Walking in the door of Nose2Tail Madbodega you would be forgiven for thinking you were entering a trendy New York back alley night club. Instead, the narrow, nondescript concrete staircase delivers diners directly down to a foodie’s dream gastronomic find in Copenhagen’s popular meatpacking precinct.
Owner Søren Haahr has successfully created an ambience ideal for feasting on comfort food with a conscience. White subway tiles, polished concrete floors and stainless steel door frames hint at the restaurant’s former life as a pate packing factory. Vintage wall sconces and old bottles cuddling candles project soft, golden light around the space. An eclectic mix of recycled furniture, cutlery, crockery and glassware, some from Haahr’s own family home, give the gastropub a warm, homely feel. It’s a place where you want to settle in for the night, not just settle your bill after you’ve polished off your plate. That was something Haahr consciously wanted to achieve with the restaurant, “Not only..eat a plate of food..It’s more you can have a conversation over the food and share the food”, he says.
Nose2Tail is the first restaurant of its kind in Copenhagen – serving an organic, slow food menu using the whole animal, from nose to tail. However, their philosophy runs deeper than simply reducing food waste. Sourcing ingredients locally is also important to Haahr, as is the welfare of the animals they use, “All our meat with no exceptions is Danish. We did consider at one time getting some from Sweden, but we wanted to do something with Danish meat..with no exceptions, so far”, he explains.
The majority of their other ingredients are sourced from nearby or greater Denmark too, with a few small exceptions. The restaurant’s hot sauce is supplied by John Jensen from John’s Hot Dog Deli. The reason, Haahr explained, is simple; John makes it the same way Nose2Tail would and he has been doing it for more than 20 years, so the restaurant gets a proven product and in return they support a local small business. It is another small business, Skands that makes the gastropub’s organic beer, the Nose2Ale. Although their wine comes from beyond their borders (Europe only), about 85% of what they carry is organic.
Four years after opening their doors, Nose2Tail is constantly evolving as they endeavour to create the most sustainable experience possible. “Is there a safer way to do it? Is there a more sustainable way to do it? And we search for possibilities all the time. But we’re not fanatic. It’s the end product that counts.” Haahr says. Even the journey beyond the fork is consciously considered; “We sort all our garbage and all the food is transformed into Biofuel.” he explains.
Almost everything on the Nose2Tail menu is made in house, from scratch. They promise flavourful food without the nasties; “This food is fat food. But it’s poison free.” Haar explains with a giggle. The Nose2Tail menu changes daily. It is shaped by what is in season and locally available. 23 year-old head chef Martin Sahlholdt crafts a new menu each day around three hero ingredients; fish, meat and offal. The starters are changed every three months, with the seasons. Dishes are simple, cooked with lashings of butter, pork fat, fresh herbs and a whole lot of heart. Don’t expect delicate, artful plating here; food is served family style on large platters. Tasting a little of everything is encouraged and the food is incredibly moreish. Whether you are in the mood for some deliciously salty devilled eggs to wash down with your Nose2Ale, some melt-in-your-mouth pork that has been cooked in beer, or crackling with organic chocolate that has to be tasted to be believed, each mouthful promises to excite. We were well and truly spoiled with our tasting at Nose2Tail and loved every indulgent bite.
Pork crackling with bacon mayo
Pork Board (Small pieces of odd cut bacon with mustard)
Charcuterie Platter: Chicken liver mouse, veal tongue, sausage made from pork and beef, smoked scallops, liver pate from pork, pork riet, butter, pickles, burnt butter and bread
Pork Neck made with beer
Danish Mackerel served whole
Homemade Salted Caramel
Selection of Danish cheeses
Pork crackling dipped in chocolate (52% cacao)
Creme Brûlée made with Fernet Branca
Chocolate mousse (72% cacao)
Trifle with rhubarb and crumble
For those who prefer a more traditional dinner experience, Nose2Tail’s sister restaurant, Meat & Seafood might be more up your alley. “Everything behind the scenes is the same as here; same sustainability, but we have more regular cuts. We have five different steaks that we always have and we have a seafood platter that changes everyday.” Haahr explains. The design aesthetic is also the same. Black and white decor, reminiscent of New York in the 1940s is paired back with oversized prints of old Hollywood stars the likes of James Dean and Sinatra sit side-by-side with photos of animals from the farms where the restaurant’s meat is sourced. It’s a nod to their ethical farming ethos.
There are plans for further expansion too. Shoppers will soon be able to enjoy the Nose2Tail organic charcuterie platter with their organic beer or wine in a Copenhagen city venture that should be open by next summer. And with winter on the way, supporting the local community is also on Haahr’s mind, “We are actually starting a soup kitchen this winter…We are going to do it from 4 to 5..so they can have a cup of soup, some bread.”
The Nose2Tail experience is a truly holistic one. Not only will you enjoy the incredibly fresh, warming food, the story behind the brand and the passion shown by Haahr and his team will warm you too.
1711 Copenhagen V
+45 3393 5045
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.