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FDE

Geranium, Copenhagen – Only 1 star?

8 posts in this topic

After reading so much last year about Chef Rasmus Kofoed's challenging journey to achieve Gold in Bocuse d'Or, we finally visited his new location, at the home ground of the Danish national football team! I was so impressed by this meal and since there wasn’t much written about Geranium, I had to start this topic!

Rasmus stunned all of us with an elaborate series of ten amuse bouches at the lounge followed by eight courses in the dining room. Below are just some highlights:

Carrot & Sea-buckthorn

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"razor clams" with edible shell

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Jerusalem artichoke tree & Walnut oil

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Burnt potato & sheep's milk butter

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The second course of the menu was a plate of Stones and the manager advised us to eat only the green ones of course! The stone was a cube of salmon coated in dill jello, served with salmon roe and dill sauce. Moist and tasty centre with a nice spark from the salmon roe!

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I initially thought the mackerel was smoked but it was actually just lightly salted. It was the paper thin layer of ash sandwiched between the mackerel giving out an intense smokiness.

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Served on a trendy metal plate was Langoustine & Hay aroma. Brilliant texture, nice charcoalness, and just a few tiny pieces of wild herbs on top, that was all it needed.

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A tea pot of lamb stock and herb with garlic and thyme. Each drop was packed with flavours.

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Then our server invited us into the kitchen to sit behind his Bocuse d'Or trophies! While being entertained by the close-up actions in the kitchen, they served us one of Rasmus' signature courses - Chervil & White chocolate.

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Carrot leaf and Green egg

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Rasmus flawlessly delivered an inspiring meal using regional ingredients with such a high quality beyond my expectation. There is no doubt that this restaurant deserves to be in a different league. If Michelin can give out 2-star to a pub in England that serves average decent food, then this meal we had is probably about... 10 stars?!


Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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Fab. But I would probably come away hungry and stop off for fish & chips on my way home.

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Mark, as I mentioned, above was an extract, the whole meal consisted of 10 amuse bouches at the lounge followed by 8 courses in the dining room. I would be very surprised if you can finish a full plate of fish & chips after the 18 portions of food with bread:)

You can check out the full meal here if you want:

http://www.finedinin...ic/geranium.php


Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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Okay - maybe just one piece of fish. Is this restaurant really in the belly of a football stadium?

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Ya, I could probably have a piece of fish, but not the chips:). It is part of the stadium through the back entrance on the 8th floor... I think it is the administration office area of the stadium?! The window from the kitchen does have a view of the football field (or the stage as they often host concerts).


Edited by FDE (log)

Fine Dining Explorer

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I would consider myself a “conservative” when it comes to try something new in food. I don’t usually get too excited following food trend or trying newly-opened restaurants. For instance, early in this millennium up to around ‘05 was probably the ‘peak period’ of molecular gastronomy yet I did not eat at Alinea (‘09) and Fat Duck (‘14) until several years later. In the same manner, the new Nordic cuisine became very hot circa 2010 but I somehow never made any serious effort to go to Scandinavian countries. Well, I did my maiden visit to Denmark in late March this year because of my parents’ request to return to the area again. While around Copenhagen, I managed to persuade them to have a long meal at Geranium. The reservation was not too difficult, probably because diners had to buy tickets and pay about 1/3 of the food cost in advance to secure the booking. By the way, Noma was closed at that time since Rene Redzepi and his whole team was in Sydney doing pop-up restaurant.

 

Talking about Geranium = talking about its genius chef named Rasmus Kofoed. Kofoed became widely popular since he’s the only person to ever attain all medals at the notoriously competitive Bocuse d’Or. Winning a bronze or silver there could be considered a terrific accomplishment but Chef Kofoed was not satisfied until he finally attained the elusive gold in 2011. For Geranium, Rasmus created only one tasting menu during dinner; our Spring universe had 7 (small) appetizers, 8 (bigger) dishes as well as 3 desserts and 4 kinds of sweets. It’s certainly the best way to savor lots of Geranium’s unique creations. You should not worry to be too full at the end as the portion was relatively small. The challenge of having lots of courses was that it’ll be very difficult to have excellent dishes all the time; it happened with my meal. There’s hardly any ‘bad’ dish but only a few of them was outstanding. My absolute favorite dishes were:

-Salted Hake with parsley and caviar in buttermilk. It’s the best thing I ate during this dinner. The succulent fish was not only looked good, but also tasted amazing. Everything (the buttermilk, caviar and even the scales) worked harmoniously - crunchy, creamy, not too salty etc. I could easily have another round of this dish - a masterpiece creation by Rasmus Kofoed

-Scallop with Sol/seaweed and sour berries. The plump Norwegian scallop's (possibly better than its Japanese counterpart) quality was superb and it was also flawlessly cooked resulting in a truly delicious morsel. The sol brought an 'extra' dimension to the dish while the berry sauce nicely balanced the sweet & juicy scallop

 

Some other courses I considered really good but slightly below the above dishes were:

-Tomato water with ham fat and aromatic herbs displayed texture and flavor contrast; it was also refreshing and well-balanced.

-“Dillstone” horseradish with dill frozen juice and pickled cucumber was my best appetizer. It was fun, having a playful presentation and some surprises. The ‘stone’ was a trout sashimi covered with aromatic dill. Put some sour granite & horseradish sauce to enhance the experience – interesting and delicious

-Perfectly executed and tender pork neck was served with its jus. The poached pear and pickled pine would tone down any strong flavor - satisfying

-“Naked Tree” was Chef Kofoed’s signature dessert in which some of the elements changed with the seasons. It showed Geranium’s team expertise in balancing some sweet wood cream with bitter dark beer. This would go even better with prune+malt juice

For the rest of the dishes, I would let you see the pictures or read my more comprehensive review (the links will be provided below)

It may be a common practice among high end restaurants to present visually beautiful dishes, but Geranium (often) brought it to another level. The attention to details, the story of some dishes and their relations to nature were some of the important factors in food creation here. Chef Kofoed put many different texture contrast and (sometimes unusual) flavor variations; they did not always work perfectly but I truly appreciate his boldness to try something new/break boundaries in his modern cuisine.  There were plenty of staffs, both for the dining room and the kitchen. They’re very diverse such as the assistant sommelier was Polish, our main maître d’ was French and some chefs were Italian. There’s a good chance that Geranium always has someone who speaks your language. The unique feature of Geranium’s service was that Rasmus would require some chefs to present and explain dish(es) to diners – generally they’re very open; you’re welcome to ask anything about the food and they would not hide anything. The French lady who usually took care of our tables delivered impeccable service, on the contrary many other dining room staffs only did the necessary task but often did not smile or show enthusiasm when serving us.  

 

Neither Mr. Kofoed nor Mr. Ledet was around that night. It was a full house event including some non-table/bar-like seating at the back were occupied too. As far as I was concerned, I did not notice there were “rotating” seats during our dinner. Geranium usually has a habit to bring some guests to the seating near the kitchen either for appetizers or desserts at the end of the meal. In fact, only 2 men were brought for the kitchen tour – that’s because they requested for it. I often heard they usually did that to more than half of the tables. I did not complain, simply an observation. I was not sure they did not do so because the owners were not around or simply because it was a very busy evening. Overall, it was an amusing meal with lots of interesting stuffs to eat. Congratulations to Rasmus Kofoed and his team to become the first Danish restaurant achieving 3-star Michelin. Somehow, I’ve always has this kind of analogy that: Geranium is like Berasategui/Arzak whereas Noma is like Mugaritz – Noma might have more imagination but Geranium had better ‘fundamentals’; Michelin likes the latter one better thus explain the lack of 3-star for Noma/Mugaritz despite having consistently occupied the top 5 of restaurant magazine ranking.  

 

Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/sets/72157664845915854/with/25824217544/

Comprehensive reviews: http://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogspot.co.id/2016/05/geranium-rasmus-kofoed.html

 

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