CPH Crawl 4/6: noma

So, we arrived to the fourth restaurant visit this evening. Not that I was really hungry anymore, but I was still very excited and curious about what the second half of the crawl would bring us.

The agreement with Lau, restaurant manager, was that we would be sitting in he lounge. This explains the quality of these photos. The light was a challenge.

I could hardly wait for the food, when I first sat down. What would René be serving us?

Sea buckthorn

We first got a snack kinda thing of sea buckthorn rubber. The texture was a bit chewy like chewing gum, only edible. I liked the taste of it, not too bitter or sour, but it wasn’t something that I could eat a whole lot of.

I wanted to challenge the guys and had asked Lau to serve the wine blind. It was a test. I wanted to learned how my companions would describe a Danish wine, what grape they thought it would be, and what origin they would compare it to. Lau was serving them 2008 Arwen, named after René daughter, born the same year.

Arwen is made from the grapes Solaris (an early matured white wine grape), Sauvignon Blanc, Silvaner and Riesling. The guys guessed Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc and guessed Germany, not Denmark.

Cod milt, cucumber (I think), dill oil and herbs

The first dish was clearly inspired by René Redzepi’s trip to Japan where cod milt is a delicacy. It’s the first time I try cod milt, or cod sperm to be frank. (I will spare you for all the jokes the boys made and couldn’t stop making them laugh). To me it looked like brain, because of the winding intestine-like appearance. It is the rosa-coloured thing in the middle of the plate. The texture was soft and almost liquid, very creamy. It didn’t comprise much taste, though sea water with some creaminess to it was most dominant. Above all it reminded me of the first time I tried oysters. I wasn’t sure how I liked it. I don’t think, however, that I will be as fond of cod milt as I am of oysters.

Cod liver

The second serving was cod liver. The texture of it was very fragile and fatty, and the taste was quite fishy. A bit too much, I thought. The berries added some acidity and flavour-wise the dish was balanced.

Was I disappointed? Not really. I mean, with so many noma visits in my dining history I’m not sure yet another musk ox tartar or a langoustine on a stone would make this visit memorable. I was surprised and that’s a very important factor. The fact that I didn’t appreciate the food much was secondary to me.

We still had two more restaurants to go and needed to hurry up. But when I called the cap he was having a break. OK. Two taxis therefore took us back to the city centre and to MR.

Thank you Lau, René and every one for a great experience!

8 Responses to “CPH Crawl 4/6: noma”

  • OMG it’s about time! 😀

    I guess they decided not to reprint the original book though? I’ll take one in Danish at this point.

    • JC, sorry the tardy reply. As far as I know it’s impossible to get the old one. Now you can pre-order one English and one Danish 😀

  • Thanks Neil! I was planning to publish the news when the book is out for sales, but probably many people would like to pre-order it. So, I’m gonna spread the news about the cook book now! 🙂

  • Dont be sad lol…I took the same stand as you…you know we are all “living” your visits through your blog.

    So it had to be something different.

    As for the stars, I dont know what their masterplan is, but it is obvious that it takes a lot more to get a star, two or even three in Scandinavia than in France. I do believe that there is a lot of politics in this – and also connections….net working.

    In the end it doesnt matter. We all like our good restaurants to do well in these measurement tools, but what really matters is that they continue to provide us with good food and service, innovative combinations or sometimes even art. Sometimes its even better to have a secret gem – know you cant quite call Noma secret anymore. Its the same thing with for example Bruce Springsteen. The hype and craziness that surrounded him after he broke trhough worldwide in 1985, scared a hell lot of his “old” fans. Some claim would never be as good as was in the seventies…others fell he manage to “age” /develop with grace and dignity. Lets hope Noma and other favourites will do the same no matter if they take the last step to “stardom” or not.

  • Very sad to hear that this post didn’t “speak” to you. Actually. This visit was an unusual one. Regardless of the food, noma is a place you need to stay for more than just 45 mins, but I knew that in advance and perhaps decided to play cool and try not to feel heartbroken by the early leave. I don’t know. The purpose was different from any other visit of mine to noma.

    There was some gossip about Matthias Dahlgren in Stockholm getting the third star for the first time in Scandinavia. If they move this one and noma too, I think they need to escalate a lot of other restaurants and that’s perhaps a too radical thing to do. What do you think?

  • As always a delight to read your review Trine.

    But this time it also underlines my argument that good food can get too sophisticated for my taste (The true problem is off course that I am too old fashioned). I know.

    Which is also why I have never had the craving of going to El Bulli etc. I would be dead certain to be disappointed and “scared to death” that something like the above would be put in front of me. You may claim with good right that I would miss out on a god deal of fantastic tastes…but then so be it.

    That being said, this is the first time your visit to Noma have not “spoken” to me…and at my two visits there I have been truly amazed. With the michelin guide just being out for Main Cities 2010, I am stunned and annoyed that Noma did not get the third star they truly deserve.

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