If you, like us, find yourself craving authentic Chinese food in Copenhagen, you’re in luck. The highly anticipated restaurant Goldfinch from chef Will King-Smith is finally ready to open in the first week of November. Smith was previously the head chef of Geranium before opening Will at the Bridge at Broens Gadekøkken. Now, he is expanding his offerings at his casual Chinese restaurant, where he will serve a wide range of dumplings, noodles, and traditional Cantonese dishes. Joining the team as Goldfinch’s restaurant manager is Smith’s partner, Megan Leung. Goldfinch is located on Kongens Nytorv 8, behind Esmée.
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GOLDFINCH Address & Contact Information Kongens Nytorv 8, st. tv., Copenhagen, Denmark Website Instagram
Goldfinch is Something Copenhagen is Craving
Goldfinch has been the dream restaurant of Australian chef Will King-Smith for many years. Smith first began his cooking career in Melbourne, before moving to Copenhagen where he was the sous chef at Mielcke and Hurtigkarl and the head chef of Geranium (currently ranked The World’s Best Restaurant). Smith left Geranium in 2015 with the dream of opening his own restaurant. Chinese cuisine has always been a passion of his, and in 2019 he opened the Sichuan-inspired noodle and dumpling shop Will at the Bridge at Broens Gadekøkken (the street food market next to Barr). A few years and one pandemic later, he is expanding his offerings and opening Goldfinch, a casual Cantonese restaurant in the heart of Copenhagen. The venue is located in a secluded space in an inner courtyard off of the bustling Kongens Nytorv, tucked away from the fast pace of the city. Goldfinch will be an oasis for food lovers.
Goldfinch is part of the Sovino Brands restaurant group (Esmée, Camino, Café Victor, Kanalen), and Smith is the chef/partner of the restaurant. He has designed the restaurant together with his partner in business and life, Megan Leung, who you’ve probably seen before in Copenhagen at restaurants such as Barabba and 108 (where she was assistant restaurant manager). Now, Leung will be restaurant manager of Goldfinch, and, together, she and Smith hope to introduce Copenhageners to some flavors that they have been missing from their home countries.
On the Menu at Goldfinch
Despite Smith’s fine dining background, Goldfinch will not be a formal restaurant, it will be laid-back and accessible. The restaurant will be open for dinner every day, serving only an à la carte menu of frequently changing dishes, inspired by traditional Cantonese culture. Most of the menu is comprised of small to medium-sized sharing dishes that will range in price from 150 to 300 DKK. These will be complemented by some larger items for groups like whole lobster on egg noodles, and traditional whole roast duck. Goldfinch is a place you can drop in any day, for a snack and a drink, or for a full meal. Smith estimates that one person will order three dishes, and two people will order five to six. Come in a group to try as much of the menu as possible!
Don’t expect New Nordic fusion here; Smith and Leung want the food to feel very authentically Chinese. “We want to provide the flavors we are missing and craving in Copenhagen,” Smith said. “The food is stuff we both grew up with. It’s nostalgic, comfort food,” Leung added. The menu starts with snacks and small dishes and progresses into slightly bigger plates of vegetables, fish, meat, noodles, and rice. Some things you can expect to see on your table include shrimp toast, spicy clams, char siu (pork), roast duck, Dan Dan noodles, egg noodles with lobster, and youtiao (Chinese doughnuts). There will be a healthy amount of XO sauce on the menu, as well as lap cheong sausage which they will make in house.
“Of course, there will be a dumpling dish, but the menu is not going to be exclusively dim sum,” Smith stated. “Dumplings are snacks, not a meal!” Leung added with a laugh. “Dim sum is only served for lunch, but we want to show off some of the dishes that we eat as a family for dinner.” The menu will be a blend of food you could find on the dinner tables in Chinese homes, alongside more modern, diner-style dishes, such as Hong Kong-style French toast for dessert. “Pork and seafood are big components of Cantonese cuisine, and, luckily, those are ingredients we have in abundance here in Denmark,” Smith said when we asked where he planned to source his ingredients. They will also have some special ingredients flown in from abroad.
The full dinner menu will be served until ten o’clock in the evening, and late night offerings will be available until midnight on the weekends. In the future, they hope to open on the weekends and serve authentic dim sum lunches. They also hinted at offering take-away down the road. Could we see a return of some Will at the Bridge dishes at Goldfinch?
Goldfinch’s Chinese-Inspired Bar Program
Cantonese food has a sweet and soft flavor profile that works well with both cocktails and wine, which they’ve kept in mind when designing the beverage program at Goldfinch. Bartender Harry Bell from TATA is creating the cocktail menu, and the drinks in the bar will rotate as frequently as the dishes on Smith’s menu. The cocktails will play with Chinese flavors in a new way – you can expect to see nods to classic drinks like the Hong Kong-style milk tea and the lychee martini, and you might find a boozy lemon iced tea. Of course, there will also be tea on the beverage menu, and Bell plans to use tea creatively in the cocktails as well. Additionally, there will be handcrafted non-alcoholic cocktails, for those looking for no or low alcohol options. Goldfinch’s bar will stay open until two in the morning serving drinks on the weekends.
If it’s grape juice you’re after, the wine cellar has 1,000 bottles from small producers imported by Rosforth and Rosforth, Osterreich Vin, as well as other small importers. The style of wine will not be too volatile or crazy; instead, it aims to match the food well. Of course, with a nod to Smith’s roots, there will be some Australian wines on the list, and some of their favorite bottles from the Loire region, but there will also be a lot of new-to-Copenhagen bottles that are less represented in the Danish market.
An Urban Oasis in Kongens Nytorv
The name for the restaurant stems from the arthouse classic movie In the Mood for Love, from famous Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai. The film is set in Hong Kong in the 50s, and acts as a nostalgic love letter to the city; the sultry, saturated shots show off Hong Kong in all its glory. In the movie, the main characters eat at a restaurant called Cafe de Goldfinch – and thus the name for Goldfinch was born.
The interior will be dark and moody, with warm, rich colors, and lots of light and shadow play. The design has been constructed with sustainability in mind; for example, seaweed is used in the roof for sound insulation. The result will be a sleek and urban oasis, with metal chain curtains and a moody aesthetic. Goldfinch’s porcelain dishes have been designed together in collaboration with the Norwegian producer, Figgjo. Their clean look is inspired by Chinese crockery, with personalized additions like the Goldfinch logo.
The restaurant space will center around a U-shaped counter with an open kitchen and a chef’s table. The rest of the seating will revolve around booths designed for groups. The tables will be outfitted with custom-built Lazy Susans to ensure easy access to all of the food. If you want to try most of the menu, it’s advised to come in a party of four or more, but solo diners and small groups are more than welcome to dine at the counter and smaller tables. Of course, some tables will be available to book online, but there will also always be seats kept open for walk-ins. Goldfinch will be there for you when those noodle cravings hit.
Are you looking forward to visiting Goldfinch? Let us know in a comment below!