We all love Danish butter cookies, at least one childhood memory is attached to it. Now we get a chance to taste more than just cookies from Denmark. From the land known for Fairy tales, there is a lot of food dating back to the Vikings as well as the rather modern form of Nordic cuisine, which is based on diversity in techniques, flavour and reinterpretation of the traditional recipes. I didn't get a chance to go to Copenhagen yet but Avari Towers brought the taste to Karachi with their Danish Food Festival that is happening from 8th till 18th of December 2017.

The Danish Food Festival at Asia Live, Avari Towers Karachi, was a very festive event. Was the food as good as the setup or as bland as I expected? One thing was definitely proven wrong, Danish food is not bland. They love cooking in butter, something Denmark is known for.

Danish consume meat more than anything else because it is mostly cold there. Fish and seafood come after that and then followed by everything else. Due to its evolving new Nordic cuisine, the use of local produce has taken preference though the traditional porridge and open sandwiches are still loved. Unfortunately, the traditional "open-faced sandwich" called "smørrebrød" was not on the Menu at Asia Live.

There was an array of Danish dishes to indulge in but I tried not to get carried away instantly and decided to start with Lohikeitto (Finnish Salmon Soup) which was filled with comfort.

The hot soup was rich in flavour yet not heavy despite being creamy. The salmon chunks were soft, melted in the mouth with the silky soup, sprinkled with herbs, warming not just my mouth but my belly, heart and soul. This hearty soup was a great start to this Danish feast

Next, I decided to go ahead with salads and seafood first accompanied with rye bread.

I fell in love with the Roasted Carrots Salad with Almonds. The sweet, honey glazed carrots were soft which complimented the crunchy roasted almonds beautifully. The flavours were simple yet delightful.

Clams & Mussels in Garlic Butter Dill Sauce were not pleasant, however, Codfish with dill cream sauce and Norwegian fried prawn were winners for me.

Codfish with Dill Creamy Sauce had a very smooth texture, the sort that can shatter your brains into million happy thoughts. The fish was light and fluffy drenched in the sauce which was savoury with a herb-y after taste. 

The Norwegian  Fried prawns were buttery goodness. The warmth of the rich flavours engulfed my senses. The prawns were juicy yet still soft till the core and there was no fishy after taste either. Even though they were fried and were in a butter sauce they still tasted light and non-greasy. There was a little tangy after taste which made me wonder about lemons.

After gobbling down my seafood I went ahead to get meat and chicken. There was nothing cloudy about the Chicken in Cloud Sky sauce. It was overcooked, dry and bland, I didn't go further than one bite.

Farikal (Lamb in Cabbage) was just the opposite of the chicken. The lamb literally melted in my mouth. Farikal is actually Norway's National dish. It's a casserole made with layers of meat and cabbage with peppercorn, cooked for several hours, which infuses the sweet sharpness of the pepper in the meat as well as the soft cabbage. This is not a pretty dish to look at but it definitely touches the soul. A dish prepared to welcome Autumn has a definite cosiness.

Boller I Karry (Veal Meatballs in mild Curry) and Norwegian shepherd's pie were esculent but not intriguing enough in terms of uniqueness to delve in too much. The Cod Fish and Prawns remain winners for me.

There is always room for desserts. Sweet surprises awaited after the hearty meal. The Pandekager (strawberry pancakes) and Eblekage (Apple Charlotte in Glass) both were a great balance of sweet and tangy. The Pancakes held a soft dough taste with light cream and fresh strawberries while the Apple charlotte was a divine mix of gooey cake base and tarty sweet apples topped with whipped cream.

The Citronfromage (lemon custard tart) was way too sweet and I got a feeling similar to a brain freeze, just in the form of a sweet freeze, maybe.

This Danish buffet left a big, unexpected smile on my chubby face. I would have preferred a Sandwich Bar where you can make your own open-faced sandwich in rye bread but alas, that didn't happen. Perhaps next year.

The Danish Food Festival is still on till the 18th and comes to around PKR. 2,300/- + tax per person.
Should you spend that much money on food you normally don't find in Karachi or even Pakistan all the time? The answer is quite clear.