NOMA: The Traveling ErGagit

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ErGagit checks off another spot on the “Foodie Bucket List”….noma!

A little food history to set the tone: 

In November 2004, on the initiative of the Danish chefs René Redzepi and Claus Meyer of the then newly opened noma restaurant, chefs and food professionals from all the Nordic countries met in Copenhagen to discuss how best to develop what they called the "New Nordic Cuisine." In particular, they sought to emphasize the need for what they described as "purity, simplicity, and freshness" as well as increased use of seasonal foods. Restaurants were encouraged to develop traditional dishes making use of ingredients benefitting from the local region's climate, water, and soil. This included edible flowers, moss, hay and other local ingredients foraged and taken from the land.

10 years later, noma has gone on to not only set the standard for New Nordic cuisine, but also to lead the movement towards sustainable dining and garner Top Restaurant awards from multiple publications for its unique dishes and dining experience.

The Gagit’s and friends have been to noma before, but we believed its Number 2 rating in 2012 would become number 1 again for 2013, and it did.

Noma is not only the number 1 restaurant in the world it is also the toughest reservation in the world. However, thanks to our connection on Twitter, Gagit just asked @ReneRedzepiNoma and the requested reservation was secured (hint hint). We secured a reservation to dinner this trip and as we walked in we were warmly greeted by Rene, as shown, and welcomed back to his “home” for a five hour experience of food and drink, service, and friendliness. This is what noma is all about.

We are seated by the hostess and introduced to our lead server of the night Cat, although by the end the night we might have met the whole staff of 50.

We order our first bottle of wine and a member of the staff, both chefs and servers begin the nights experience.

Left to Right:  Fresh beets with broth inside and Clams with grains.

Left to Right:  Fresh beets with broth inside and Clams with grains.

We start the night with a broth of Red Currant and Lavender followed by a spectacular dish that only the noma staff could create; a Nordic Coconut, a beet with the broth inside and of course to drink through a straw. The next two courses were ones we all remembered from our last trip, Moss and Cep and Cabbage and Samphire , not particularly my favorites the first time. We were then served one of my favorites, a Mahogany clam and grains, what a great bite, and followed by smoked quail eggs in hay.

Smoked Quali Eggs with Hay

Smoked Quali Eggs with Hay

The next course was a true Danish treat, Ebleskiver, lovage and parsley, really Danish Pancake Balls and very good. I was not really looking forward to the next dish Sea Urchin toast since I am not a big Sea Urchin fan but this was a great taste to me. We were then served a juicy Pike Head. One in our party scarfed up all the eyes, which was just fine as the rest of us really did not want anyway. The next course was a favorite, Burnt Leek, roasted on the outside BBQ, then the leek was carved out and restuffed with the leek and cod roe. The next course I considered a Palate cleanser of Apple and Kelp.

Pikes Head....the eyes are the delicacy here!

Pikes Head....the eyes are the delicacy here!

After the Apple Palate cleanser for the first 10 courses, we are ready for the main. The first course in this round was a Shrimp ravioli and ramson, radish and yeast, but really could not taste the Shrimp, followed by a Milk curd and blueberries, Lemon thyme and pine, and could really taste the blueberries. One of the mains now arrives, Beef tartar and ants, the best taste of the night so far. The raw beef was delicious with the favor of lemongrass from the special Red Ants, worth the trip for this dish alone.

Beef Tartare with Red Ants 

Beef Tartare with Red Ants 

After we recovered from the last dish we had sloe berries and herbs and then Eggs and Greens as we discussed our ant experience. The last main is now served , and it was truly worth the wait, Turbot and nasturtium cream and wood sorrel, the taste of the fish so fresh without foam, without multiple ingredients to mask the flavors and make the dish look pretty. This is Rene and noma, creativeness, freshness, and ingredients that represent the best in the area.

Dessert is now served in two stages, first in the main dining room where we are served Ansonia berries and Sol, what a great flavor after the last 10 courses. We are now taken on a tour of the various kitchens by sous chef James, maybe John, maybe Peter?  Anyway, he was from New Jersey, and explained, answered our questions on the process in not only preparing the menu but deciding on it , this experience again is what noma is all about. We are then taken to the casual coffee and drink area where Cat took over again to complete the night’s experience.

We are offered coffee and if we choose, an after dinner drink, in our case we experienced a Danish Aged Scotch , that really had a flavor of Denmark. With the drinks, we were served 4 different typical noma treats, the last one being the star, Chicharones coated in chocolate and berries, a taste of Denmark and in our case also Miami.

Let the Truth be Told, Read above and there is no doubt noma is the #1 in the world. I only hope that all readers can get the reservation as easily as I did and get to experience noma.

noma

Strandgade 93

DK-1401 Copenhagen K

+45 3296 3297

noma@noma.dk (Please note you cannot make reservations through this e-mail address)