There are very few restaurants that aesthetically catch my eye. I have to admit that I’m totally one of those people who believes that a well designed space adds to the dining experience. I can definitely do hole in the wall restaurants, but at the end of the day, I need a little charm. Meet Väkst – the enchanting Copenhagen restaurant. Or so what I’ve been calling it. It was one of the only must eat restaurants on my lists during my visit to Denmark, and you’re about to see why.
Väkst is unique. Nearly everything you’ll see inside this restaurant is made from something recycled or re-purposed. However you’d never know that’s the case. Everything from the lush plants to the wood tables are elegant and Nordic looking. This restaurant also has a second story downstairs, which instantly creates a more moody and urban atmosphere. In order to get downstairs, you enter through a greenhouse with plants suspended above your head. The greenhouse also consequently serves the purpose of creating some privacy while dining upstairs, since it splits the room in half.
I didn’t get to dine downstairs, as I went for lunch instead and I wanted a warm and sunny space. Upstairs (which is the level you enter on) is perfect for a day date. Even going by myself, the staff were warm and friendly and I never felt awkward. Now, dining alone for a whole week is another story. Nordic touches finish off the rest of the decor. Think string lights, dainty vases, quality wood, and lots of neutral colours.
I actually think I felt my heart skip a beat while reading this quote from the owner, Torben Klitbo:
“It was about designing a restaurant that creates an atmosphere which compliments and enhances the experience of the food we serve.”
This is precisely what I look for when I visit my coffee shops on all my travels. It’s not enough to have a great cup of coffee (unless it’s breakfast in bed). Rather the design should compliment the experience and coffee. I get suggested to visit quite a few coffee shops on the basis of great coffee, but then the aesthetic often just isn’t there. I’ve never quite found an elegant way of putting it, but there you have it! Väkst is certainly complimentary to the wonderful dishes they serve.
Their main focus is on seasonal vegetables and quality meats. I think we can all agree that most restaurants are moving towards locally sourced food of high quality. At least if they want to attract the trendy millennial crowd, who pretty much invented the term ‘foodie’ (raises hand). I had a go at the veal ribeye, which came with their take on a small salad. It was seriously delicious and very satisfying despite how minimal the plates looked. I paired it with a white wine, and then an apple dessert which consisted of salted caramel, pound cake, and schnapps.
“We wanted to recreate the mood that surrounds a garden party.” – Torben Klitbo
It was a seriously amazing lunch experience. I even admired their carafes, which were the epitome of Scandinavian minimalism for dining. They were stunning. If you’re in the mood to dine at possibly the only restaurant with a green house, then you cannot pass up Väkst. I left full, I spent little (by Copenhagen standards), and I had an amazing dining experience, complimented by the environment.
Väkst is a great alternative if you cannot afford the option of Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants (literally). My bank account cringed a little, but maybe someday! Väkst will have you wondering how you just ate one of the best meals of your life, for such a great price.
What is your favorite thing about this restaurant? Are ‘planty places’ a thing now? What’s your take?