A restaurant review begins with a description of the setting: unfortunately for the journalists, salespeople, interns, film reviewers and assorted hangers-on that gathered for the Copenhagen Post s julefrokost, the ambience could best be described as office-like. Going against all tradition, we opted for a takeaway. And so the culinary gauntlet was laid down for the Thai Lanna in Hellerup they didn t disappoint.
I have high expectations when it comes to takeaway. Call me a philistine, but some of the best Thai food I have tasted has been ordered over the telephone. The attraction of Thai food is that it often uses robust, formidable ingredients in their own right chillies, strange variations of root vegetables, lemongrass etc and somehow, what emerges is subtle and sophisticated in comparison to its Asian counterparts. That being said, in Copenhagen I have found that good Thai food is hard to come by if you are not willing to pay an arm and a leg the Thai Lanna, however, has won me over. It has a diverse menu that changes seasonally, and for 179 kroner per person you can t go far wrong.
You may be familiar with the Thai Lanna as it has held a prime position overlooking the Orange Stage at the Roskilde Festival since 2005. Regrettably at The Copenhagen Post, we are not the type to frequent the festival in question and remember the food we manage to scoff before we make it to our tents. This meant that we were keen to sample what was on offer some course by course, others (the sales team) buffet style.
Among the more traditional dishes on the evening s menu was the Phat neua nam man hoi (fried beef in oyster sauce), which was a hit among the more conservative members of the news team. In contrast, the Phat gai met himapham a fried chicken dish served with chilli, onion, broccoli, baby corn, pineapple, peppers and cashew nuts was devoured indiscriminately by all.
Another favourite was the Kaeng khiew wan gai a fragrant red beef curry with coconut milk, basil and small Thai eggplants. It was according to Lov sa Dr fn, a regular guide contributor, delicious, not too spicy with a wonderful flavour and aroma .
Next up was the Goong Phat pak ruam-mit (stir-fried shrimp with vegetables in oyster sauce), which was a hit among the veggies. In my opinion (probably because of my carnivorous leanings) this was topped by the sumptuous Kaeng Phet bet a red curry dish flavoured with galangal (a variant of ginger with a strong citrus scent) served with roast duck, pineapple, tomatoes and basil.
Last but not least, and a clear winner on the night, was the Kaeng ka-ri gai. This lesser known member of the Thai curry family (also known as a Thai Indian curry due to its distinctive yellow colour) was rich and aromatic. The dish is made with a paste that relies heavily on dry spices like cumin and turmeric blended with onions, coconut milk and cashew nuts, and was served with some mouth-wateringly tender chicken.
Accompanying the curries, we opted for the usual Jasmin rice and also its darker variant for the budding athletes amongst us. As our Kids Corner writer Helen Dyrbye observed: The black rice was a welcome addition to the menu as it helped to neutralise the little black whatever-it-was hidden in the other dishes that almost blew the roof off my rather conventional palate. Although Dyrbye later admitted that she was brought up in a house where spaghetti was considered foreign food.
We were given what seemed to be enough food to feed the 5,000, and while quality before quantity is a foodie mantra, by the time the lights went up on the evening s shenanigans, the ramshackle employees of the Post had managed to polish off the lot a clear indication of a surefire hit.