A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity of a lifetime - to eat at Noma, which has been ranked the #1 restaurant in the world for three consecutive years! (They're #2 this year, losing out to a restaurant in Spain). The dinner was a spur of the moment kind of thing, and I had no idea what to expect. Prior to this, I had not eaten any traditional Nordic cuisine. The experience that I came away with is one that I will never forget - and one my wallet will never forget either!
The restaurant itself is located in Christianshavn, right on the water of the river that goes through Copenhagen. There are mounds of moss in front of the restaurant and the lighting is very intimate - "hygge", which is Danish term that closely signifies "comfort" or "intimacy", can be felt all around. It is a two Michelin star restaurant that is run by world famous chef, René Redzepi, a Danish chef. The name "Noma" comes from the crossing of the words "Nordisk" (Nordic) and "Mad" (Food in Danish). Built inside an old warehouse, the restaurant focuses on using natural decor, as well as earthy tones. Redzepi is known to have re-vamped the Scandinavian cuisine culture, and for introducing it to the rest of the world.
We started out with appetizers, which consisted of a Nordic Coconut and fried Reindeer Moss. The 20 dish course focuses on using alot of nordic vegetation as well as using insects, such as ants, to include a citrus-y burst of flavor. Unfortunately I did not count myself bold enough to eat the insects, so some of the seasoning was replaced with citrus salts instead. The main courses consisted of fried cauliflower, as well as duck (which was absolutely delicious). The meat melted in my mouth and it still makes my mouth water even just thinking about it! The desserts consisted of fried pork skin as well as plum and vanilla ice cream, which was so rich in taste. I also decided to try the juice menu, which was freshly squeezed. Some of the flavors were seaweed, nordic fruit, as well as cucumber (think of the juices you would drink for a cleanse, except much fancier...).
My experience at Noma is definitely one that I will never forget. However, I think that it's one that a lot of people can live without. Afterall, the bill was enough to give my wallet a slight heart attack! But it was definitely worth the money that I paid. The chefs, who each present the dish that they make, were all so kind and knowledgeable; There are people from all over the world working at Noma - we met a guy from Seattle, Washington, and Australia! The waiters were all very kind and took the time to explain what each juice or dish was made out of, and also added in small interesting tidbits about the restaurant's history and food culture. If you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, or wishing to go, make sure to make a reservation for this place beforehand - it takes at least 3 months in advance to secure a place! I thank all the waiters, chefs and staff for my unique Nordic cuisine experience at Noma. Hopefully I will be back there some day!
Until Next Time!