhagen’s ever-growing number of vegetarians and/or environmentally conscious eaters. But wait, there’s more, Yde’s menu even caters to gluten free diners, they simply have to stay clear of the bread.
Veve is an abbreviation of “Vegetarisk verdenskøkken” (Vegetarian World Cuisine) and although the ingredients are mostly sourced locally, the flavors are plucked from meadows near and far. Kiin Kiin is famous for its creative snacks, something that Yde and his Head Chef Brendan Walker are capitalizing on at Veve. Onion peel chips, soyflavoured meringues made with leftover chickpea soaking water (Tastes better that it sounds, we promise) and crisp-nutty orbs filled with lemongrass cream carry a delicate bouquet of Asian adventures. The ”Waldorf salad” is harvested from terrains somewhere between Denmark, Asia and the US; crispy slivers of Danish apples, caramelized walnuts and celery bits are gently cloaked in a tangy-sweet chili dressing and accessorized with apple granité and a crème fraiche foam. The accompanying Peter Lauer Riesling from Saar is a heavenly match that perfectly captures the tart apple notes. Salt-baked celeriac is cooked to al dente excellence and carved tableside, served in cheeky simplicity with lavish amounts of herb butter. It’s followed by a one-way ticket to a Provençal garden where sublime flavors are miraculously coaxed out of a roasted, rosemary perforated tomato, this whiff of pure magic is enhanced by a glass of powerful Spanish, natural red from Rafa Bernabé.
The wine pairings offer some sensational matches. Take for instance the Pinot Noir that lends balance to an umami rich mushroom soup, it’s an ethereal combination that ushers us to the meal’s turning point and yonder, on a global tour of sweets starting with a comforting apple compote and ending with fun trompe l’oeil, spice-mimicking petit fours accompanied by a cup of fruity coffee. A dinner at Veve is a sensory journey through new dimensions for both body, soul and mind.