Home of Hans Christian Anderson, the concept of hygge (which needs to be exported to the rest of the world) and Noma (named the best restaurant in the world), Denmark is exactly as you would imagine it. Windy, modern and wholly socialist, the country has built its own island(s) of happiness through its socialist economic policies and community living environments.
Comparable to Amsterdam with its canal waterways, iconic colourful row houses and open look to society (look up the town of Christiania and/or freetown), the highlight of visiting Copenhagen was our trip to Noma. Foodies be jealous — we did in fact get a reservation at the place and planned our entire Denmark trip around it.
Note: You too can get a reservation. Check their website for the next openings. For us, openings for May began in Feb on a certain day at a certain time. The system works in the form of a lottery because so many people log on at the same time. Upon signing in, you are assigned a random number upon logging on and have to wait your turn before making the reservation. You must log in precisely when the reservation opens however, because all slots (lunch & dinner) are completely filled within a few hours.
The meal itself is not for the light hearted. The meal is a 17 to 20 course food experiment for your mouth; to quote my husband’s impression of the experience: “there were just too many new foods all happening at the same time.”
Each couse is presented as a piece of artwork (of course) along with impeccable service (of course) and as much liquid as you can consume. Not one minute was your glass empty that it was being filled again; if you opt for the wine pairing along with the 17 courses (which why not when you are already dropping $300 per person on the meal), you get an unlimited supply of wine. As you drink with the course, they refill. Both the meal and the wine pairings are a set price, so we attempted to get our moneys worth throughout the meal.
If you are curious (and/or a foodie) below is what they are serving this month:
Fermented Wild plums and wild beach roses
Experience: Yummy; tart, light
Oland wheat and virgin butter (fancy name for amazing bread and butter)
Asparagus, berries and seaweed
Experience: Light, bland
The first shoots of the season with scallop marinade
Experience: YUM! I have no idea how they did this but most of leaves tasted like steak (maybe misplaced with charcoaled scallop marinade); don’t let the lettuce look fool you some of these were shallow fried and A-mazing
Curdled milk and the first garlic of 2015
Experience: What’s not to like about cheese & garlic?
Grilled onion with onion preserves
Experience: It looks like an onion, it tastes like an onion (with spices) – but the presentation was so pretty I almost didn’t want to eat it
Sweet Shrimps wrapped in ramson leaves
Experience: Meh. light, shrimpy
Mahogany clam and grains
Experience: This one was seriously awesome not because of the taste, but because of how old the clam was. This type of clam can age to be nearly 200 years old (they stop reproducing after 20-30 years); the one we had the pleasure of eating was nearly 100 years old
New Danish potatoes and lovage
Experience: The best part about this dish was eating it with a branch. Pictured above is my husband, confused and just wanting a pizza and beer
Experience: Well its liver. Rich, fishy – also served frozen, which I thought was interesting. Around this time my girlfriend and I got up for a bathroom break and were politely asked to try this course first, then go to the bathroom as it was meant to be eaten frozen/chilled and they didn’t want it to melt! (they take every course seriously)
White asparagus, blackcurrent leaves and barley
Experience: A nice light change from the heavier monkfish liver; nothing spectacular in taste to note
Lobster and nasturtium
Experience: While I enjoy lobster, it was surprisingly plain – would have liked some butter!
Male and female lumpfish with whole milk
Experience: Rich! Very rich, but a good contrast to the lighter tasting lobster in the course prior
Experience: Honestly, not only one of the prettiest things we ate, but one of the tastiest (and don’t let the word ‘vegetable’ fool you nothing in that flower tasted like a vegetable, more like a candy). I loved this one as well; what they tell you at the restaurant is that it is also coated with an ant paste – yum!
Roasted bone marrow
Experience: Rich, fatty and delicious. The way you ate this dish was similar to a wrap; you scooped out the contents, put it in the vegetable leaf, put the lemon, vinegar sauce over it and ate. Basically it was amazing because it had the charcoaled taste of steak (can you tell I like steak?) with buttery fat and tart lemon. Yum.
Berries and greens soaked in a vinegar for one year
Experience: I admire the preparation this course; I actually didnt realise that this was classified as a separate course, so there is no picture, but not overly yummy…think vinigar berries; more to clear the palate
Rhubarb and sheep milk yogurt
Experience: Similar to a sorbet; creamy, fresh and fruity
Forest flavours, chocolate and egg liquer
Experience: OK what they mean by forest flavours, is one of the deserts is actually moss dipped in chocolate, which you then dip in a ‘cream fresh’. Yummy. I am a chocolate person so I didnt mind the moss part since i got chocolate with it the egg liquer, I thought, would be similar to spiked egg nog but not so much. It seems that most of the courses were much healthier than I anticipated (or maybe usd to when dining out). It was good, but I think I was missing my half & half.
2013 Weiss 6
St. Stefan- Weststeiermark
2013 Le Brin de Chevre
Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf
2013 Cuvee Marguerite
Calce – Rousillion
Domaine des Miquette
St. Joseph – Northern Rhone
Somewhere in southern France
* Made in the traditional way using clay barrels