Fairly bland but honest and cosy

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Meatballs in curry with good (but rather firm) meatballs and a rich and bland carbonara were on the menu the day the Omnibus food critics eat out at the Physics cafeteria. But the atmosphere was cosy and intelligent.

2014.03.27 | Marie Groth Andersen

Søren Madsen on hard work as food critic for Omnibus.

Søren Madsen (left) is a special consultant who likes food and always eats his lunch at one of AU’s cafeteria. He also likes to indulge in culinary experiments at home in his own kitchen. Web developer Thomas Riis Hansen is cutting back on his cafeteria visits. He finds the food to be too boring and uniform, so a packed lunch is a better bet in the long run. But if the Chemistry cafeteria has the Danish version of bubble and squeak on the menu then that’s where he eats lunch. Both of them work for AU Communication. Photos: Lars Kruse

Reviewed by: Web developer Thomas Riis Hansen and special consultant Søren Madsen from AU Communication

Food: Meatballs in curry and carbonara win the battle against the small Danish meatballs, sandwiches and quiche with leak on this Monday in March, when we get stuck into the lunch buffet at the Physics cafeteria. An Italian-Danish duel in which the classical Danish lunchtime fare comes out on top. Maybe the meatballs are a little too hard for the critic’s taste, but the sauce is just like your mother would have made it, and it actually tastes of curry while the rice is not clumpy and overdone. It’s no frills food that fills you up without any surprises.

On the other hand, the Italian pasta dish is a rich and bland experience. The pasta is overdone, the Italian pancetta bacon has been replaced by something resembling smoked bacon and the creamy egg and parmesan mix has been transformed into a mysterious sauce. And, what’s more, there is a very serious lack of pepper which is precisely what is required to keep the tendency towards fattiness at bay. A dull experience.

We try to offset the hearty dishes with a meagre selection from the salad buffet. Here we find a cabbage salad with parsley, a salad with beans and feta, as well as some other neutral salads without dressing. Half of the content of the salad buffet looks like it is freshly prepared. The other half apparently comes from jars, including marinated artichokes and olives. A sensible but unsurprising selection.

The choice of cakes looks like a standard bakers selection. We go for the chocolate cake and the carrot cake. The chocolate cake is stodgy and a bit too heavy on top of a portion of meatballs in curry. The carrot cake is sweet, succulent and freshly-baked though the cream cheese glazing has fallen off. We begin to picture an all-in-one cake mix. The coffee comes from the big 10 litre steel urn that is found in many a cafeteria, but it is surprisingly good and to the strong side.

Food: The pricing policy is inscrutable for first-time visitors to the cafeteria. The woman at the till, who is also nice and helpful, assesses the amount of food on the plate and names a price - which does, however, seen fair enough. A portion of meatballs in curry, a small soft drink, tea and cake – all in all DKK 61.50. A portion of carbonara with salad, a large soft drink, coffee and cake – all in all DKK 80.

Atmosphere: Neither deserted or packed and the room itself is both old and charming. The cafeteria is cosy, there are a couple of sofas in the middle of the room, and as it is on the seventh floor there is also a great view of Aarhus. We are clearly at a university - and there is no denying that we are also at a science department. There are a lot of men here and many of them look like they spend a lot of time indoors. It’s as if there is plenty of deep and no doubt very intelligent thinking going on.

Conclusion: The food is bland but honest. It doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t. The cafeteria is a feeding station - you come in the door hungry and leave full-up again. The staff are nice and there is a good, cosy atmosphere.


Food: 1-5 Omnibus logos

1: Ugh!
2: Just about edible
3: Not exactly a culinary experience but the food does at least fill you up
4: Happy taste buds!
5: Yummy! I want to come and eat here again....

Atmosphere: 1-3 Omnibus logos

1: Boring/cold/packed/empty
2: OK but not very interesting
3: Cosy - I could sit here all afternoon!

Are you peckish and are your taste buds discriminating?

Then you could be an Omnibus cafeteria reviewer. You must be a student or member of staff at Aarhus University and preferably a bit of a foodie. As a minimum, you need to be interested in finding a good, well-prepared meal at AU to a fair price. We review both the food and the atmosphere in the cafeteria.

Write to us at: omnibus@au.dk

Translated by Peter Lambourne


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