Restaurant Mangal, Kødbyen
Kødbyen, the Meatpacking District, is quickly becoming my absolutely favorite area of Copenhagen.
The only other area with a comparable restaurant density is probably the inner city, and while there are some great spots there, a lot of the restaurants are rather touristy. In Kødbyen, it’s all quality.
And the diversity! You’ve got authentic American barbecue at Warpigs, my favorite pizza in town at Mother, some truly great burgers at Tommi’s and Juicy Burger, ah-mah-zing fish at Fiskebaren, and yummy dim sum at Magasasa, just to name a few. And who could forget the city’s best tacos at Hija de Sanchez?! And as of very recently, you can find delicious Turkish food in the middle of it all, and new Restaurant Mangal.
Mangal is located in between Juicy Burger and Magasasa, and the interior is very much Kødbyen, but with a Mediterranean vibe. The white tiles are specked with blue, and the copper lamps give a warm touch. Along the windows, they have made smart use of the broad windowsills by installing low tables.
One of the food trends of 2016 is definitely cocktails – I can’t count how many new bars have opened this year, and more and more restaurants are offering specialty cocktails, matched to their food. Mangal is no different, and has a variety of really interesting cocktails with Mediterranean twists on classics.
I opted for their version of an Old Fashioned, which came with Crème de Mûre, a mint twig, and caramelized hazelnuts. Super yummy!
The food menu is small, with three starters, four mains, and two desserts, but I prefer smaller menus. I also think this is because they just opened, and they’ll expand the menu going forward. In the beginning, it’s better to focus on a select few signature dishes, and really ace them.
We started with two of the meze: hummus with sucuk (a Turkish sausage), and ezme, a sort of tomato salsa, with walnuts. Those were served with heaps of crispy rye bread and spiced dinner rolls.
The hummus was utter perfection: creamy, indulgent, and nicely matched with the sausage. I would happily eat this every day for a month and not be tired of it!
The ezme was really amazing, too, with just a hint of kick from the chili in it, and with a nice, unexpected crunch from the walnuts.
For mains, the boyfriend already knew he had to try their upscale version of a classic kebab, which consisted of grilled tenderloin and köfte (Turkish meatballs) with fried potatoes, tomato salsa, and yogurt sauce.
I opted for the redfish in a creamy artichoke sauce, which was absolutely stunning. It’s definitely some of the best fish I’ve ever been served in a restaurant! I loved the creamy sauce and the redcurrants, which injected a bit of sour freshness into every other bite.
If you go to Mangal, definitely order this dish – you won’t regret it!
The one thing I was a little disappointed by was the vegetarian option. On the menu it just says “ask your waiter”, and when I did out of interest, it turns out the veggie dish was basically one of the meat dishes without the meat (with some extra artichoke, I think). I think that’s a bit weak, and the Turkish kitchen has so much more to offer to vegetarians. I’d hope that they’ll add one or two creative veggie items to their menu in the future.
We didn’t try the wine and didn’t eat dessert, as we had tickets to the movies afterwards (Rogue One!) and didn’t want to risk falling asleep. Plus, the boyfriend needed room for popcorn! But I went with a Turkish coffee, of course. It’s ground in a different way and therefore still contains coffee grounds – beware of the last sip!
Yes, my sweater does say coffee – how appropriate! (It’s this one from Wish You Were Northwest).
All in all, a really yummy experience – we paid under DKK 600 for starters, mains, a cocktail each, and coffee. Water and bread were freely provided, we didn’t even have to ask for it. Service was really friendly as well.
And if you don’t believe me, take my boyfriend’s word for it: he was not excited when I told him I had selected a Turkish place for dinner, but he was “really positively surprised” by the food and enjoyed all of it. Houston, we have a convert!
Have you tried Mangal? Share your opinions in the comments below!
Restaurant Mangal | Flæsketorvet 50-52, 1711 Copenhagen | restaurantmangal.com