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YKL

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  1. I went to Noma for lunch ....

    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 ...

  2. I know this reply is too late - but I guess we may as well pull together a thread here?

    quantros always used to be pretty reliable - but think there's been a change of ownership

    colleague said tannin level was good at the weekend

    Sasso's is a good Italian - a cut above basic trattoria

    none of the above are standout - but are reasonable food for reasonable money.

  3. just wanted to echo Fi and Moby ... this was a wonderful wonderful meal. The salmagundy was so beautiful it practically had me in tears, and the turbot tartar was fabulous - fresh, fragant with herbs and perfectly balanced. As fine a mouthful of food as you will ever find anywhere.

    As Moby said, everything was top notch, but some parts were quite exceptional ... that extraordinary ham which was so powerful and yet refined, jasmine junket heavenly in flavour and lightness, the cake milk was a genius invention, that lemon verbana ice-cream was to die for .... basically everything was just bloody brilliant.

    Moby has to remind us that this is a pub, you could easily believe you were in a starred restaurant ... in fact, this was one of the best meals I've ever been lucky enough to enjoy. It's effectively a 500 mile round trip for me to visit, but that's not going to stop me. When something is this special, distance is not a barrier ..

  4. just back from lunch here with Bapi and R and H ... (has been far too long since i saw them last!) .. and delighted to be able to confirm that the food here is indeed very very good.

    We managed to order most of the menu between us ... and my personal favourites were:

    - special of morcilla with fried egg - excellent. light but richly flavoured morcilla, runny egg, and some pear(? is that right) puree on the side. Good enough for me to request a second portion even though I was probably full enough!

    - salt cod croquetas - very impressive balance of cod and potato flavour

    - anchovies on crostini - meaty fillets, full of flavour with good sweet/sour notes

    Also worth mentioning the padron peppers (although we ate the last of the supply), spinach tortilla and chorizo/ham platter.

    Puds also very impressive - a sublime lemon tart, but first prize in the puds goes to the sticky toffee pudding for its genius accompaniment of Timothy Taylor ice-cream - providing wonderful aromatic malty and bitter notes to the ice-cream. More please ..

    Service smiley and helpful - a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon ...

    Did try taking some photos but they're not good enough to post ... but doesn't matter - I intend on returning ... :smile:

  5. 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.

  6. um, I think you'd be missing out on a great meal if you didn't go ... :huh:

    but would like to clarify that I'm not suggesting you "prove" yourself in any way ... I just happened to be a bit enthusiastic and I think that's what got me a particularly special experience. But think most people on this thread seemed to have a pretty positive experience.

    Hope you have a good time where-ever you visit

    Cheers

  7. I think it can be seen from my previous reports that I am hugely biased towards noma ... but with that disclaimer .. :rolleyes:

    On my very first visit - my initial impression was that the service was initially reserved but once they realised how crazily enthusiastic I was (or maybe just crazy) ... that quickly changed to fantastic personal engagement .. and service became friendly, jovial and just completely marvellous - which (as you say) is what turns a good or great meal into a very special dining experience.

    So ... without wanting to diminish your friend's experience, my own personal experience is that they respond very very well to enthusiasm. and to questions about their whole ethos.

    But as I say, I think it's brilliant.

  8. thanks Shirley - just what I was looking for!

    Am only there for a weekend again so v time constrained - am already having hard time choosing between Jan Hurtigkarl, Unami and Bo Bech at Paustian.

    Geranium is probably for a future trip then ... as is a possible return to MR of course ...

    yin

  9. thanks Shirley - just what I was looking for!

    Am only there for a weekend again so v time constrained - am already having hard time choosing between Jan Hurtigkarl, Unami and Bo Bech at Paustian.

    Geranium is probably for a future trip then ... as is a possible return to MR of course ...

    yin

  10. As posted elsewhere Rasmus came in 2nd...2009?

    which leads nicely to my next question - does anyone have any information on his new place ... think it's called Geranium on Kronprinssegade ... just opened?

    A website would be great - or else info on opening hours, costs ... or feedback would be very much appreciated

    and any views on Jan Hurtigkarl's place ... near Helsingor?

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

    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

  12. 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?

    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

  13. The Paul, Copenhagen - 15 Dec 2006

    My niece and I had fantastic time here in December - not least because they had figured out from a random post on EG that I was visiting - and so Paul Cunningham came over at the start to introduce himself and to say hello! Once I'd got over the initial shock and we started chatting, he turned out to be a marvellous bloke and a very hospitable one as well. An unexpectedly exciting start to the evening ... oh goody!

    My notes and thoughts on food are below ... it was the set 7 course menu, and we asked to split a wine flight .. rather than risk being found dancing on the tables by the 3rd course ... and they were very obliging about all this.

    (Food descriptions and wines taken from the menu - photos are all my own inept efforts so apologies in advance.)

    Aperitif - Glogg

    Oh we enjoyed this so much that we asked for the recipe!! I think it's usually red wine based - liked a mulled wine? This version was made with white wine though, with orange juice, cointreau, white port, sugar to taste and all heated through with Christmas spices. A very enjoyable and festive start to the proceedings ... probably a little too enjoyable because I accidentally drank it all!

    Our snacks, spoons + aperitivos –Gruyere profiterole, aged Parmesan & Ventrechè. Roasted Marcona almond. Date, chorizo mayonnaise – Branflakes., Olive vert Italiano Grande & olive Nero baked with Pimento del Piquillo, avocado crema, foie gras creme

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    We happily munched through these huge selection of nibbles - all were pretty good. Think my favourite was the date+chorizo mayo - a good sweet spicy flavour.

    Queenie scallops, herbes fine, leather pumpkin

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    The scallops had been marinated in champagne vinegar and lemon oil and were deliciously sweet. The pumpkin puree had been mixed (in the words of Paul C himself) excessive quantities of parmesan and marscapone, which meant that his prediction of finding us on the sofas at the end of the night, groaning with how full we were almost came true!! Unbelievably rich - probably too much so for me .. probably should have resisted the deliciousness and left some behind. whoops.

    ‘ Brændnede Kærlighed. ‘ - Elvis Aaron Presley 1935 - 1977.

    Roasted lobster with pommes puree. Lobster reduction & pork crackling.

    Rosé Champagne. Delamotte.

    333192030_b16d0c0864_m.jpg

    "Burning Love" is a poetic name for this traditional (?) Danish dish and the back story is that it was cooked by two students as a sign of their deep love for each other, and who wouldn't love someone who provided you with enormous bowls of mash?! Not quite sure about the Elvis connection though - maybe the lobster makes it more upscale? In any case, it was another incredibly indulgent dish with generous portions of lobster and potato puree. Although the latter was so rich it was probably more butter than tuber. The pork crackling were fantastic little crunchy squares which gae much needed texture to the dish - and was probably he only thing that could have held its own on that plate of richness.

    Roasted monkfish with veal sweetbread from Dønnerup Gods.

    Onion soubise & poached Butan onion. Clipped cress.

    Puligny Montrachet, Louis Carillon.

    333192188_4d584625dd_m.jpg

    Best dish of the night for me - every component was so delicious and flavoursome. The monkfish was of a most superior quality and all the different onion preparations were fab. But the genius touch was the deep fried sweetbreads which the crisp exterior yielded to a wonderfully chewy interior. Marvellous ... and the plates were very clean at the end.

    ’ Bloc de foie gras. ’ –

    Poached pork cheek with Autumn truffles from Alba. Green apple, sprout leaf & honey.

    Carte D’or, Baumard, Loire.

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    Ah .. this was an interesting dish for us since individually, we found the honey sauce too sweet and the foie too salty. But bring the two together and they balance each other perfectly and you get a wonderfully rich and delicious forkful of food. To take yourself to a special place, add a sliver of sharp apple and a sprout leaf for bitterness and it becomes sublime. A very very good dish, superb balance and I just hope the photos give you some sense of what we enjoyed.

    Jerusalem artichokes & roasted forest mushrooms. Watercress leaves. Aged Parmesan.

    Babera, Sandrome. Italy.

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    A welcome appearance of vegetables after several rich courses and I really enjoyed the earthy flavours.

    Duck, roasted with it’s own sausage. Coco blanco, hazelnut & golden sultanas.

    Maple syrup & raspberry vinaigre reduction. Parsley.

    Marquis de Terme, Bordeaux.

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    Apparently duck is a traditional Christmas Eve meal - hence it's appearance here. I love duck, but even I had to admit it was a very rich dish and it almost defeated M but it was so yummy that we soldiered on bravely :wink: .

    They offered us the option of a cheese course next but having forgotten to pack an extra stomach - we decided to move straight to desserts! So Paul C wandered over and deposited this on our table ...

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    the instructions were to leave for a couple of minutes and teh remove the lid for a sniff. Turned out the contents was a smouldering pine branchlet - and a lovely fragant scent. We were amused by this but didn't understand until this plate arrived ..

    334197244_9d5d541fec_m.jpg

    It was an orange dessert selection - and the ice cream was smoked pine!! there was also some mousse, marshmallow, segments ... don't have full notes since this was a a bonus gift from the kitchen and a very delicious one too - lightness and sweet orange flavours - a great plate.

    Rice and cherry brûlèe, Champagne granitè. Cherry & roasted almond ice cream.

    Brachetto. Malvira, Italiano.

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    the brulee was excellent and the granita was also very good. There was a clafoutis which was rich and dense - saved from being too cloying by the sour sweet cherries - so another good dessert. Should mention that they were being incredibly generous with their pours of wine - I'm sure we were given almost full servings!

    THEPAULchocolate – Winter ’06.

    Burmester Vintage ’03.

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    sorry, but my memory and notes are all a bit hazy on this because I'm so tipsy by this point. My recollection is that it was another good dish and we were finally at the end of an excellent and epic meal.

    Petit fours - Nougat Française, Winter spices. Pear & cranberry gel. Blackberry sphere with dark chocolate.

    Lavender flower truffle & honey crisp…….to coffee.

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    I'd asked for peppermint tea for its digestive effects but I was probably beyond saving by that point since I could only manage one ickle P4 - but that was very good. M tells me the others were also very much up to scratch.

    Overall

    The food is very good indeed - all beautifully presented, well executed and with some flair and imagination. The particular menu we were served was incredibly rich though so if I were to visit again - would probably skip lunch that day! They currently have one Michelin star - and I just wish other 1* in the UK were so good and so much fun.

    Service was impeccable all night - and we were very well looked after by Paul and his team. In fact, he spent so long chatting during the final dessert that the ice cream melted! We wouldn't have minded but this was unacceptable to him and he promptly whisked them away and sent for replacements!! Staff were all friendly and enthusiastic, water and bread constantly topped up and nothing was too much trouble for them. Some really good attention to detail during the service as well.

    In summary, a splendid place - full of happy smiley people who can't wait to smother you with good food and generous hospitality. Special mention should be made of Paul C - a great personality and full of joie de vivre ... and we were very grateful to him for letting us take up so much of his time!

  14. this thread has reminded me that I have dinner booked at The Paul in Tivoli later this week.  Will be my first visit and I have high expectations .... are they justified?

    rather remiss of me not to have commented earlier on this but our evening at The Paul in mid December was fantastic - excellent and luxurious food (could barely move by the end of it), superb service - knowledgeable and friendly and we were privileged to spend a lot of time talking to Paul Cunningham himself ... who is a marvellous bloke! Am still trying to put together some notes ... almost there.

    My return to noma was also stunning ... comments on the main noma thread

    Cheers

  15. 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. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ykl/sets/72157594438269764/

    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.com/photos/11484557@N00/...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.com/photos/11484557@N00/...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.com/photos/11484557@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!

  16. Don't worry about it: the standard menu is pretty fantastic too.

    Oh, one other thing: make sure you are hungry when you go; the portions are always extremely generous.

    whoops - sorry - should probably have been more awake when posting. think a tasting menu is coming soon for all ... I was just extremely lucky and very grateful!

    fully agree with both the points above. In fact, from memory, when i looked at the ALC - every single one of the starters, mains and desserts appealed to me!

    Am sure you'll be well looked after ...

    look forward to hearing feedback ..

  17. a rather belated note after a very very good meal here last week - all of which makes even me more impatient for my copy of Essence to arrive from Santa!

    I was lucky enough to served a tasting menu - one of those times when my greed pays off! Random notes follow:

    Smoked eel brandade, Horseradish cream, Fried sand eels.

    A big hit for me - lovely creamy brandade and thought the heat of the horseradish was particulaly well judged, adding enough warmth but not so hot that it risked bludgeoning your taste buds at the start of the meal.

    Seared scallop, cauliflower puree,wood sorrel, cumin foam, ras el hanout caramel.

    I love scallops, and thought this was a great dish. I got plenty of cumin flavour in the foam so all very good, and lots of wood sorrel - excellent.

    Langoustine,veal breast, peanuts, broccoli puree.

    It was the veal breast that stood out for me - far more richly flavoured than I expected of veal.

    Zander, stew of duck hearts and bay boletus, red wine emulsion, radish shoots

    Thought this was fantastic - the duck hearts were incredibly tender and the mushrooms were very very good. One of the best three dishes of the overall meal for me.

    Kid cannelloni, lambs tongue, goats curds, land cress puree.

    Ah - had heard of this elsewhere - and wasn't sure if I was going to appreciate it if only because I'm not fond of goat's cheese, but this was amazing. For me, the curds worked well with the meat, and the meat was incredibly tender. Polished the lot off in no time, and I had a new entry for favourite dish.

    Pigs trotter stuffed with snails and nettles, homemade black pudding ,braised cheek. Jerusalem artichoke puree, crosnes.

    Piggy heaven for me. My favourite was the suprisingly light black pudding which was studded with sweetbreads - a genius touch to add new texture and interest and a highly commendable update of this excellent food, and one which I would like like to see more of! The jerusalem artichoke puree was impossibly smooth - practically liquid. I did also disgrace myself but not recognising the crosnes as Chinese artichoke ... note to self - must read more of my Davidson.

    Pandanus leaf tapioca, caramelised mango, palm syrup.

    Have a vague recollection of the tapioca being in coconut milk and it was delicious. Was impressed and gratified that the mango had been ready sliced under the caramel shell - a nice attention to detail which saved me from risking injury or accidental spillage.

    Bitter chocolate delice, salted caramel centre, malted barley ice cream.

    Someone had previously described this as a giant rolo - which amuses me far more than it should! It was stonkingly good - and from now on, don't accept someone's last rolo as a token of their affection ... a real sign of love is if they make this for you ...

    Finally, peppermint tea with P4s which I was invited to take in the lounge and thereby get to meet David. Actually, I have to say that the Everitt-Matthias are so generous with their petit four offering, I could have sworn that a branch of Thorntons had just opened up in front of me!

    Was the first time I'd met David, and he's as marvellous as Helen is, exceptionally friendly and modest which is my poor excuse for chatting to them for as long as I did. Their talent is what has brought them so much success, but it makes me very very happy that good stuff happens to two genuinely nice people.

    So - I had a lovely time and a fantastic meal - bold and strong flavours, generous and warm service - why can't more places pull this off? It's probably good that I live 180 miles away otherwise I would be visiting far too often. As it is, my enthusiastic ravings to friends means I might be able to recruit some more stomachs for a repeat visit. Now where did I put my diary .....

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