The door at Dronningens Tværgade 10 flings open and a plume of smoke wafts out. Inside, the shades are drawn shut, choking off light from the outside world. Graffiti marks every wall. Fog obscures most everything that’s more than a few feet away. At one point, a small fire is ignited near our feet. Punk Royale in Copenhagen is a decidedly “not for everyone” sort of dining experience.
Our host inquires about food allergies, vanishes, then returns moments later with a starter and some G&Ts for the table. What follows is a rapid-fire, multi-plate service, most of those dishes involving some sort of alcohol accompaniment. Each small bites arrives as quickly as you can down the previous one. There’s vodka, cider, wine, and more vodka.
During one course, caviar is scooped out by chef Joakim Almqvist and served on the back of our hands. He urges us to chew, then chase it with the vodka. But before we can slug back the latter, he disappears into the kitchen, the pace of service requiring his presence. He’s never far out of sight, though. Just glance up through the hole in the wall: he’s whipping up the next plate, which will arrive in seconds.