There is a small door just off Amagertorv road, sandwiched between two Danish superstars, the Georg Jensen jewelry store and the Royal Porcelain Shop. Venture through the door and you will find yourself in a small courtyard filled with dainty white tables covered by bright green umbrellas. Pass all of this and you will find the entrance to Royal Smushi Café.
Royal Smushi Café takes its name from its food. Their specialty is the traditional Danish open faced sandwiches but served in miniature dollhouse size. The idea is that you can order, and try, more of them. Smoked salmon with buckthorn and dill mixed with yogurt, Parisian style steak tartar, with pickled summer vegetables and egg, or white herring with pickled shallots and herbs are just a few of the selection of Smushi on offer. If you aren’t hungry for lunch you can pick one of their cakes. But we went, of course for their hot chocolate.
We arrived just in time. Copenhagen gets a lot of cloudy rainy days. We heard the other day there was a joke running around that the weekend was going to be 30 degrees celcius; 15 degrees on Saturday and 15 degrees on Sunday. This summer has been their toughest in a while and the locals seem to agree that they only really got two weeks of summer. When we arrived at Smushi it had been spitting rain for hours, not enough that you needed an umbrella but enough that we realized we were a lot wetter than we thought when we walked through the doors. Inside we put in our orders for hot chocolates and just as we sat down we saw an incredible flash of light and then a gigantic boom of thunder just before the sky opened up and all the rain poured down at once. Surprisingly, perhaps because the Café is a little hidden from the main street, there wasn’t a sudden rush of people coming in to stay dry and fill themselves with sugar so the space stayed calm and relaxing.
As the rain was coming down a man with a beard as thick as his Scottish accent brought me my hot chocolate with a big smile. My hot chocolate was epic. Everything at Royal Smushi is small and dainty. Coffees are served in small delicate china and of course the food portion sizes are small. But not my hot chocolate. I was served basically a pint of hot chocolate in a very large glass topped with a generous dollop of thick cream and chocolate sprinkled on top. The slight bitterness of the chocolate balanced out the sweetness and, surprisingly, made it easy enough to finish off the whole glass (not wanting to venture outside in the rain helped a lot as well). Such a treat.
Sipping my way through gave me plenty of time to enjoy the wonderland that is Royal Smushi. Inside the space has such fantastic character. High ceilings make room for large icicle style chandeliers dripping from the ceiling in 4 different locations across the space. Light jazz playing in the background and soft mood lighting creates a warm and inviting environment. Floor to ceiling renaissance style paintings of old rich people and their dogs are dotted across the walls and in between them are displays showcases a range of unique and random bits an pieces for sale. You can purchase hand knit tea cozies, giant knitting needles and equally giant wool to knit something giant with. They have little aluminum robots and wooden gorillas. You can buy plastic flamingos or hand made blue pottery. There is a range of interesting books on display as well including a list of all the restaurants in the world most recommended by chefs themselves.
As if by luck, the rain stopped as I took the last sip of my hot chocolate and we were on our way. From here turn to the right and you get to another even larger wonderland, Tivoli gardens. Turn left and you get to historic Nyhavn and its colourful houses.
Verdict: A little piece of heaven in the middle of busy Copenhagen. Plan a stop here in between and after all of your sightseeing. DK 60. Royal Smushi Café, Amagertorv 6, Copenhagen, Denmark