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Canteen review: What you can get for DKK 33

A hungry student reporter investigated what he could get for DKK 33. The result was not good for students: The staff canteen was the best. By far

Sandwich like down-trodden snow

The canteen at the Faculty of Humanities. Run by Forenede Service A/S
This canteen is marred by the buffet-afficionado’s worst enemy: Paying by weight. DKK 8.25 per 100 grams of the Dish of the Day and the salad bar. Beans, hummus and baguette just doesn’t feel as fulfilling when it sets you back DKK 50.

This is why I opted for the safe and boring option: a sizeable egg and tomato sandwich on dark bread, and an apple. DKK 34.

The sandwich has been refrigerated, so the bread wasn’t just cold, but also damp and tough – like compressed, stamped-on snow. As for the ingredients, it’s difficult to mess up eggs, tomato, cucumber and iceberg salad. Even if the sandwich didn’t seem quite as fresh as it should, and if the sandwich-maker had been too generous with the mayo.

Conclusion: It certainly is filling, and in terms of flavour, it’s alright. If you can live with the shame of smelling like an egg-sandwich all day, it’s cheaper and better to bring your own.

Beautiful, in an 80’s sort of way

The canteen at Panum. Run by Jespers Torvekøkken
As everything is being rebuilt around there these days, the Faculty of Health Sciences’ main canteen is currently housed in a temporary satellite-building outside Panum. The canteen hasn’t suffered for it, though, with its simple and inviting salad bar, a beer-marinated pig with a selection of sides, and freshly made sandwiches.

My choice of lunch was once more based on the price: I went for three pieces of traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches – fish ‘frikadeller’ (Danish meatballs), eggs and shrimp for DKK 25, as well as cabbage salad, red lentils and two pieces of fruit. It came to DKK 34 in total – definitely approved! The salad was simple and good, and the sandwiches OK: presented with a delightful 80’s decorative salad, the greens, shrimp and eggs tasted good and fresh. The rye bread was, however, a tad dry and the frikadeller a bit weak.

Conclusion: Value for money, definitely, and open-faced sandwiches and fresh fruit are always a plus, even with minor faults.

Heavy, cold omelette

The canteen at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Run by Simply Cooking
The common trait each option shared at this canteen was an East Germany-esque aesthetic. This time, I went for a hot meal. The Dish of the Day was a brown mush with grey rice – these are the colours of tired food, past its prime, and that was unfortunately also the case with my meat-free alternative: An omelette with celeriac, served in an aluminium tray with three pesto-potatoes on a spit, and a baked tomato for DKK 32.

The potatoes (served without the promised pesto?) and tomato were half-cold and didn’t taste of much – a little too cold for something served as a ‘hot meal’. The cold had unfortunately spread to the omelette, which was also heavy and damp – three adjectives that are not a friend of the omelette.

Conclusion: This was the only down-right disappointing visit. It would make no sense to say that it’s at least a good price, when you don’t actually want to finish your meal.

Perfectly balanced herring

Le Cannibale Nørregade 10 / Run by Eurest
They serve a buffet of boundless and hedonistic proportions in the small staff canteen at Nørregade 10: DKK 33 for a culinary free-for-all.

When I dropped by, the dish of the day was a rib-steak sandwich, which according to my partner-in-food-crime was pretty good: the crispy rind was a plus, but that it wasn’t organic, and that the dressing was a tad overpowering, was a minus.

As an almost-vegetarian, I instead opted for the fresh and varied salad bar. Oven-baked potatoes and excellent home-made rye bread, which I used as a bed for the perfectly balanced spiced herring and (slightly dry) tuna salad. This ought to be enough for anyone, but having already paid for ‘as-much-as-I-can-eat’, I added a bowl of paprika soup (… and cheese. And fresh fruit) to the already wobbly tray.

Conclusion: Hands down the University of Copenhagen’s (UCPH’s) best canteen, both in terms of flavour and pricing. For DKK 33 you are guaranteed a well-prepared, tasty and varied meal. It doesn’t in any way taste mass-produced and it beats the average packed lunch any day.

Bad news, however, for students – it is exclusively reserved for the university staff of Nørregade 10.

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