Marv & Ben in Copenhagen a Better Choice Than Michelin Starred Places?

Marv & Ben is a small restaurant in Copenhagen focused on Nordic gastronomy. They are a Bib Gourmand restaurant in the Michelin Guide. These are restaurants that the Guide deems “good value for money”. The place also had high Google reviews. Upon arrival we were seated and presented with the menu. You then make two choices: 1. do you want snacks (extra cost)? and 2. which tasting menu do you want (6 or 4 courses). We said “yes” to the first and 6 courses to the second.

The snacks came out shortly thereafter and I am glad we added them. They were delicious. There was a profiterole with Danish ham and cheese; crab salad; and a quail leg.

Next, they brought us some sourdough bread brushed with bone marrow. It had a very nice crust.

The meal started with the scallop, radish, dill with hemp oil. The dish was fresh and well balanced. I also liked the cold serving temperature of the scallop.

Following this was the squid, lardo, and turnip pancake. The sauce was a beurre blanc. The dish was delicious but slightly over-seasoned. The beurre blanc sauce was so good, I ate more bread than I wanted because I had to soak up all the sauce!

The next dish was yellow beets with trout roe, pine nuts and fennel. There was also a Danish cheese similar to a blue cheese. I liked the use of the roe to give each bite some pop. I thought the portion could be smaller.

Before sauce:

After sauce:

Moving on to meat, we started with a beef tartar, tomato and watercress. The beef was dusted with a yeast powder which gave it a unique umami flavor. There was also good use of mustard in the dish.

The last meat course was the lamb with cabbage and black garlic. The lamb was grilled over a yakitori grill using coconut charcoal (I was impressed that the server knew such details when asked). The dish was finished with a chicken and rosemary jus that was extremely savory.

Finally, the meal ended with pear, cardamom and walnut ice cream. There was good texture (crunch) from some type of cracker too. It was an OK dessert. Refreshing.

Overall, service was good, but a bit slow at the very end. The meal was delicious and the price point was good. I actually enjoyed this meal more than some of the Michelin starred restaurants in Copenhagen. I felt that a lot of them were serving ingredients without transforming them, and while the ingredients are obviously top quality, I want to see the kitchen transforming them and combining with unique flavors. I think this is what Marv & Ben do well and it was a nice change from some of the other places I will post about in the future. I would return and would recommend this place.

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