noma – one more time


Time for a new noma post! Today 2nd of August is my birthday so why not celebrate with a few words and photos from my latest visit to noma? :-)

Long before noma was rewarded the best restaurant in the world, I ensured a table for four people on Saturday evening June 19th at 1900 hours. A couple of my friends hadn’t been to noma before, and I therefore asked the restaurant in advance to prepare a menu for us comprising a mixture of some of the wonderful classic dishes combined with new dishes from the evening menu. Month of June seems to be a wonderful time to visit noma because, just like last year, Champagne is the theme of the entire wine menu – and who can imagine anything better than lots of lovely champagne with noma’s sparkling dishes?

The nibbles offered something old and something new. You know, there is something really playful and joyful about all these appetizers. A part from being tasty, surprising and challenging they are also a bit childish. Well some of them are, at least.


Sea-buckthorn ‘leather’ with pickled rose hip petals

The very first snack was like a shock to my taste buds. The highly acidic sea-buckthorn “leather” really awakened my appetite and there was a nice and intense perfumed aroma to it from the rose hips. I liked it.

Savoury cookies with speck and blackcurrants

I’ve had these cookies a few times now and they always have a smiling affect on me because of the perfect way they are being brought to the table. Note all the empty shells insinuating that someone came before you.

Imagine all the fun René and the guys in the kitchen must have had when they got the idea of serving LIVE Fjord shrimp? As these shrimp were served on the rocks, they didn’t kick and wriggle as much as the first time I tried this at the Cook it Raw! event. They came alive between your fingers, though – just to suddenly stop kicking when you chewed them, of course.

Then followed the radishes with the tarragon soil and…

Toasted rye bread sandwich with chicken skin, smoked cheese and fava bean cream

Champagne ‘Les Clos’ 
Laherte
 Chavot, Coteaux Sud d’Epernay


Pickled, smoked quail’s egg


Toast with cod roe, wild herbs and vinegar powder


and finally… the batter balls with sardines

My friends seemed really taken by surprise by all these snacks. I was worried, though, if this culinary prologue maybe was a bit too much?

NV Champagne Brut Blanc de Blanc
 Pascal Doquet
 Vertus, Côte de blanc

Raw shrimp with sea urchin snow

First real course was the raw shrimp with sea urchin snow, and the dish resembled a walk on the beach. The stones had literally been frozen onto the plate. I was amazed at the true and pure taste of the sea urchin which was completely intact comparing with how I remember the taste of the fresh sea urchin.

Dried scallops and watercress
 biodynamic cereals

The dish of dried scallops and watercress
 biodynamic cereals was an interesting thing. In fact I very much enjoyed the rich flavours. I also found that the dried scallops were an exciting way to serve them and the flavours appeared clean and harmonious to me.

Next up were the dishes of the classic tartar and the Faroe Island langoustine. After that followed yet another new invention.

NV Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc
 Jaques Lassaigne
 Montgueux

Tartar and wood sorrel
, aromatic juniper and tarragon


Langoustine and seawater, 
parsley and rye

NV Champagne Brut Blanc de Noirs 
Inflorescence (Cédric Bouchard)
 Celels-sour-Ource, Aube

Oyster and the ocean

On Facebook I had seen photos of this course and I wondered how I would enjoy it. It appeared to be completely different to what I had expected – I wouldn’t need to dig into the pot at all. The pot’s function was simply to prominently present the fabulous oyster and to create an image of the ocean to mind-set me before my tongue would experience the saltiness, meatiness, popping tapioca seeds, pickled elderberry capers, herbs and flowers.

White and green asparagus
, pine

From the ocean we moved back to the beach again – very often you find pine trees along the beach in Denmark and this is exactly what this next dish reminded me of. The asparagus was full of taste and juicy and the pine not too dominating in taste. Very nice scent.

André Beaufort Abonnay Blanc, Champagne

Milk skin and potatoes

When sous-chef Victor presented the following course he stressed the word “milk skin”. This was a hint to me as I specifically had requested something comprising milk skin. I guess I’m a bit childish too. A few years ago there was a lot of fuzz around the fact of noma serving milk skin which is something most people combine with something unpleasant. I wanted my friends to try the milk skin for themselves.

The combination of the baby root potatoes, the potato crisps and the milk skin was very delighting, mild and delicately presented the best characteristics of milk and potatoes.

Carrot from Lammefjorden with garden of beach and stems of sorrel, truffle (Gotland) sauce, rapseed oil

Then next up was a slowly baked (or cooked?) carrot from Lammefjorden. It was quite remarkable how intense and rich the carrot flavour was. If I were a vegetarian I could probably consider this dish a main course. The garnish of the stems and the truffle had a balancing affect on the rich taste of the carrot.

I really don’t fancy toy food or food presented in a way as it’s an entertainment just to amuse rather than give gastronomical pleasure. I’m pretty conservative in this respect and prefer that the food is perfection when it’s placed before me. I don’t want to take part in the preparation of it.

So, when the server introduced the Hen and the Egg I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it.

2006 Champagne Extra Brut ‘Les vignes d’Autrefois’
Laherte
Chavot, Coteaux Sud d’Epernay


The recipe was to break the egg over the 250 degrees Celsius hot pan and to fry it in rapeseed oil. Then we were told to add herbs butter and sautéed the spinach, the ramson and the lovage leaves in the melted butter.

The hen and the egg

Finally we sprinkled with potato crisps and sorrel sauce. An there you go – the most delicious fried egg I’ve ever had. noma had won me over and I had to let all of my skepticism go away. The egg was so deliciously full of taste and I was surprised (and proud?) that I myself had (almost) created such a perfect dish. Great thing.

The egg course must have really kicked me sideways, because I completely forgot to photograph the excellent main course of
Ox cheek and endive
, pickled pear and verbena, sorry to say, and with which we drank:

David Léclapart, Trépail Rouge, Coteaux Champenois Rouge

NV Champagne Demi-Sec
 Vincent Couche
 Bulles de Miel, Aube

We were blessed with three desserts of which I had particularly requested the first one for my friends.

Glazed sheep’s milk mousse and sorrel granité

I love this dessert as much as the first time I got it. It’s the perfect sweet and fresh thing.

NV Champagne Demi-Sec
 André Beaufort
Ambonnay, Valle de la Marne

“Gammel dansk” milk and wood sorrel


Jerusalem artichoke, apple, malt cookie and marjoram

Both new desserts were really smashing. Although there was a bit of a savoury thing about them there was still enough sweetness to please my palate and at the same time they were fresh.

Champagning it all the way through the menu was just lovely and really my kind of thing. The bottles were all quite different and it was nice to compare each of them. The parring with the food was also clever.

After a good cup of coffee and the new invention of the smoked bone marrow fudge with bone and everything it was the end of my 21th visit to noma. What an excellent one!

Thank you dearly René, Victor, James and all of you!

30 Responses to “noma – one more time”


  • Mine too!
    Wonderful news Jean-Philippe!
    I’m so happy to hear you like noma.

  • Jean-Phiippe

    The raw chestnuts with fish eggs are also one of my favourites. And I agree about the duck dish – absolutely first class!

    /Neil

  • Just back from my first visit to Noma.
    Wow ! Incredible ! Wonderful ! Amazing ! Tasteful ! Enjoyable ! It was a moving experience !
    I was impressed and overwhelmed by the strenght of the inspiration and the accuracy of the flavors.
    Obviousness and consistency are the main qualities of this cuisine (and my main criteria to assess a dish ).
    I loved the toasted rye bread sandwich, the watercress
 biodynamic cereals, the chestnut salad with fish eggs butter, the langoustine with an oyster emulsion, the duck with coriander and apple.
    I definitely will go back soon !
    Best regards,
    Jean-Philippe

  • Trine – you should check out the ‘foodspotting’ app for your iPhone. Integrates with FourSquare and Facebook, too.

    Another weapon in the Very Good Food online armoury?

    /Neil

  • Wonderful to hear, Neil! I saw your noma check-in on foursqare, that was really cool! :-)

  • Just back from another Noma visit. About half-way through the service I realised that we were not getting the same dishes as other tables and not getting anything I’d eaten before. ‘But of course’ came the reply. ‘We do keep track of when you were last here and adjust the menu accordingly’.

    Gotta love it.

    /Neil

  • Hi Thomas

    Yeah, it really was a fab. night and great to see to there too!

    Hope you’ve had a nice summer.

    Best from
    Trine

  • Hi Trine,

    How great to read about this extraordinary dinner once again.

    Great fun to see you in the restaurant. I simply haven’t had the time to write about it yet.

    Take care.

    Best from,
    Thomas

  • The most romantic place is no doubt Søllerød Kro http://www.soelleroed-kro.dk/?lang=en http://verygoodfood.dk/tag/soelleroed-kro/.
    Another option is Frederiks Have http://frederikshave.dk/en/ (It’s Bib Gourmand) or Den Gule Cottage http://www.cottagerne.dk/den-gule-cottage/Menu.aspx

  • Definitely romantic. I am actually going to Noma with some friends and my wife and I are staying a couple extra days after to explore CPH. So romantic and something simple my wife is not quite as adventurous with food as I am.
    Thanks

  • Hey Tucker
    Happy anniversary! What a wonderful way to celebrate it! :-)
    Take a look at my CPH guide here http://verygoodfood.dk/gastroguide/ but also let me know more specific what kind of restaurant/food you’d like? Romantic?
    Thanks for your nice words, really appreciate it!

  • Hey Trine I am coming to Noma in November. I am in town for a couple of days and was wondering if you had some other restaurant Recommendations. My wife and I will be there for our anniversary. Thanks for putting up these great reviews and I can’t wait to see the el bulli report.
    Thanks again
    Tucker

  • Thank you so much, JC! Yes, much has developed since you last visited noma. It’s time! ;-)

  • Those æbleskiver crack me up! And the meal looks amazing. I must find a way to visit again next year. Happy belated birthday, Trine. :)

  • zwampen, great!
    FL 18 times – that’s unbeatable. I think. At least by me. Have not been yet :-(

  • Trine, thanks for the recommendation! It looked awesome :).

    Yes i booked the table couple of days ago, i just asked for the first available table and “katjing” no problem, easy ;).

    Hmm 21 times to Noma? Impressive! I have “only” been at The French Laundry 18 times?! ;)

  • Hi zwampen,
    Thank you and tak :-). Wow, does that means you’ve succeed to get a table after it’s become insanely difficult to book? Good for you! For your other dinner, have you ever been to Fiskebaren http://www.fiskebaren.dk/? I’ve been there loads of times although it’s only existed a little over a year and I finally manage to bring my camera the last time. I’ll post photos from Fiskebaren here ASAP.

    Thank you once again, Gastronaut! Had a nice birthday with very good but without any celebration bubbles as I stupidly forgot the Champagne at home!! ;-)

  • Beautiful review, great pictures, stunning birthday I guess. Sure you enjoyed it. Let it be known, Im a coward. I could NEVER eat live shrimps….NEVER.

  • Hi Trine,

    Nice post, again ;). I have a reservation at Noma in november and considering where to have the other dinner at our weekend?
    We had dinner at Mash 2 weeks ago, which was good but not a top!
    Any suggestions? Doesn´t have to be a upscale restaurant, more a newcomer or a asian modern?!

    Til lykke med fødselsdagen :)

  • Thank you, Neil! I think your friend is just spot on, right!? :-)

    Hi meshuggah, it is a GREAT help, thanks very much! I have correct it. You’re right, I need to make the 22nd soon. :-) (will you be working evening on 17th?)

  • hi trine, just a note to say that the celery and celeriac dessert isnt in your pics. the one titled celery etc. is actually the gammel dansk, milk, w sorrel (no marjoram) and the one titled gammel dansk is actually jerusalem artichoke, apple, malt cookie and marjoram. also the carrot is with garden, beach and stems of sorrel, truffle (gotland) sauce, rapseed oil. hope this helps! 21st time? wow. new dishes after the break so you’ll have to make that 22, i guess!

  • Happy Birthday, Trine! I was there for lunch the same day as your visit and as one of my guest visiting from England said, ‘This place is both perfect and unique’. That is a powerful combination!

    Neil

  • Thank you John! I’m happy that I can link to your photo of the smoked bone marrow fudge (have just added it;-)) as the light in the restaurant was too dark at that point for my camera.

    Ms Alex, thanks so much! The hardest part was to pick up the shrimp for sure ;-)

    Thanks a lot Nordic Nibbler, I sure did. :-) You know, your noma post is such a delight to read. I really admire what you can do with words!

    Hey Bruno – thank you! Hope to see you again soon! :-)

    Thank you, dear Yin!

    Chuck – The sea-urchin snow was as good as the truffle sauce/paste that noma produces. Just as true to the taste of the fresh product. Congrats with your new fancy design! :-)

    Many thanks, Michael! In fact the taste was first as that of smoked bone marrow fudge and so not at all sweet. But as I chewed, the sweet caramel flavour evolved and the aftertaste was really delicious.

  • Happy birthday, Trine. I’m curious about the smoked bone marrow fudge. In our meal at noma the best single thing was how the smoked bone marrow drops made the musk ox, milk skin and beet dish sensational.

  • curious about the sea urchin snow, very much want to try the oyster, and the milk skin sounds lovely – yum – thanks for yet another great report

  • happy birthday Trine!

  • Happy birthday Trine … A great post and incredible “promenade” inside the Champagne wines.
    Only as a dream you can imagine such perfection ! Happy girl…
    Bruno

  • Fantastic pictures, Trine. Looks like you enjoyed a wonderful meal.

  • Those live shrimps make me shiver at the thought, but everything else looks amazing. :)

    Happy birthday!

  • Brava! I can’t wait to try it there for myself! I had a few of the same dishes you did when Rene & Co. were in NYC at Corton – marvelous!

    Have a wonderful birthday, Trine!

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