Scandinavianways take food seriously, aquavit and snaps even more seriously – but smørrebrød is something close to religion. It tastes divine and comes with rules as to how it shall be prepared. Minor interpretations are allowed but there are commandments that you simply don’t break. We can’t really answer how come it never tastes as good outside of Denmark as it does in Denmark, but that’s just the way it is. Even more reason to go to Copenhagen to have some.
We were invited by Fru Nimb to try their smørrebrød and we were quite impressed. Fru Nimb resides inside Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park, however locals go here just as much to just have a beer with friends, enjoy the park, have lunch or dinner or watch a concert. It’s a good place to hang out on a summers day, simply.
Tivoli Gradens are celebrating 175 years, making it one of the oldest parks of its kind. But did you know that it was here Walt Disney came in 1951 to sek inspiration to what later would become the very first Disneyland..?
Fru Nimb (Mrs Nimb in english) has as long heritage. Fru Louise Nimb was actually one of the biggest restaurateurs of Copenhagen back in the 1800’s. She and her husband Vilhelm ran the restaurant Divan 2, she had her own cook book published to great popularity – and she is said to have been an excellent hostess who made ever guest feel at ease. This is true to date, as we felt very warmly welcomed by staff and so seemed all the guests.
We came here on a lush, sunny summers day so almost everyone was seated outside. If the weather is not as charming when you go there, there is quite a warm, nice, summer feeling to the interiors as well. The interiors are classic, very elegant and classy. Most tourists will find this place in the summer though, most likely during a visit to Tivoli Gardens – however Fru Nimb is open all year round, also when the park is closed. You simply enter through Nimb Hotel instead.
This very restaurant opened its doors in 2015 and primarily serves “smørrebrød” or open faced sandwiches, in a classic way. You will not find many modern twists here like you do at for instance Schønneman – here you get smørrebrød the old fashioned way – and very good ones too.
Pictured above are smørrebrød made on gluten free bread. Traditionally smørrebrød is done on rye bread but at Fru Nimb you can actually order for gluten free bread as well, which is very popular amongst many. We were surprised how well that tasted.
The most classic of warm smørrebrød has to be the butterfried fillet of plaice with remoulade and lemon. Any good establishment has of course made the remoulade themselves. This one was fantastic, with pickled crunchy veggies in it.
We’ve stated it before and we will state it again. You can not have smørrebrød without aquavit. This time we went for the Norwegian Maquavit as well as Danish Nordguld. Both are rather rich in flavor but not as spicy as many aquavits can be. Maquavit comes from Norwegian aquavit makers Gilde – a prestige maker of aquavits of really high quality. Maquavit has cumin, herbs, apricot and vanilla in its taste and goes especially well with meat and cheese. Here it’s paired to smoked pork with Russian salad and asparagus.
We’ve noticed that people who don’t drink aquavit very often tend to like Nordguld especially. Aalborg Nordguld Aquavit is actually distilled using a very special ingredient – amber. Not only that, it’s also aged in ex-Sherry casks to add further depth and complexity. Nordguld has tastes of fennel, cumin and dill, a bit of licorice, sprouts, citrus and light sweetness. Goes well as an all round aquavit but especially well for fattier fish, meat and richer tastes. Or try it as an avec, which goes well for Maquavit too.
We tried a variety of smørrebrød but this one with potato, dill mayonnaise, radish and cottage cheese was really on the fresh side, a summer classic.
Christiansøpigen’s herring, smoked cheese and pickled summer greens paired with egg and prawns, lemon mayonnaise and greaves.
We were very pleased with our visit at Fru Nimb. Situated in a calm part of the Tivoli Gardens the ambiance here is welcoming, relaxed and calm. Most amusement parks in Scandinavia do not sport very good food but Tivoli really is an exception, boasting many fine restaurants within its park, even at gourmet level. If you’re at Tivoli and in need of lunch Fru Nimb really is a must – but the quality of the smørrebrød at Fru Nimb makes their establishment well worth a visit in its own right. The produce used is of prime quality, everything has been carefully put together with great balance between acidic and sweet tastes and the presentation is very attractive for the eye. Having a good selection of prime aquavit is also a big plus for us. Prices are not cheap here but not very expensive either with prices from 95 DKK to 115 DKK per smørrebrød. Regular main courses can also be had here at 145 DKK. Or why not take their Summer plate with a selection of three different smørrebrød topped of with dessert at 235 DKK. We tried the dessert dish “Koldskål” which is buttermilk, strawberry and crisp vanilla biscuits – delicious and summer fresh.
And what could be better to top off any nice summer lunch than some Aperol Spritz in the sun?
We’ll definitely come back to Fru Nimb. Hope to see you there.