Mission Chinese Food has never conformed to the rules, from its inception as a restaurant-within-a-restaurant, to its rowdy expansion to New York. Now, its spirit has reached Copenhagen, the darling city of the food world, as Vesterbro Chinese Food opens its doors today.
MCF founder Anthony Myint is spreading the spicy gospel to Denmark via a collaboration with Danish brewer Mikkeller. The restaurant, which is owned and operated by Mikkeller, is a Danish version of the SF-born revolutionary restaurant with an opening menu from Myint; chef Stephen Julius, a former chef at Mission Chinese Food and Myint’s other restaurant, the Perennial, will lead the kitchen after its grand opening. (Chef and MCF co-founder Danny Bowien, who currently lives and operates two Mission Chinese Food locations in New York, is not involved with the Copenhagen restaurant.)
Mikkeller’s collaboration with Myint is hinged on the brewery’s commitment to taking all of its restaurants carbon neutral, via Myint’s organization ZeroFoodprint. According to Myint’s partner Karen Leibowitz, it’s a natural progression of Myint’s friendship with the Mikkeller team — they created a Mission Chinese Food beer together in 2014 — and Copenhagen, where Myint launched ZeroFoodprint at a MAD Symposium in the same year.
“It’s exciting to be involved with that organization and to take them carbon neutral, and for Anthony to be a chef of a Chinese restaurant again,” says Leibowitz. “And he has someone to run it that we’ve known for a long time.”
Beer innovator and Mikkeller founder Mikkell Borg Bjergso has become an international restaurateur since founding the brewery in the mid-2000s, with two bars in the Bay Area, and restaurants scattered throughout Europe and Asia.
Vesterbro Chinese Food is located near to Mikkeller HQ in what was previously a Thai restaurant, joining almost 20 Mikeller-run restaurants in the city. Vesterbro, the neighborhood in which VCF resides, could be compared to the Mission, with its glut of hipster-y cafes and restaurants with a side of “up-and-coming.”
VCF’s website describes it thusly:
Vesterbro Chinese Food is a thought experiment wrapped in a tasty punchline. The lovechild of Mikkeller and the original Chinese pop-up + spice parlor in San Francisco takes the form of a daily dinner party serving provocative Sichuan-inspired food, compelling beers and enticing cocktails.
The menu, though reminiscent of the original MCF, doesn’t include any of its signature dishes. Instead, Myint has created new items to incorporate the different products found in Denmark, like Hunan Herring Rice with Chinese bacon and egg, mapo tofu verde, and taro-battered salt and pepper white fish. And, naturally, there’ll be tons of Mikkeller beers (“brewskies for days,” according to the website).
Going to Copenhagen sometime soon? Reservations are now available for the restaurant.