Restaurant Snekken is located directly alongside Roskilde Fjord, 20 some miles southwest of Copenhagen. But more notably, the restaurant is just a few minutes' walk from Viking Ship Museum, a five-star, international attraction. The concept to offer its own take on the New Nordic kitchen - which the restaurant has dubbed "New Nordic Viking Food" - was begun in 2012 and has proved a resounding success.
Choose between outside or inside seating, both with fabulous fjord views. — Photo courtesy of Restaurant Snekken
The concept has been developed in collaboration with Viking Ship Museum, as Snekken serves as museum restaurant to its many visitors, although dining without a museum visit is perfectly acceptable. The idea is that visitors to the museum learn the story of the five Viking ships recovered from Roskilde Fjord in the 1960s (now on display in the Viking Ship Hall) and then munch their way through a slice of living history, albeit in a fresh, tasty, modern serving.
The menu does not include potatoes, tomatoes or cucumbers, none of which were present in the kitchens of the Vikings. But diners can enjoy flat bread, dried fish, sausages, buckthorn and barley.
The fact that Vikings traveled so widely means a much wider variety of ingredients than one might imagine, including those brought back from other countries. Local and seasonal ingredients are used, and the food has been kept up-to-date with contemporary flavors and modern presentation and cooking methods.
The menu is family-friendly, with a healthy children's menu that comprises fish, sausage and chicken options. (Rosehip ketchup is admittedly an acquired taste!) A white fish dish and a tasty vegetarian onion quiche are offered alongside beer-braised pork cheeks and a hefty lunchtime Høvdingens Burger of roast beef on flat bread.
The Hovdingens Burger with lashings of roast beef is worthy of a Viking chieftain. — Photo courtesy of Restaurant Snekken
Brunch is served daily until noon. The weekend brunch, however, runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. It's a buffet feast of eggs, sausages, liver pate, cheeses, pancakes, salmon, breads, salads and Icelandic "Skyr" yoghurt.
Aside from the thick lambswool covers on the restaurant seats, both decor and ambience are contemporary, with cool jazz playing over the speakers and full-length glass paneled windows offering splendid waterfront views both inside and outside.
During summertime, it's pleasant to sit outside, watching the waves on the fjord and imagining the Viking ships that once sailed across them.