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Noma


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#1 Gabe Quiros

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 07:01 AM

Hello everyone

This past Friday I had the pleasure of eating at the restaurant Noma, located in Copenhagen. I am sure a lot of people already have heard of this place as it has gained a lot of attention for it's innovative and fresh take on Nordic/Scandinavian cuisine. I had searched for it here at eG before but only found some references to it and no actual reports. So since I took pictures of my whole meal I wanted to share it with everyone so they can get a visual idea of the incredible food being served here. I want to apologize in advance if some of the pictures are blurry, but I didn't want to use the flash inside the restaurant so I had to manage as best as I could with my crappy digital camera.

First off let me tell you a little about the restaurant's location and background. The restaurant is just over 3 years old, and in this time it has already earned it's first Michelin star and everything seems to point that a second is not far away. They also came in at #33 in the 2006 edition of Restaurant's magazine World's Top 50 restaurant ranking. So it's obvious that things will only get bigger and better in the future for chef Rene Redzepi and his team.

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of an old warehouse in the Christianshavn area which has been completly renovated, and is now home to not only the restaurant, but also art galleries and many administrative and tourist offices for Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Which seems very appropiate since Noma's focus is in using a lot of products from this places. The building is then called the NorthAtlantic House. It has nice views of the harbor right in front and the Opera House to the side

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The restaurant interior is beautifull. Full of wood, candles and glass. It has that sort of nordic minimalist design that looks very natural yet modern and clean. The kitchen is separated from the dining area by 2 big glass panels, so you can see the chef and his team working in the background.

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Now is time to talk about the food! I was eating by myself so when I arrived they took my coat and showed me off to a table with just one chair set up. The waiters were very attentative and friendly and it made me feel confortable from the get go. So here is everything that I ate in order:

1- Snacks. This is something every customer got first which is a selection of little bits of food to start off. It had fried fjord shrimps, potato chips, chicken skin, fish skin, and oat chips. It was presented with 2 sides for dipping which were a cep mayonnaise and a poached egg yolk with shaved hazelnut.
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2- Aebleskiver. This is another course that was served to every table at the beggining. It is a traditional Danish holiday treat. It is basically a batter similar to pancake batter that is prepared in a special frying pan to give it it's ball shape. Normally I was told it is eaten with jam and has no filling. This version at Noma had a reindeer rillette ball inside and was served with a quince puree for dipping. It was very tasty and delicious.
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3- Next was an oyster appetizer. It had little pieces of raw oyster with dice of apple and celery, infused oil, and apple snow. You can't really appreciate it in the picture but there is also a gel at the center of the plate made with the oyster juices which is set and then all the other ingredients go on top of it. This was a very refreshing and light dish.
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4- Bread came next inside this cool little pouch which you had to untie to get to the bread. There were 2 types of wheat bread. It came with 2 dips. One was a mix of butter with Icelandic Skyr. The other was pork fat that was made smooth and mixed with parsley and pumpkin seeds.
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5- Musk Ox tartar. This was one of my favorite courses. It consisted of small thin strands of musk ox meat that was arranged on the plate as a little rectangle and on top it had some horseradish shhavings, fresh wood sorrel, and shallot rings. The waitress also brought a moist hand towel which I was instructed was to wipe my hands with since the dish was meant to be eaten with the hands. You grabbed some of the meat and toppings, then you passed it over some of the juniper poder and then put some of the tarragon emultion. It was so intense tasting and delicious.
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6- Raw marinated Greenlandic shrimp with herbs, horseradish snow, potatoe crumble, and cuucumber/dill juice. A very fresh tasting dish. They poured the potatoe crumble tableside.
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7- Glazed Norway scallop with vegetables, green strawberries, cranberries, walnuts and dill emultion. Scallop was just cooked and went very well with the vegetables/herbs.
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8- Klipfisk was next. They explained it was a traditional dish that consisted of pickeld cured fish. It is sort of hard to look in the picture but it is underneath the bread crouton. It also had pickled rose petals, rose buds, herbs, truffle air, and shaved truffle. This I think is were the flavors start turning more from green/fresh to a little more complex and earthy.
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9- King crab, leeks rolled in hay ashes, breadcrumbs and mussel juice. This although one of the smallest courses was also one of my favorites. I really liked the unexpected dimension that the ashes added to the dish. They poured in the breadcrumbs and mussel juice tableside.
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* Next was the main course. While I was waiting for the dish the waiter brought to the table a special knife meant for the meat dish. It is a really nice hand made knife from the Lapland region which came in it's own leather case. And just if you are wondering it was placed inside the case at the side of the table. I just took it out and put it on the plate for the picture!
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10- Main course of Musk Ox, glazed beets, bone marrow, croutons, nettle herb, beet sauce and apple puree. This dish had a lot of components but they were all tied up together well and made the combination very delicious. The beet taste was very intense and went well with the "gaminess" of the meat. A perfect closer for the savory dishes. The beet sauce was drizzled over tableside.
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11- Sheep milk mousse, garden sorrel granite and sugar tuille. I loved this dessert. Very fresh and light. The sorrel taste in the granite was very deep and the slightly acidic note went well with the smoothness of the mousse and the sweetness of the tuille.
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12- Carrot dessert. Consisted of carrot sorbet, dark syrup, mint oil/leaves, various carrots and fruits. At the tableside they poured in a hot sweet foamy sauce. This made a nice balance between the fruity/cold tase of the sorbet with the hot/creamy sauce.
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13- Small sweet bits. This was the last thing on my meal. By then I was very satisfied and this was a good closer. It had 5 things in which were marshmallow rolled in cranberry powder, chocolate ganache, caramelized bread pudding, beetroot gel rolled in malt powder, and a caramel.
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So that was my full eating experience at Noma. I hope you all enjoyed the pictures and highly recommend you go eat there if you get a chance. There is a very big future ahead for this restaurant.

www.noma.dk

#2 YKL

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 07:43 AM

great review - thank you Gabe.

I had such a wonderful time when I visited in September that I am returning this weekend - and your photos have heightened my anticipation. Should be excellent again.

#3 docsconz

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:37 AM

Excellent report and nice photos, Gabe! The knife in the photo used for the musk ox course reminded me of some knives I saw at a special exhibit on culinary utensils I saw in September at the Cooper-Hewitt design Museum in NYC.

The food looks and sounds delicious. It appears to be modern cuisine with a strong element of place. I now have another place to hope to get to dine at some day!
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#4 Hest88

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 01:51 PM

Wonderful review and pictures! I'm adding this to my Copenhagen list.

#5 Eatmywords

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 01:58 PM

Wow, great pics Gabe. Food looks so colorful and inventive. Nice touch on the course with the knife! :smile:

I checked out Noma's site. I was curious what the cost might be since I've heard that fine dining in Denmark and Sweden is astronomical. I see DKK 635 (about $120) for the 7 course dinner prix fix. Is that right? Seems well worth it. Interesting they charge the same price for the pairings.

I've always wanted to visit Scandinavia now I really I want to go.

Great post, thx

Edited by Eatmywords, 11 December 2006 - 02:00 PM.

That wasn't chicken

#6 John Talbott

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 07:14 AM

Excellent report and nice photos, Gabe!
The food looks and sounds delicious. It appears to be modern cuisine with a strong element of place. I now have another place to hope to get to dine at some day!

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Wonderful report and tantalizing looking food. I agree we've got to go. Thanks much Gabe.
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#7 YKL

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:34 AM

Having had the best dining experience of my life here in September, a repeat visit was irresistible and so I arranged to have another long weekend in Copenhagen in mid December with my niece

We were very privileged to be offered a new tasting menu by the kitchen which provided some fantastic new treats. My thoughts and notes are below – and have posted the least crappy of my photos onto flickr – link is here.

I’d like to apologise in advance for the quality of the photos – they hardly do the food justice but hopefully they’ll give you a sense of the platings. My niece did much better and will try and refer to those where appropriate ..

Snacks – various crisps – Potato, Chicken skin, oatmeal, and battered/deep fried shrimp and fish, cep mayonnaise and poached egg yolk with hazlenuts
An lovely accompaniment to our bubbly and the crisps seemed particularly impressive on this visit - in particular the chicken skin which was so thin as to be almost transparent – and its delicacy belying its deeply savoury taste. Was also a big fan of the oatmeal crisps with their delicious toasted nutty flavour.

“Æbleskiver” and quince
As per Gabe’s comnents upthread, we were told Æbleskiver is a traditional Danish holiday treat but a misnomer since it has no relationship to little slices of apple (the translation). Noma’s rendition is much more gutsy and savoury with its reindeer rillette filling and quince compote accompaniment. Overall a delicious mouthful and a fun whimsical start to the main meal.

Celery and Muzo apple from Lilleø, Osyter from Venø
Oh now this was very very special indeed – and I’m very grateful for Gabe’s photo above because this because this was one of the best dishes of the night for me. There was fantastic apple snow which was pure and refreshing, finely diced celery provided more palate cleansing, and gorgeous little pieces of marinated oyster. But, the undisputed star on the plate was the an oyster gel which was just brilliant quite frankly ….briny sweetness which brought a moment's stunned silence to the table. Altogether an extraordinary and sensational dish, and it was gone far too quickly.

Bread with Skyr butter and Pig fat with pumpkin seed and parsley
I had been so blown away by the pig fat on my previous visit that I actually gave it a round of applause – and it's still fabulous! We both found it difficult to resist eating too much of the bread and spread, but I anticipated that I needed to save stomach space for the delights to come!

Cooked leeks and truffle from Gotland, Bread Salad
The leeks were good and were well complemented by truffle cream and yoghurt sauce although curiously, the truffle slices were less flavoursome in the eating than in the smell – but still a pleasant dish overall.

Jerusalem artichoke and chestnut, “muesli” of cranberries
Now this was glorious!!! Chestnut cream is rich yet light, the earthy artichoke sits on top, but the magic comes from the final dusting of "muesli" which completely transforms the dish with the texture and new flavours from the nuts and seeds and sweet tartness from the lingonberries. Each individual component is good – but their synergy when combined makes for a fantastic mouthful which balances sweet, sharp, and earth flavours and textures – an outstanding plate of food - up there as one of the best of the evening.

Baked monkfish and mead, wild mushrooms and herbs
Was it the mead that made the fish so sweet and succulent? Or maybe it’s again the quality of the nordic ingredients that noma is so focused on. I often avoid monkfish in the UK because I have been served some rather sinewy pieces but this was an excellent example; flaky texture, pure and clean flavours, possibly even better without the butter glaze. One of the best dishes so far and there were broad smiles on our faces as they cleared our plates. (better photo to be found here - http://www.flickr.co...n/photostream/)

It’s probably about now that it hits us just how high the standard is, and that my astronomical expectations for the meal are actually being met and possibly exceeded. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this ….. but I am a very very lucky girl.

Squid and geléed hiprose vinegar, walnuts
I do love it when a restaurant introduces me to new flavour combinations and ideas – and the fruity tartness of the hiprose (sic) vinegar gel was delicious , but even this was completely upstaged by the walnut cream – nutty and perfectly smooth and yet without a hint of bitterness, just a pure walnut flavour – how do they do that?!?! The squid had a good flavour, may have been in the pan for a couple of seconds too long but a very very minor quibble. The walnut and rosehip are so delicious I didn't really mind or care!

Sautéed lobster and elderberries, tapioca and vinegar
The ingenuity of the kitchen to liven up the winter months is on display here, where they use a range of pickled berries to accompany the rich lobster meat and which also bring the dish to life. Great sharpness, the tapioca add interest and amusement as they burst satisfyingly on the tongue. A very very enjoyable dish -nicely captured on this shot.
http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

“Æggeblomme” potato, Potato puree and malt soil
Just one word - magnificent - and we finally understood the mysterious shapes that we’d seen being carried to other tables!! My photo hardly does it justice to the spectacular presentation ... they'd taken some beautiful rocks, polished them and then heated them to become ingenious serving vessels for the potato and soil. It was presented by the chef with a knowing smile and the comment “ .. eat it and we’ll discuss it later ..” :D For us, a fantastically powerful connection to the earth and you know what, the flavours were fabulous too!! The potato pieces had a creamy yet nutty taste, and the malt soil was so deliciously intriguing. We couldn’t find the words to describe the soil accurately – somehow sweet and aromatic – almost like a sweetened coffee bean but without the bitterness. They explained that these type of potatoes almost became extinct recently – so hurrah to noma for keeping a treasure like this alive. One of the most incredible dishes of the night for me - and I ate every single crumb. In fact, this single dish along with the oysters and artichoke/chestnut combination was probably worth the flight to Denmark for me!

Glazed musk ox and caramelized apple, beetroot and woodruff
My photo on flickr for this may have actually worked - just look at that juicy flesh! Are you drooling yet?! It was a stonkingly good piece of meat – the charming young chef who brought it to the table could barely contain his pride and delight!! The apple and beets were great partners for the meat – and the combination was a beautiful harmony of sweet but earthy tastes. Another winner.

Danish Cheese – Ho Holme
I rather like the idea of being served one type of cheese in peak condition rather than lots of different ones – particularly when it’s so deliciously ripe, creamy and deeply savoury. The fried rye breads were rather moreish too. Think they were rather too generous with the portions as I struggled to finish it all.

Carrots from Gotland, Seabuckthorn and dark syrup
Ah, now this was the dessert that had most intrigued me from other reports, and certainly the sorbet was very impressive and I really liked the contrast between the hot syrups and milk sauce and cold sorbet. However, the dish just didn't "click" for us until we found the buried treasure of acidic berries at the bottom - and then their texture and flavour improved the dish greatly. So a lesson for future visits and visitors, you must abandon yourself to utter greed and gather as much as you can on your spoon - the combinations will make much more sense then. A good phoot here though ...
http://www.flickr.co...@N00/329235073/

Jelly of buttermilk and malt, ice cream of caramelized sugar beet
Oh this was much more yummy - fab caramel ice cream and delicious jelly and watch out for the aquavit raisins - very powerful but so addictive. A delicious end to another fantastic evening.

Tea and P4s
Please allow me to take up some more of your time to rave about the tea which was an amazing brew of woodland herbs and leaves -- and the aroma from the teapot was a knockout!! Completely transported us to a wood on a late summer evening after a recent rainfall. It's warm, woody, spicy, earthy, floral and utterly intoxicating. P4s also very good - particularly the marshmallow which was like a puff of air, and the chocolate truffle and salted caramel.


Overall impressions
Food is still very very impressive indeed, and I find it quite astonishing and rather humbling that the team can produce 12 completely new courses which can meet or exceed my high expectations for this visit. Obviously the ingredients have changed (less berries and fruit for example) – but the cooking also seemed extra cohesive and tightly focussed to me this time with the textural element being particularly strong. Combine this with stellar service and their passionate pride and belief in what they are creating and the end result is extraordinary. I just feel lucky I was able to bear witness to it - ahem!! In fact, it was so amazing we have already made plans for our return in May! Apparently this is when everything really becomes amazing … and my return can't come soon enough!

#8 Gabe Quiros

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:21 PM

Nice report JKL. It looks like you enjoyed your meal there just as much as I did.

I am familiar with some of the dishes that you had, and a few are new but look amazing. I agree that it is impressive how prolific they are with their menus. From what the chef told me they change the tasting menu about every month. I am sure since they have such a big focus on seasonal products and using the freshest things then they adapt their menu to what is available at it´s peak.

I am very much looking foward to going again sometime soon and see what else they come up with.

#9 oakapple

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:11 PM

My friend and I will be visiting Copenhagen in July. Any idea how far in advance they accept reservations, and/or how far in advance is necessary to book?

#10 orangeman747

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:42 PM

Gabe... I very much enjoyed reading this!

Am I mistaken or were they recently featured in Gourmet magazine?

Thanks!

#11 Gabe Quiros

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:04 AM

Hi, glad you enjoyed the review.

I am not sure if they were recently in Gourment, I missed that. But I hear that they may soon be featured in a big article in Food and Wine magazine. Maybe the February issue. I am keeping an eye out for that.

#12 Hector

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:02 AM

Looks wonderful. Great review. Really inventive cooking, and very scandinavian.
I like the thing about Aebleskiver, I remember these as something tacky and tasteless you where served with ice cream or jam when you where a child and went to stay in Denmark (I'm Swedish, from a part of Sweden close to Denmark)

I have no idea why I haven't eaten there yet. Will be next time I visit the danish capital.

#13 kai-m

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 02:28 PM

What I would like to know is how long the dining actually takes (for the whole 7-course-menu, inlcuding amuses and petits fours).

Because I've heard that you're in'n'out rather quickly at Noma (around 2 hours) - which (if true) is not what I would expect at such place (and with so many courses).

Thanks

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#14 YKL

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:20 AM

both my meals started at 730 and I left at 1am! but they were 10-12 courses ...

#15 Gabe Quiros

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 12:50 PM

I think the meals times do vary somewhat. They have several options on the menu. Like they have lunch menus with 2 or 3 courses. Those are rather quick.

I am pretty sure they also do just one seating per lunch/dinner service. But some people do take longer depending on their menu option or how much they want to sit around drinking their wines and stuff. Like at night I noticed they started seating at 6:30pm until about 9pm. So some people were leaving like they said in the post above at almost 1am.

#16 YKL

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 09:02 AM

My friend and I will be visiting Copenhagen in July. Any idea how far in advance they accept reservations, and/or how far in advance is necessary to book?

View Post


from memory, if you're looking for a weekend booking ... would advise at least usually 6-8 weeks beforehand to be sure ..

In terms of how far they will accept bookings .... well, I booked in Dec 2006 for a meal in May 2007 - so quite far I think!

As a side note, I're pretty sure they close for a couple of weeks during the summer ... probably worth dropping them an enquiry by email

Hope this helps

Edited by YKL, 07 February 2007 - 09:02 AM.


#17 Shirley

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:17 AM

The michelin guide for the main cities of europe was released today. 2 stars for Noma and 1 star for restaurant MR.

#18 YKL

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 11:09 AM

The michelin guide for the main cities of europe was released today. 2 stars for Noma and 1 star for restaurant MR.

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ahh ... thought it wasn't out till tomorrow ... but that's excellent news for noma - and utterly deserved IMHO.

and congrats to Mads Refslund on his star too .... had a good meal there back in September.

Yin

#19 Shirley

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 01:03 PM

The noma cookbook is well worth getting hold.It has some great history of how the restaurant came about.

Edited by Shirley, 17 April 2007 - 01:30 PM.


#20 FoodMan

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 01:46 PM

Article about NOMA in the last Food and Wine issue. Click here. Unfortunatly the pictures from the magazine do not seem to be available online.

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#21 Gabe Quiros

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 02:07 AM

This seems to be THE year for Noma. Just recently like they mentio0ned before, they got the 2nd Michellin star. And now the new World's Top 50 list was released and they were the highest climbers going from #33 in 2006, to #15 in the new 2007 list. Congrats!

#22 paulbrussel

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 03:37 AM

My friend and I will be visiting Copenhagen in July. Any idea how far in advance they accept reservations, and/or how far in advance is necessary to book?

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I just got there last Wednesday evening and phoned one hour in advance for dinner: it was no problem at all, although it was complete when I arrived.

#23 YKL

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 12:24 PM

Noma - 5 May 2007
As the parting shot from the nice people at noma on my last visit was that any return visit should be planned for Spring (“when all the ingredients really start to explode”) - it seemed a perfect excuse to get back to Copenhagen at the beginning of May.

And the change in season was abundantly clear on this visit- everything seemed a little brighter and warmer that weekend, and with new Spring produce and ingredients for the kitchen to play and experiment with - they are clearly revelling in the new bounty. The herbs and plants seemed to have a much more prominent role this time, and some flavours seemed particularly crisp and sharp

The restaurant was already pretty full by the time we arrived and so the room was buzzing, and we enjoyed a warm welcome from Pontus and Lau. They were kind enough to just cook for us again - and amusingly they did offer the normal menu as an alternative to menu devised by the kitchen!! :biggrin: So for the record, if any chef is ever marvellous enough to offer to cook for me, then he/she will have my full attention. Maybe I should start wearing a t-shirt saying “My stomach now belongs to you …..”

My photos didn’t all come out - the ones below are the best of the bunch.

Snacks: potato and oatmeal crisps, fish and chicken skin, fried shrimp and baskuld, cep mayonnaise
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These were served with our champagne and they explained that baskuld is a type of danish flat fish which is smoked,… (maybe dried as well - can’t quite remember.) And it was very good indeed - with the smokey notes enhancing rather than overwhelming the fish. Could have quite happily munched on a bowl of these. All the crisps were as good as ever - and cep mayonnaise particularly full-flavoured on this occasion.

Crabmeat and seaweed, Roasted oats
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A cracking start to the meal - Beautiful spring colours, freshness and delicacy from the crab and a lovely lift from the frozen horseradish which was both cooling and warming at the same time (very nice trick!). Particularly enjoyed the seaweed with the crab - and this idea of pairing ingredients based on their proximity in nature is a very strong noma signature, providing natural balance but also reinforcing your sense of location and the season. An excellent dish overall - absolutely the North on a plate and probably one of the best three dishes of the night for me.

Poached duck egg and "råkost", Oyster and dill
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If ever I needed an olfactory camera for scratch and sniff photos, now would have been the time because they could have blindfolded me and I would still have known it was oysters from the fantastically powerful smell. Made it rather difficult to concentrate on what I was being told! But my notes remind me that what you can see above is a poached duck egg yolk, shavings of raw vegetables and the star of the show - a warm oyster vinaigrette,

And the taste? O H M Y G O D …… completely and utterly stupendous. - and in fact, those oysters produced groans of pleasure around the table. Was so unbelievably good that even 2 weeks later, I still haven’t found words adequate to recreate it, all I can remember is me, oyster and bliss. And even just typing these words and looking at the photo is making me grin wildly and salivate.

Without a doubt, absolutely the best oysters I have ever been lucky enough to eat … and am now ruined completely - I may never be able to eat oysters again for fear of disappointment! How the hell was the rest of the meal going to live up to this experience?


Sea buckthorn and burnt butter, Jerusalem artichoke and "knäckebröd"
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Good flavours, and the astringency of the berries and the muesli (of toasted Swedish crisp bread and hazlenuts) made the dish better balanced. There was also mustard mayonnaise in the dish I think.

Langoustines from the Faroe Islands, Oyster emulsion and sea weed
(No decent photo I’m afraid, so you’ll have to imagine that the plate had two huge langoustines on it, to be picked up with your fingers and swept through the generous smear of pale green oyster emulsion and then seasoned by dipping into the crushed seaweed salt and juniper.)

Loving seafood as much as I do - am always happy to see langoustines on a menu - but they’re not necessarily my favourite compared to other seafood - all of which meant I was quite unprepared for the reaction it would produce ….

Because they were utterly sensational - succulent and meaty, and with an incredible richness of flavour - as deep and sweet and powerful as the oysters which I’d just been swooning over. So good I think they finally managed to stun us into hushed disbelief at what we were tasting - and again, even without a photo, the recollection of that incredible langoustine is enough to put a smile on my face.

You know when people ask you what’s your favourite food in the world …. Or what you would want as your last meal on earth? Up till now, have found it impossible to answer that question on the basis of being so utterly greedy …. But dammit that oyster vinaigrette and langoustines were so unreal and fantastically good, that if I could just taste and experience them one more time, I would move on to my next destination with a very big smile on my face.

Think it was at this point that L said no matter else came - just having those oysters and langoustines have made the entire trip to Denmark worthwhile! Think we all agreed.

"New" potatoes and "Västerbotten" cheese, Ramson onions and hedge garlic
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Big flavours and aromas here which grabbed our attention as soon as the plate was placed on the table. As with all the vegetables served that evening - the potatoes very much on the al dente side - think I’ve seen elsewhere this is a deliberate approach by the kitchen … The wild garlic was particularly powerful and pungent - and the cheese sauce was delicious - creamy, rich, and yet still with a good tang and bite to stop it becoming too cloying- reminded me of the few occasions when I’ve had really good cheddar. A very nice dish.

Milk-skin and smoked marrow, Beet juice and wood sorrel
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Of course the colour was fabulous and the milk skin was interesting - but for me, any distinct flavour from the milk skin may have been overwhelmed by the beets. So good rather than great perhaps? But it had wood sorrel which I always approve of …

Black mottled Danish pork, Green strawberries and green asparagus
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Green and white asparagus to be precise, and the green strawberries provided a pleasing fruity and tart edge. Meat itself was very very juicy and tender, and good flavour too. My notes tell me that there was also a hazelnut cream on the plate? All in all, another good plate of very enjoyable flavours.

Celery sorbet and fresh cream from Dronningmølle, Ground elder and raisins
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Ermm, ok … this is where it gets bit confusing because noma tell me this is what they served us .. But my notes from the night mention “Barley with raisins and sultanas, sugar rose syrup, croutons, meringue, mint” - which suggests another dessert? In any case, it was a pleasant dish - fruity rather than being over sweet - and very buttery


Caramel in different textures, Crumbles and chips of malt
It appears that they have no recollection of serving this to us - but a dimly lit photo on my camera and my scribbled notes suggest otherwise? So, assuming it wasn’t a figment of my oyster and langoustine overloaded imagination, then I would say the mixture of caramel puree, chiffon, and flakes was clever riff on the basic ingredient of sugar, but the skyr cheese was what made the dish - adding a welcome sour and fresh note to counter the sweetness. There was also good textural from the malt soil. Simple and elegant - and pretty effective

Rhubarb and woodruff, "Skyr" and sweet bread
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Best dessert of the night - both in terms of looks and taste. There was poached rhubarb, rhubarb sorbet and woodruff ice-cream, some skyr and meringue. All worked very well together - and a lovely way to end the meal.

We took tea in the bar …. And were served a beetroot flodeboll (spelling?!) which was a chocolate covered beetroot mousse, with little bits of beetroot jelly - shaped a bit like a walnut whip or beehive if that makes sense? Too dark for my camera to cope with …. But I can tell you it was delicious … but then I like beetroot and chocolate!


So, finally at the end of another evening of great food and splendid service and hospitality. They’ve always been incredibly nice and patient with me - which is such an important of the overall experience for me, and is a big part of what makes me return. I was very very pleased to hear of their second Michelin star and recent coverage in numerous magazines has brought them a lot of attention, and such success seems well deserved. Does also mean they’re getting busier - such that certainly for Saturday evening tables, they were already booking well into September. Just for information ……

Crisp sharp flavours, good balance in acidity, sweetness and meatiness, and a play on textures - a very good meal - but if I really think about it, the oysters and langoustines were so standout, it’s almost hard to remember much of everything else … Which seems a little unfair when there’s clearly plenty of skill and creativity in the kitchen, but sometimes I get dazzled by the flashes of brilliance and genius. it’s all there though …...

In the meantime, I have several more visits planned and I’m looking forward to all of them. Happy days indeed.

#24 Neu

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 03:53 PM

I finally made it to Noma yesterday after hearing and reading so many great things about it. They had just started their new monthly changing menu and the individual courses were clearly marked by great summer herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Compared to previous reports you could see a distinct thread of familiar products and preparations running through the August menu. However, all dishes except the skin snack were newly composed.

Quail eggs
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The egg was very soft and delicious. My only regret is that I ate it too fast and that my memory of it’s taste disappeared too quickly. Of course the bed of hay was not meant to be eaten. But hay did end up in my mouth three courses later, though in a different state.

Raw shrimps and green gooseberries – Fresh cream and dill
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Very cold and fresh. The gooseberry granité added a great juicy flavour to the shrimps. The combination of three clear harmonic taste components seems typical of René Redzepi’s kitchen. The dish also exemplifys Noma’s approach in that it is unmistakenly Nordic and places the seasonal product at its centre using modern preparations.

Shoots and malt – Potato puré
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The stone that the dish was placed on was warm. Some would have probably found the vegetables undercooked but I preferred the bite they had. The al dente texture was also a nice contrast to the malt dust on top and the hidden, creamy potato puré.

Skate wing and mussel liquor – Cauliflower in different textures
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Here, the hay turns up in the form of ashes. The small cauliflower stems on the fish cooked at different lengths reminded me of Ferran Adria’s „asparagus in different textures“. The surprise element that brought a smile to my face was a sharp acidic note that suddenly popped up on my tongue. I first thought of capers but it turned out to be elderberries that were salted and pickled in vinegar for 3 months.

Warm lobster salad. Red current wine and beach herbs
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The lobsted was caught in Danish waters and was unbelievably sweet and meaty. Simply the best two bites of lobster I’ve ever had. The fruity sauce was a joy as well.

Goat-kid and „dust“ of thyme – Hazelnuts and mushroom
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Both, the kid and the thyme almost melted on the tongue. The kid was cooked sous vide for 24 hours at 63 degrees celcius together with cream and gammeldansk – a Danish bitter. The crunch of the nuts and mushrooms was a good contrast to the softness of the meat.

Raspberries and beet roots – Marinated rose hips
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I’m not a big fan of beet roots but this was a fantastic dessert. When mixed together the bitter taste of beet was an excellent contrast to the sweetness of the rasberry sorbet. Similarly to the potato puré underneath the vegetables on the stone there was also a hidden pleasure to be found below the red fruits that can’t be seen on the photo: a cream with oak crumbs.

Blueberries and milkskin – Pickled pine tree shoots and sweet bread
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The childhood memories I have of milk skins are not among my favourites but this felt
very good when combined with the blueberry sorbet that laid underneath. This was the last dish of the menu but I had a go at one more dessert...

Beer porridge
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Apparently a Danish classic that is a favourite bedtime dish for children (interesting to note at what early age Danes are already being acquainted with ale). Rye bread is soaked in beer, then sugar and milk are added. Here the milk cream is added through a syphon and accompanied by a sheep milk sorbet. Milk foam syphon. comfort food. This was a very comforting dish with a nice temperature contrast of the hot soaked bread and the cold milk cream.

I had high expectations of Noma and was not disappointed. I’ve never felt so relaxed and comfortable at Michelin starred restaurant before. For such modern and innovative food the dishes came across as very natural even effortless and not constructed at all. This struck me as especially remarkable considering that this was the first day of a completely new menu being served. Every single course was a success and managed to provide at the same time new and unexpected flavour combinations as well as the feeling that the food was more familiar to me than that at French or Spanish restaurants.

Edited by Neu, 05 August 2007 - 12:53 AM.


#25 YKL

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:16 AM

some lovely photos and great post - thanks for taking the time Neu.

I'm lucky enough to be back at noma this week - and can't wait to try some of these new dishes!

Thanks

Yin

Edited by YKL, 05 August 2007 - 01:17 AM.


#26 Neu

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:48 AM

I'd be interested to hear what you had. I went to Noma for lunch so it might be quite different.
If you have either the lobsters or the vegetables on the rock: I'm wondering what spices the lobster
was prepared with and how the malt earth on the vegetables was done.

#27 YKL

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 11:44 AM

I went to Noma for lunch ....

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Really? I would have guessed it was the standard 7-course menu you got (comparing to the menu on the website) i.e. what they serve in the evening ... so not sure how different it will be. and I doubt my photos will be as good! :biggrin:

Will try and remember to ask about the lobsters and malt earth/soil. Based on previous visits, my guess for the latter is that it's brewers malt, sweetened and roasted ... but I think there's other EG members who worked at noma or are far more expert so they may provide a more accurate explanation ...

#28 Neu

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:29 AM

you're right.
it seems that i had the dinner menu for lunch.
what did you have?

#29 YKL

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:36 AM

They were kind enough to just take care of the menu for me :smile: .. so basic 7 course was same as yours except no skate wing but a fabulous razor clam with leek and mustard flower dish instead (one of the highlights of the meal actually), and a couple of extra insertions which were

peas and celery - wonderfully fresh and verdant
oyster, cucumber and nasturtium leaves
sweetbread and walnuts and hazelnuts - also v v good

Will try and pull together more detailed notes later this week, and perhaps some photos but this meal was practically flawless and so clean and fresh. It was the first visit for my friends and F was so bowled over by course 3, he ran out to ring a friend back home in Brussels to insist that they arrange a repeat visit! :biggrin:

Edited by YKL, 14 August 2007 - 11:37 AM.


#30 Neu

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:24 AM

thank you for the feedback, yin.
it would be great to see photos of the extra dishes you had.
as you've been to noma in different seasons did you have any
meals there that you preferred to others?
i really liked how fruits und fruit juices were included in the dishes
and was wondereing if you missed them in a winter meal.