Noma was ranked the number one restaurant in the world 4 of the last 6 years. And I. Ate. There. How crazy is that?! When my professors said they were planning to try and get a reservation (reservations for July have to be made at the beginning of April) I jumped at the opportunity to join them. When would I ever get the chance again? They were able to get a reservation, and we had a group of 16 go. The restaurant is so small, that we were given the only private room and over half the staff to serve us. The ratio was 1:1, and sometimes more. Everyone that works at Noma is a chef, a server, a researcher, and anything else they need to be.
|The restaurant entrance. Yepp, that’s it.|
The restaurant is located on the harbor in Central Copenhagen in an old warehouse. The restaurant was unexpectedly modest in every possible way. Except for the food, of course.
Quite possibly my favorite part of eating there was the surprise waiting for us when we walked inside. We had to walk through the restaurant to a set of stairs at the back to get up to our private room. The entire staff, with smiling faces and genuine greetings, lined both sides of the walkway as we went through and up the stairs. It felt like we were a parade of very important people that they were super excited to see! It was such a good way to start the whole experience, and filled the place with a good energy.
There were 18 courses in all, each served by a harmonious parade of chefs turned servers. The timing and preparation of the courses were meticulously perfected, each course right as we finished the last. Pictures of each course and the description are below. I took most of them from Nick (mvp) because his pictures are better than mine. Most everyone had beer or wine with their meal, and there were 4 curated beers and a white and red wine to go with every several courses that were absolutely amazing! Without a doubt, the best beer and wine I’ve ever had. We actually drank them dry of beer, and set a record for the most bottles bought! Roll Tide.
|Turnip and unripe strawberry marinated in aquavit on ice|
|Cabbage and currant- All around the favorite dish of the meal. Idk how they layered that much flavor into one dish. The green on the bowl is actually a sauce
The most amazing bread and butter ever in a really cool bread pouch. I could live off that stuff.
New Danish potato and lovage fermented in yeast and salt. We had to eat it with the twig, and dip it in the horseradish sauce!
|The first shoots of the season with a scallop fudge on the plate, served with a wooden fork!
Sweet peas, milk curd, and sliced kelp. I loved this dish too!!
Flower tart- they explained that the flowers have to be eaten as soon as they bloom to maintain the flavor. My second favorite dish! It was so good. I should eat more flowers…
Sweet raw shrimps wrapped in ramson leaves- the texture was really strange, and it wasn’t my favorite
Sliced raw squid and broccoli stems in an ice bowl
|Cabbage and roses- it was like a crispy sandwich, but cooler|
|Monkfish liver. We had to eat it right away because it was time sensitive|
|White asparagus, goosefoot leaves and barley with a milk curd I think. This was delicious!|
|Lobster and nasturtium- the broth was made with only the lobster claws|
|The rest of the lobster! All parts are included|
|Black garlic fruit roll up thingy? I’m not sure how to describe it, but it was amazing|
|The main event of the savory dishes- Roasted bone marrow! We scooped it out onto the leaves and dipped it into the liquid|
|Berries and greens soaked in vinegar for one year|
|The first dessert dish- Rhubarb and sheep milk yoghurt. We all loved it!!
Does this look like rocks and moss? Because that’s what it is! Forest flavours and chocolate- Chocolate covered mushrooms and moss, and a chocolate truffle
The excited super nice guy that showed us around afterwards
Pic down the table- Alex and Ross in the foreground. You can’t see the awesome furs draped over the back of our seats.
I just liked this pic.
After the meal we were given a tour of the restaurant including the kitchen and research and staff rooms. The kitchen is extremely modern and innovative, and much of the equipment was recognized by us as things we have seen in our chemical engineering classes. Everything brought to the restaurant each day is in its most organic form. All the plants are still in the dirt, some still potted, and are cleaned and prepared in the restaurant. The birds all have feathers and are fully intact. The menu varies day to day, depending on what is in season and available. Only local food is utilized. Every aspect of the preparation is excruciatingly detailed. The young guy giving us a tour was passionate about his work, and explained how important it was to the chefs that they served the food as well so that they could experience the customers; what were they wearing? where were they sitting? how was the conversation at the table? did they enjoy the food?
I think it’s safe to say that I have peaked in my eating experience. Maybe I will continue chasing number 1 so that I’m not peaking at 21..