Not a stranger to Rue Gambetta in Biarritz, I’ve always frequented the restaurants on the opposite side of Carøe. Once, while dining on the other side of the road, I caught a glimpse of ‘Carøe – Nordisk Fish Bar’ and mentally bookmarked it as one of my places to check out eventually…
One day a few weeks ago, the time had finally come. And so what is a girl to do when she so badly wants to try out a new restaurant and no one is free to join? The girl goes ahead and dines by herself, of course!
The lovely owner Joséphine (who is of French and Danish descent) and her only other server zipped in and out of the kitchen to the floor, taking orders and serving patrons whilst the chef brought the sea to everyone’s plate.
Perusing the menu, I started to feel sad that I was flying solo and only able to try out so little of what was on their menu. Luckily, my adventurous appetite was not disheartened and so I greedily ordered three appetizer dishes for moi-même.
Served on beautifully crafted ceramics that are awash in colours of the sea, I was greeted with pain seigle avec hareng mariné en curry (smørrebrød of herring marinated in curry on a thinly toasted homemade rye bread), salades de bulots (a salad of sea snails, fennel & hazelnuts) and crevettes fumées avec mayo et l’ail noir (smoked shrimp served with black garlic mayo).
The smørrebrød of herring marinated in curry on a thinly toasted homemade rye bread was absolutely delicious! The curry was relatively faint and the tanginess of the green apples brought all the flavours together wonderfully. This was my favourite dish! ????
The sea snail salad lacked a certain acidity and sweetness that would have otherwise rounded it up nicely. The creamy sauce fell a little flat and made the salad too rich. Because of that, I wasn’t able to finish this dish.
I’ve had pork based soups cooked with black garlic (bak kut teh) in Malaysia before but black garlic in mayo? This stuff is soooooo goooooood! Smokey, addictive dipping goodness!
What is a good meal without a drink to go with it? The Carøe cocktail is a concoction of Akvavit, vermouth, tonic and elderflower syrup. What is Akvavit? Admittedly, before this, I had no flipping clue! Derived from the Latin word, aqua vitae, Akvavit is essentially ‘water of life’ to Scandinavians. Akvavit is a spirit distilled from grains or potatoes that is primarily flavoured with caraway and dill. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what to make of the Carøe cocktail… It had a mild-anise, cough syrup flavour to it? ???? Akvavit is definitely an acquired taste to those that aren’t familiar with it. I found that the cocktail was much milder and easier to drink once the ice cubes had dissolved – no drop of alcohol was to be wasted!
As for dessert, I had the luscious Risalamandes, a traditional Danish rice pudding dessert of whipped cream, chopped almonds, and cherry sauce. Coming from the French word, ‘riz à l’amande’, this ridiculously delicious dessert blew my socks off! The teeny chopped bits of almond were a pure delight among the creamy medley of rice pudding and cherry sauce ✨
To top it all off, I asked for their Danish digestif that was basically ice wine – something a Canadian can relate too 😛 I was recommended an ice wine from Cold Hand Winery, MALUS X – FEMIMAM. A sweet apple wine that’s not cloyingly sweet and easy to drink with only 20% of alcohol content. Next time, I’ll try the MALUS X – MASCULINE as it apparently tastes closer to a cognac, yum!
I’ll also make sure to come with someone else so I can sample everything else on the menu… ????
May The Pinchables Be With You,
Location: 51 Rue Gambetta, 64200 Biarritz, France
Instagram : http://instagram.com/caroenordiskfishbar
- Monday to Saturday: 7:30pm – 12am
- Sunday: CLOSED