Madsen (September 2013)

A festive set menu with a large group including some locals was both the best and the worst way to experience Madsen, a Scandinavian restaurant in South Kensington. On the positive side, our group certainly created its own atmosphere, the alcohol (including Acquavit, a not unpleasant Swedish spirit) flowed liberally and a good time was had by one and all. However, it is debatable whether such an occasion does justice to Madsen. On more sober consideration, I would be unlikely to return. The furnishings were sparse, the service was hardly as welcoming or as friendly as it could have been (or should have been, given the money we spent), the portion sizes verged on the stingy and the wine list proved most uninspiring. Maybe everyone just wants to drink Acquavit here, but it was fairly disappointing to find that they had only one bottle of wine in stock from the name we selected off the list and nothing suitably comparable that would have acted as a substitute. I know that Scandinavia has great food to offer, but if it is this that you are after, then you’re probably better off getting on a plane than heading to Madsen, where only the briefest of glances of this were seen.