Aug 18 2012



Last week was my boyfriends turn to choose a restaurant that serves cuisine that starts with the letter D. As there are not that many countries that start with the letter D, I had kind of guessed he would be taking me to a Danish restaurant, as I thought it would probably be impossible to find a Djibouti or a Dominican Republic restaurant even in London which has almost everything. And I was right; boyfriend had booked a Danish restaurant called Madsen, which is located by the South Kensington tube station. 


The restaurant is decorated in such a way, that you feel like you have entered a Scandinavian house, there is a lot of use of wood, white, everything is modern, simple and practical (I read a Hardens review of someone saying this place lacks atmosphere, but it is just the Scandinavian way to have everything very simple and plain). You can also find there books written by Scandinavian writers on a bookshelf in one of the corners of the room (I did pick up a huge Hans Christian Andersen story book and found it fascinating just to flick through the pages and try to look up my favourite stories like The Little Mermaid). 


As my boyfriend had booked us an early dinner at 6.30 on Saturday we were able to benefit from the “early bird” special (we did not know this at the time of booking, but this was a great surprise when we got there), and so we could chose 2 courses for £16.50, which usually if you ordered from the menu would cost you £21.45, so a nice £5 saved (the dishes are the same on the early bird menu and a la carte). The menu has a little heart next to dishes, which were typical Scandinavian, which were about 2/3 of the menu, but you can also go for some European dishes like English chicken breast. I love Scandinavian food, as some aspects of it are quite similar to Latvian food, so it reminds me of home, so of course I ordered a Scandinavian typical starter of “onion marinated herring on a bed of potatoes marinated in dill with capers, onions and crispy rye bread flakes”, and it was great and whilst I was eating it I was remembering the times when I was a little girl eating herring with potatoes in Latvia. The potatoes in this dish were cold though and could have been warmed up, as it is very nice to eat the cold herring with the hot potatoes, as I always did in my childhood. But apart from that if you like herring you would have liked this and the capers and onions were a very nice addition. My boyfriend ordered the Swedish Toast “Lindström” - smoked ham, horseradish and chive salad in a light sour cream dressing served on a bed of seasonal leaves and toast, which was another traditional home cooked type of dish. 


For the main course we both had “Frikadeller” - Danish pork and veal meatballs with gravy and red cabbage, and served with small potatoes. Meatballs are a very typical Scandinavian dish which you also find in the Baltic states and Russia where they are usually a bit bigger in size and Russians call them “kotleti” (the Latvian word is very similar). Traditionally our region has always loved this type of processed meat as it is cheaper to buy this than buy a steak or any other chunk of meat, and so many families have meatballs as one of their main sources of protein. These meatballs were definitely much nicer than what I had when I was a child, but that is probably because we always had pork meatballs, and never had the option to have veal added to it, as veal was more expensive and you could not find it easily. The potatoes that accompanied the dish were just plain boiled potatoes but this is exactly how you would have it at home, and the gravy that came with the meatballs was very nice. I was not too keen on the red cabbage but that is probably because at home I would have sauerkraut with meatballs which is a more savoury type of cabbage and this red cabbage was too sweet for my taste.


I did feel so happy after my meal at Madsen as I felt like I had experienced a tiny bit of home. This place is perfect if you want to have some home cooked Scandinavian food. The menu here is not as creative as in Baltic the other Scandinavian restaurant by Southwark, and it is not as trendy as Baltic, but the food at Madsen feels more homely and as if it has been cooked with more love, and something you would find if you were to visit a Scandinavian house.


Price for 2 including service charge, no alcohol: £52

Date: 18/08/12

location – South Kensington 

Madsen on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Maija rated: 



20 Old Brompton Rd, SW7 3DL
United Kingdom
Madsen Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3