“I like to get a bit of a surprise when I go to the bathroom at a restaurant,” the Danish chef Adam Aamann explains when asked why he has taken a hands-on approach — quite literally — to the restrooms in his new restaurant. Diners freshening up at Aamanns 1921 — which opened in Copenhagen in August and offers a modern take on classic Danish cuisine — are given a choice of two liquid soaps. One smells of lemon, cedar, bergamot and thyme; the other carries notes of lemon, bergamot, orange and rosemary. Both were handmade by Aamann himself.
“I like to throw myself at things I haven’t tried before,” he says, standing in the kitchen of his three-story house in Osterbro, one of Copenhagen’s smartest neighborhoods. “I also thought it would be an extraordinary way of tickling people.”
In particular, Aamann wanted to “create the full experience” at Aamanns 1921: for diners to return to the table with — one hopes — clean hands that smell like the herbs used in the kitchen. In other words, the soap should provide a “reference” to the food. At Aamanns 1921 that means smorrebrod — Denmark’s traditional open-faced sandwich, adorned with fixings that include marinated herring, matured cheese, kohlrabi and pickled onions. Aromatic herbs adorn most dishes.