Wednesday, 25th February 2019 – Gorilla, Copenhagen
There are undoubtedly worse things that being stuck in a foreign city when you’re not well. However, on the day in question I couldn’t imagine what those things might be. Feeling completely rotten, and having coughed, sneezed and snuffled my way through a full day of meetings, I really couldn’t face the team dinner scheduled for the canteen. Instead I shuffled back to my hotel, the wonderful Hotel Danmark, and collected a glass of red wine as part of their Wine Hour promotion (free house wine or port between 17:00 and 18:00) and sulked in my room for a while before facing up to the fact that I needed to eat. I wanted the familiar, somewhere I knew I could rely on to be good, and so I decided I would go to Gorilla. I even went to the trouble of booking a table (and was given a choice between 90 minutes and a longer reservation slot – London restaurants please take note and amend your irritating time-limiting ways please) before setting off to walk the short distance.
I was given a nicely placed table with a good view of the pass, and the rest of the room and some of their excellent bread and butter arrived along with the menu and the wine list. You can never be wholly certain as to what will be on offer at Gorilla as, rather like many of the best restaurants in these parts, they really are seasonally driven.
It was just what I needed at this stage and along with a glass of wine I started to winnow out what I thought I might enjoy. After some thought I finally decided that what I needed to start with was a plateful of their excellent coppa. It was superb, and a much larger portion than I’d been expecting. It was most enjoyable.
The other cold meat portion I’d ordered was considerably smaller, and was thinly sliced curls of dried, salted duck breast. It was chewy which gave it good substance, and was tasty though not quite as good as the coppa.
I moved on after that to some fish. I’d been toying with the idea of the lobster roll, but was torn between that and the steamed bun with soft-shelled crab. In the end the crab won (it was half the price too). I was very glad I had gone for the crab in what was in effect a bao filled with the aforementioned crab, deep-fried to crunchiness, and with a garnish of kimchi cabbage, which is supposed to be good for you if you have a cold. Well, that was my excuse anyway. I did consider ordering a second one, it was so good, but I managed to stop myself in time.
Instead I ordered what was listed very simply as spaghetti guanciale, but which really wasn’t that simple. What arrived was a coil of spaghetti in a creamy carbonara sauce (or at least something very similar to a carbonara sauce). It was soothing and lovely, a hug on a plate, and the wafer thin layer of guanciale was starting to melt from the heat from the pasta. It was just a gorgeous pile of very well executed and delicious food that was just the thing to make me feel much better than I had earlier in the day. It cut through the effects of the decongestants I’d plied myself with to get through the day, and I could taste it! In fact I’d been able to taste pretty much everything, which was a first for that day.
I finished the evening with a glass of dessert wine from their extensive list of wines by the glass and went back to the hotel for a relatively early night feeling much happier than I had been when I’d left the office.