Monday, October 27, 2014


Only the world's best for my 30th birthday!

In February, Becca had sent an email to the gang to see who was interested in going to Noma. Coincidentally, the weekend that worked best for us happened to be the same weekend as my birthday. I decided to hi-jack this trip and call it "My 30th birthday at Noma". Reservations open up about two months in advance, and Becca secured us a Saturday lunchtime reservation.

So what is Noma? Well, it is a restaurant in Copenhagen headed by Chef Rene Redzepi (who trained with Ferran Adria!) that focuses on locally foraged dishes. It has won numerous accolades, and perhaps most prominently, San Pelligrino's best in the world, year after year. So, you can say I was pretty excited to dine at a place that is so highly regarded. 

As we approached the restaurant, a man stood outside with a welcoming smile. He introduced himself to us and shook all of our hands and welcomed us to Noma. As we walked in, the entire staff greeted us with a warm and hearty hello. It felt as though I was walking into a family member's house during the holidays! I liked the decor - blonde wood floors, big windows, and shearling throws on the chairs. 

We were seated and a server told us how the menu would work, the menu consisted of twenty courses, ten small bites, and ten larger plates. And so we began our journey. 

{Ingrid Marie Apple soup and herbs}

While the below dish may look like sponges you used in your kindergarten art class to make a mother's day poster for your mom, this is actually reindeer moss. Served with a creme fraiche dipping sauce, this dish was crunchy and a tiny bit salty, and very similar in flavor and texture to the kale chips I make for dinner back home. 

{Hip berries and walnuts}

The next dish was a jaw dropper. Our servers brought out boards with Danish rib eye beef tartar. Well, tartar is traditionally served with a squeeze of lemon juice on top. Why would Chef Redzepi do anything conventional? Instead, we were served wood ants on top of our tartar. The ants offer a citrusy flavor, and once I started chewing you hardly realized what I was eating (I did close my eyes as I was putting some bites in my mouth!)  

What next, tarantulas? Luckily, no. Our next course was flatbread and rose petals, such a pretty sight! 

{Mystery egg! What could be inside?}

{Smoked and pickled quail egg}

Just when we thought we were safe from ants, they came back to haunt us. This time, we were served "ants on a log"...but instead of raisins on celery, it was ants on a Danish cucumber. 

The cucumbers paired with a dehydrated scallop, which was an interesting dish.

Our next dish was a sandwich of sorts. White cabbage was fried to represent breadslices, and on the inside, we had samphire.

There is a sweet Danish dessert named Aebleskiver, and one of our courses put a twist on the classic and made it savory. This was then topped with some flowers and grasshopper powder.

The only dish I did not enjoy was this monkfish liver - it was far too salty and fishy for my tastes. 

Our last course of the "small plates" was a burnt onion and walnut oil "soup". 

Then it was time for intermission. Our servers brought out some home made butter and bread, we know I can never resist! 

To begin our next set of ten courses, we were served squid and broccoli. 

I think the next dish was another favorite of mine. It was a shrimp ravioli, sort of. The green raviolis you see below are actually nasturtium flower leaves, and then the shrimp were nicely tucked in on the inside.

{Pumpkin with kelp and beechnuts}

{Beetroot with sloe berries and herbs}

{Egg yolk, potato, elderflower)

The final savory course of the afternoon was a roasted bone marrow served with cabbage and nasturtium flowers (that is one popular flower!). We were instructed to make bone marrow wraps with our ingredients. Kind of like the lettuce wraps at PF Changs! Remember those from 2005? 

Now it was time for dessert!

{Aronia berries and sol}

Then we had mashed potato ice cream. Yes, mashed potatoes! With plum ice cream. 

{Potato and plum}

This concluded our meal at the world's best restaurant. Our servers escorted us to the lounge area where we could enjoy more coffee and snacks. It really did feel like we were at a friend's house hanging out drinking coffee after a dinner party!

The pastry below was topped with barley, not nutella, as I thought. Who knew barley had a sweet flavor to it?

My friends also surprised me with a Noma birthday cake! I didn't get any photos of it, but it was topped with a barley frosting and definitely not something you could pick up at momofuku milk bar. 

Overall: Everyone keeps asking me how it was. I don't think I can compare Noma to anything else - the food and preparation were so unique and experimental. I mean, where else would I eat wood ants or nasturtium flower ravioli? I expect outstanding service at restaurants of this caliber, but this was even above my high standards. Would I go back? I wouldn't travel just to Copenhagen to eat here again, but I am happy that I got to cross it off my list, as it has been high on my "must try" for quite some time. 

Strandgade 93
DK-1401 Copenhagen
+45 3296 3297 

Open for Tuesday - Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations are available through an online booking system, or by calling the number above. Note that the restaurant will be closed from December 21st 2014 - March 24th 2015

1 comment :

Becca said...

so much fun!!