Some of you who have read my post “It’s Always Sunny in Copenhagen“, perhaps you notice that in one of its chapter called “Nyhavn in a Shoestring”, I mentioned that, “…..There’s a Thai restaurant near the end of the row suppose you miss rice and spicy flavour…”
Somehow, I feel responsible for giving you more information about the place. For the first time ever, I invited a guest writer, DKLo (dklomakan.wordpress.com, twitter:@therealDKLo) – an Indonesian-born, Canadian-residing food blogger that happens to be my cousin, to share his insights about food and dining atmosphere at ThaiAsien, the only Thai restaurant in Nyhavn we visited. I can’t agree more about his side of the story:
Like many people, I’ve always thought that the concept of dining out anywhere in Scandinavia is a very costly affair. I’ve actually pretty much resigned myself that, if I go visit a city like Copenhagen, I better be well-satisfied with a few buns from the local McDonald’s or hot dog vendor (though thankfully, I love Danish hot dogs, but that’s another story altogether).
Nyhavn is a wonderful place, a little harbor, dotted with lots of small-to-medium sized bars and cafes, where tourists, locals, and people who look like half-drunk hippies can all hang around and have a good time. It’s basically a place to relax, enjoy the views of small boats and the water, while drinking overpriced beer and chatting the night away.
But if you keep on walking (no, seriously, like KEEP ON WALKING) towards almost the back end of this pleasant but overpriced tourist trap, you will see a nondescript building with a continuous line of people going in and out of its basement. This is the place of ThaiAsien. Though perhaps extremely generic and uncreative in its naming, this little hole in the wall is one of the most popular, yet almost paradoxically well-hidden, spots in the Nyhavn area where you can get delicious hot food for the price of two hot dogs (there or thereabouts).
The place is almost literally a basement hole converted into a little takeout spot. There are two small tables with bench seats, and we were extremely lucky to be able to get them, but they were nothing more than just half-hearted attempts at providing the patrons with the notion that they may eat inside the establishment. Make no mistake, this is 100% a takeout place, and the endless lines of people waiting to walk in the restaurant seem to be already very aware of this.
The place is extremely hot and uncomfortable, as the cooking is done in the back half of the unit, and there are no fans or ACs in sight. All they do is open some windows, presumably to prevent a dozen sweaty Danish people from simultaneously collapsing due to the stuffiness. Still, judging from the pace of the line, the service is extremely efficient and quick, almost like a conveyor belt of ordering. My family and myself ordered what I believe to be their green chicken curry (my Danish language skills being somewhat nonexistent) and was given a heaping, steaming serving of curry in a plastic see-through box. Even when we were eating in the restaurant, we were practically eating out of a Tupperware.
picture credit: http://eatincopenhagen.com/profil/15835
So with all this discomfort, why is the place so full? Because the food is really good, that’s why. Green curry is generally the richest in flavour out of all the mainstream Thai coloured curries (the others being red and yellow), and this place did not disappoint. The curry sauce was thick, rich, and velvety smooth. It had a consistency that was creamy, punctuated at regular intervals with chopped peanuts which gave it a nice contrast. The amount of vegetables tossed in was so generous you’d think the Green Giant cried all over it.
The overall portion was actually large enough that two of us could’ve shared one serving (though it must be said that there are lots of people with bigger appetites than ours) while the chicken meat was very tender. I had originally feared that the production line-style of the kitchen would result in overcooked chicken meat, and I’m glad to report that no such problems were found on my plate (or box, rather). And all of this for around DKK 69 to DKK 79 max per portion (US$ 12 to US$ 14).
picture credit: http://eatincopenhagen.com/becksbistro
So while the ambience was non-existent, the seats uncomfortable and the heat almost unbearable, I can confidently say that this was (and is) a great place to pick up some authentic tasty Asian goodness in the midst of Copenhagen’s pricier tourist spots. I would definitely come back here if I’m fortunate enough to return to this city and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ThaiAsien to everyone.