I believe that I scored the reservation at Noma before booking flights to Copenhagen. Noma is not only number one on the list of the supposed best restaurants in the world but there has been a variety of chefs who have left Noma and opened up their own restaurants in and around town. Noma has become an education facility for a whole new breed of chefs.
What is it about Noma that makes it number one? First of all, the physical restaurant is beautiful. There is something incredibly serene, down to earth and agrarian in the feel yet elegant at the same time. It sits on the edge of a pier so the light of the water, the boats seen from the windows sets a tone too. Truly loved the vibe. Bleached knotty wood beams on the ceiling that look as if they have been hand picked off the beach. As we walked in for the first seating, at 7pm, people greeted us at the door as if we were there for a special dinner party...and of course we were, ours.
I will run through the multiple courses we had. The brilliance of these type of restaurants is that it is a sensory experience. The chef is showing the audience how you can take ingredients and create something so unique that it pushes one to think about food in a completely different way. It prods the senses. This is not a restaurant where you walk away saying, "wow that was the best roast chicken I have ever had". You have to enjoy the show, the science, the extravaganza of it all.
The first half of the meal consists of a variety of tiny portions that are basically one bite. They come out quickly and many of them have to be consumed the second they hit your table or they will melt.
At the center of the table was a beautiful bouquet of flowers. They become part of the meal. The first was a malt flatbread with juniper that is sitting inside the floral presentation. Almost neutralizes your palette.
Frozen codliver and caramelized milk with a ham on top. Such a weird sensation in your mouth. You must quickly pop it in your mouth and it is so cold and then it melts and the codliver taste comes out.
TIny roasted potatoes sitting in fermented butter with dried elderflower on the side. The elderflower is the salt. You take one of the greens that has a wooden tip on the bottom and use it as your utensil.
A big bowl with brown crab in the middle. This crab has never been chilled so the taste is pretty unique. Served with small egg yolks, pieces of horseradish and herbs. Tartar, sorrel, juniper and tarragon.
For our anniversary they brought over this beautiful cake. Although white it was made of cream and berries. To cut the cake there was this old knife in a leather pouch. Kind of cool and fitting. When we got married and cut the cake we used a sword that I believe is Fred's great grandfather who was a general in the army. We still have it today. Amazing.
Quite a spectacular evening. A 3 hour meal. It was unique at every turn. We actually have reservations for Relae and Geranium for the next two nights but have decided that this is something that just needs to sit with us. We can't go do it again although different in feel both chefs have come from Noma and are creating something unique but in the same vein. We will leave Relae and Geranimum for our next trip to Copenhagen. Love this town.