The Paul

Vesterbrogade 3, 1620 København V, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Sadly, The Paul closed in late 2011. Paul Cunningham is now cooking on the west coast of Denmark at an inn called Henne Kirkeby Kro, The notes below are of historical interest only.

The Paul (the chef is Paul Cunningham, from Essex of all places) is set in a pretty conservatory in the Tivoli Gardens. If visiting, bear in mind that you have to buy a park entrance ticket even if you just plan to visit the restaurant rather than indulge in the other pleasures of Tivoli. It is a lovely, leafy setting. 

We began with spoons of aubergine caviar with a little Parmesan, and white sardine with a garnish of raspberries (the latter providing an interesting balance of the acidity of the fruit with the oiliness of the sardine). These were interesting and worked quite well (16/20). A further amuse-bouche was a pretty little arrangement of caviar, cauliflower, peach with white miso, seaweed and salmon roe (15/20). 

Bread was made from scratch and had malt bread, but I particularly liked the olive oil and walnut bread (16/20), served with very good salted Danish butter. A green tomato gazpacho was poured over salted summer bass and crab vinaigrette, which was light and pleasant (15/20), accompanied by a glass of 2008 Albarino d’Ferfinanes. Next, a smoke jar was brought, inside which, when the smoke lifted, was revealed to be scallop, potato, leek and oyster with a little beef marrow; this was an unusual dish whose elements worked well together (16/20), served with a very good 2007 Faively Puligny Montrachet.

Roast turbot in brown butter was next, interestingly contrasted with a brandade of salted turbot rather than the usual cod, with salted lemon and sage. I was really impressed with the quality of the turbot, which had superb taste, and the idea of making the salted turbot brandade was both an original idea and one that worked (18/20). This was well paired with the very good 2006 Newton unfiltered Chardonnay. Red gurnard was roasted in a simple provencale style (15/20), and paired with a Bandol rose wine from Domaine Tempier 2008.  

Next were excellent sweetbreads with summer truffle and aged Parmesan, garnished with pickled mushrooms on a bed of pasta (17/20). This came with an lovely Barolo lo Zoccolaio Domini Villa Lanata. Following this was a very fresh local langoustine paired with French rabbit, garnished with fennel hollandaise and apple. Again this was an interesting combination, the langoustine carefully cooked (17/20). 

The final savoury dish was, for me, the only disappointment, local beef flank with local mushrooms and foie gras. While the foie gras itself was very good, the beef, while having nice flavour, was particularly chewy; perhaps this could have been lessened by with marinating the beef first (14/20). 

The cheese board was unashamedly British, featuring Mrs Kirkham Lancashire, Stinking Bishop, Ragstone and Colston Basset Stilton (16/20). Finally gooseberries with peach melba (15/20) were paired with 2004 Castlelnau de Suduiraut.

Paul Cunningham is an inventive and skilled chef, and it was noticeable that he was keen to engage with his diners and get feedback. I found this a thoroughly enjoyable meal, and for me this on the border between 16/20 and 17/20 i.e. a very strong one Michelin star restaurant. The bill, including the excellent and generous wine pairings, was DK 1,400 (£165) a head.

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  • Name unavailable

    Sadly The Paul is now closed for good and chef Paul Cunningham is now main chef at Danish Kirke Henneby Kro.

  • Allan A. Eimert

    My favourite place in Copenhagen. Here I always find a good balance between things that are traditional and just taste great and some exitement because Paul tried out something new and unusual. It is here that I find most consistency over the years and Paul and his team always make you feel very welcome.