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Restaurant Review

Misigisaq Restaurant (Sisimiut Havn, Greenland)

(299) 863888    J.M Jensenip Aqqueserna,
Sisimiut Havn,, 3911    Greenland

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2004 Issue: 11(2) page: 31

Next time your plane lands in Greenland, do not despair that you are north of the Arctic Circle. As a matter of fact, plan a stop there to eat Chinese food. Specifically, go to MISIGISAQ in Sisimiut it is near the atmospheric and historic port and harbor area called Sisimiut Havn and specifically J.M. Jensenip Aqqserna. Yes, Chinese food is near the Arctic Circle and just about everywhere.

Sisimiut is Greenlandís second largest city, and located on the west coast and actually about one hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. It is a major fishing area and is ice-free year round. Furthermore, this is the southernmost town in Greenland where dog sledding is permitted.

The Chinese restaurant there serves a local population of five thousand and its many visitors. Their Chinese food is touted as special, some say it food approaches the sublime. We have heard about it but not yet gone that far north. Those that have tell us that here, Greenlandic ingredients are cooked in authentic Chinese style by chefs from China.

Eating good Chinese food here is thanks to a mixed group of principal partners whose restaurant serves foods of one culture, while they themselves are of many ethnicities. They are friends from Greenland, Canada, Australia, Israel, and China. Not only does Chinese food go everywhere, so do its master chefs. Here at Miisigisaq, there are two First Class Master Chefs, Gan and Huang. They know what they are doing and know it well as both came with lots of fine experiences in restaurants in China.

Their cooking is a mix, as are their bosses. But the mix is of Chinese regional cuisines, hot pots, sizzling platters, and more. Their dishes are mixes, too, of local lamb, caribou, musk ox, local sea foods, and a few imported items. And, because of need, the restaurant makes some of their own ingredients including doufu, thick noodles, and spring roll skins. Imported are soy and other basic sauces, spices, and teas; and they come directly from China. Their food is served with wines that are affordable, winning, and imported, most from Europe where they were tops in competitions.

Is this for real? You bet! Though not easy to get to for many, the menu is easy to use. It is in Chinese and English. The dishes are common Chinese offerings, some with local meats that may seem less than common. Their Mixed Appetizer Platter looks standard, but many of the foods on it are not. It comes with slices of reindeer, local fish, game birds, and peanuts.

On the menu is Tired Fishermanís Soup. Its name alone entrances. Called a 'pick-me-up,' this hot--but not tired--soup is made with whale meat and six traditional herbs. Happy Celebration Fish is wild salmon. It arrives on the table looking like half a pineapple. Beluga Whale is deep-fried in a spicy sauce. Greenland Hot Pot has a choice of lamb and mutton or reindeer and musk ox. Five Fragrance Fried Caribou is served with a salty spicy sauce. And the Fragrant and Crispy Greenland Sea Bird is prepared with a fowl called 'eider duck,' or with 'guillemot,' depending upon the season. These and other dishes are cooked and presented with care. Potatoes come fried and shaped like a coral reef. Soft Fried Prawns come in a bamboo basket. And so on.

Traveling with kids to such a far away place, worry not. They have a children's menu item that small fry should gobble up. It is mutton on a stick, and it comes with fried rice and dessert. Traveling alone, no worry there either. Order the Thinker's Menu. It includes two main courses, soup, rice, and tea. Eat and enjoy it and think about where you are and the fact that master chefs from China prepared your food.

Want to know what they serve and what it looks like? Take a look before you take off for that part of the world at their menu. Though in a small place, the menu is good-sized and available on their website. Get a look at www.misigisaq.gl/English/ menu and while there, ask for a hard copy.

No matter where people travel, they can eat Chinese food. This restaurant is a perfect example of well-made Chinese food adapting and adopting locally located ingredients, and mixing and serving them direct from the hands of good Chinese chefs. Be there five thousand or five million folk in a town, all it takes is one or more Chinese master chefs and owners who know about, care about, and like to eat fine Chinese food.

So, north or south of the arctic circle, Columbus Circle, or any circle, search for and seek out good Chinese food. There have to be many places near and far where one least expects to find fine these great bastions of Chinese food. Do go, and do tell us about them.

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