Spring is coming to Copenhagen and it’s getting lively again. People are coming out of hiding, now wearing shorts, flocking in the streets. The temperature is close to 20 °C. As I’m sure you know by now, I like to walk around the city to get inspiration for my cookbook. This time, I went Christianshavn. An area that I’m very familiar with since it’s where my office is located. At the Christianshavn harbour I jumped on the sea bus for a 30 min. roundtrip, disembarking at the same spot where I got on, and walked back to the Christianshavn metro station. Noon was approaching, so I was beginning to get a little hungry. I therefore decided to pay a visit to Green Mango, a Thai take-away place next to my office, to fill up my stomach. I ordered a few dishes, including my favourite one: Som Tum aka green papaya salad.
Green Mango opened last year an is operated and owned by a Thai-Danish couple. Kwan, the owner and main chef, told me that she and her husband used to have a restaurant in one of the smaller islands around Phuket. They had moved back to Denmark because of their teenage kids. While talking and waiting for my dishes, I grabbed some rice crackers which they give away for free. I was the only customer at the time. Usually this place is packed during office lunch hours and at dinner time. I usually come to this place when I am tired of the office canteen food or when I work late. Not only do they serve my favourite dish. The prices are also extremely reasonable. On top of that, I get a 10 % discount by virtue of a loyalty agreement between my office and Green Mango. One thing that you should be aware of when ordering Thai food, especially as non-Thais unaccustomed to the abundance of chilli, is the level of spiciness of your dish. If you cannot handle spiciness at all, do not hesitate to let the staff know when ordering. For those who, on the other hand, cannot get enough, the words ‘Ped Ped’ will insure you an extra spicy dish, guaranteed to burn in your mouth and quite possibly in you rear as well on its way out. For me, the safe choice is always to order to a level of spiciness ‘as cooked in Thailand’. It didn’t take long before my dishes were served. They included green papaya salad, small Thai spring rolls with chicken as well as chilli and garlic wok with chicken served with rice. I asked Kwan which dish is the most popular one with customers? ‘Anything’, she said. But curiously, people like to order their dishes with tofu rather than meat. Which reminds me of another favourite of mine. Spicy stir-fried glass noodles with tofu. What I like about that dish is the crispiness of the fried tofu combined with the soft texture on the inside. However, if I had to answer as to my favourite dish from Green Mango, I would have to say Som Tum made to the same level of spiciness as in Thailand. That one is just plain awesome!