Madsen
20 Old Brompton Road
South Kensington
Kensington & Chelsea SW7 3DL
20/08/2011
Anchovies…I like. Especially if marinated. Herrings…not sure. They look unfriendly and, I don’t know why, they make me think of eels so…yaaaak. But, if there’s anything in the world that can change your mind is Madsen. Now, putting a Danish restaurant in the French area of London I’m not sure it’s a good idea – and maybe it explains why it was almost empty – but it is so lovely it deserves A LOT more respect! It isn’t flashy, it is difficult to spot, but it is so welcoming, romantic and simple I would recommend it to any “fresh couple” for a first date. And to the more “ripened” ones too! Wood is everywhere – of course! – and candle lights and touches of red are here and there. It just simply warms your heart. The staff is nice, quiet. It all feels quiet and relaxing. in fact. The menu it’s straightforward, basic in a way. In a good way though. I had Onion marinated herring with dill, new potatoes and red onion. And I like them. A lot. Edo had Lemon & Lime gravlax which alas was a little too thick and greasy and not “gravalaxy” enough for me! In the battle of the fish the herring definitely won! Then, Danish “Frikadeller” (pork meatballs) with traditional red cabbage and gravy. Gravy good, cabbage very good, meatball sad as usual. Meatballs are not exciting, never been, never will. But this is my own personal opinion probably shared by very few! They’re always impossibly dry and remind me of the “polpettone” (minced meat plum-cake shaped) I used to eat at the nursery when I was little. It came in slices and used to be served by the nuns that ran the school. Yes, nuns! But moving on… I had Vegetarian “Pytt-i-panna” – pan-fried cubes of celeriac, celery, red peppers, onions and potatoes. I chose it because of the name more than anything else really! It sounded like something only Pippi Longstocking could cook so I had to have it! It didn’t taste like stockings, but wasn’t amazing either. It’s a good side rather than a dish but if you can steal someone else gravy to add on…then, it works beautifully!

I realise by the description I gave of the food, I didn’t make the restaurant really sound appealing, but believe me IT IS! The herrings were great and the place just made me want to hold my husband’s hand all the time. Isn’t that enough?!!

The bill was a little higher than usual, but it was the wine. We spent something around £55-£60 in total. And here is the score:

  • Food: 3
  • Ambience: 4.5
  • Service: 3
  • Value: 3
  • Overall: 3.37
Monica
It’s been a while since we went there, been a bit busy. I shall be very concise in this instance. The memory has somewhat faded but it surely was a good meal and a good place.

It is in South Kensington, by the tube station, highly civilised. The place is very Scandinavian, quite nice actually, chilled and slightly clinical but with some atmosphere. Having spent 7 months in Sweden in the past, it did feel like being back up in that part of the world. Absolutely somewhere you’d happily go on date. Definitely a place I’d go to even outside the context of the mission, at least from an ambience perspective.

Food was good on the whole, with no sparks. I had gravlax which was basically smoked salmon, straightforward. Monica’s herring was better. My main were meatballs, which can’t ever be bad by definition. They were OK.

Service is was very good, the staff were very kind, smiling, efficient.

The bill was within budget bar the wine. We had a good evening, good food, I enjoyed it, was excellent value for money.

  • Food: 2.5
  • Ambience: 3
  • Service: 2.5
  • Value: 3
  • Overall: 2.75
Edo
DENMARK