Noma, Copenhagen: my most memorable meal

Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Painting
Imagine a welcome where more than twenty five people greet you, one by one, as you enter a restaurant, the warmest of welcomes. You’re taken through any chef’s dream of a kitchen, as meticulous as can be, with the sound of “Good evening”, “Welcome”, “Hey there”, in a variety of accents from chef after chef.  It’s safe to say I’ve never been welcomed so many times (especially in a two Michelin star restaurant!)
You walk through the back into a cool passage, and up windy stairs of a back entrance, to a private room with a long sharing table. You’re about to experience what will likely be the best gastronomic experience of your life thus far. This was the start of my experience, last year at Noma in Copenhagen.
As part of The Travel Link up I wanted to share with you my memories from one of the best foodie experiences in my life thus far. Given how special it was to me it’s a pretty long post, so grab a tea, put your feet up and have a read when you’re ready!
Noma is consistently recognised as one of the top restaurants in the world, and has topped the world’s 50 best restaurants list many times (though it is currently ranked at No 5). What began as a restaurant in an old warehouse in 2003 has become a movement, bringing together chefs from all over the world to create incredible gastronomic, innovative creations with influences from
Scandinavia. Using lots of vegetables, foraged ingredients and naturalistic style, with a theatrical element, it’s a truly special experience.
Here’s some of what we ate.
Fermented plum and beach roses. This was just heavenly – the flavours were tart and fruity; each bite tasted a little different and a little more more-ish! I still have no idea what beach roses are!
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Fermented Plum and Beach Roses
 
Apples and lemon thyme. This was fresh with lots of flavour of apple, and very herbaceous. It had a watercress base and a lovely bite with grilled lemon thyme, pine oil and garnish of lemon verbena – this tasted (in the best possible way) like the most luxurious, opulent, flavour-packed baby food, served on ice.
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Apples and Lemon Thyme

 

Oland wheat bread and virgin butter. The bread was a sourdough served wrapped tight in cloth, made with a rich starter culture started in 2009, it was served with virgin butter made with a sour cream gently whipped giving a beautiful sour taste to the butter – truly gorgeous.
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Oland wheat bread and virgin butter

Green shoots of the season with yeast marinade. The wild greens are delicious – marinated in yeast and horseradish juice, fried with brown butter and blackcurrant wood, some of which is barbecued on oak. The plate made of scallops was divine.

Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Green shoots of the season with yeast marinade

 

Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Green shoots of the season with yeast marinade

My other half is allergic to shellfish so his plate was a more “normal” style and not made of crustaceans!

At this point in our meal a fire alarm went off – in any other situation this would have been a disaster during a meal. It was a false alarm set of by the kitchen but gave an incredible insight to Noma. We were led outside and had the chance to speak to the chefs who were cooking on the outdoor barbecue. The aromas were incredible. When we returned we had an interim next course that was unplanned but amazing!
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Chef preparing good food

 

Crispy cabbage and herbs from the shore. These were gorgeous white cabbage leaves, filled with samphire and watercress. The cabbage leaves are blanched and dehydrated for three days, they’re also brushed with rhubarb root oil on the hour to give a beautiful crispiness, with the satisfying crunch reminiscent of bronze autumn leaves. This was my favourite of all dishes and totally unexpected, particularly special as I don’t think it was even meant to be one of the courses and instead was a reaction to the fire alarm!
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Crispy cabbage and shoots from the shore

 

Sliced raw squid and kelp.
We went on to have raw cubed squid served with braised seaweed, which is cooked for three days in mushroom broth, served in a butter sauce with ground old wheat and seaweed salt, on ice. The textures were amazing, so unusual and a beautiful flavour.
There was also delicious dish made of sea urchins, served raw with slices of fresh walnuts soaked in salted water, with freshly pressed walnut oil. This is lightly roasted then put through a nut press to intensify the flavour. I was so excited I forgot to take a photo and devoured it (bad blogger behaviour!). Ironically it was one of my favourite courses!
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Sliced Raw Squid and Kelp


Monkfish liver, served on crisp sourdough

Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Monkfish Liver served on a crisp sourdough

 

Grilled Onion.
A whole roasted onion, barbecued outdoors. (Who would have thought a whole dish of onion…?!) This was really clever. They scoop out the insides of the onion so slowly it steams inside.
There it’s finished in hazelnut oil. Eating this gave me a strange sensation but I really liked the muted flavour of the onion and that it didn’t have the sharpness you’d expect.
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Grilled Onion

 

Pumpkin, beechnuts and barley.  his dish used roasted seaweed from northern Japan which is dried over 18 months. You then pour over a sauce of fermented barley and butter, which is warming and gently spiced. I absolutely loved how pretty this dish was too – so delicate looking but packed a great flavour.
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Pumpkin, Beechnuts and Barley

 

Truffle flatbread.Rye flour flatbreads infused with spinach, walnut and seaweed paste were made on the barbecue and served with truffles on top – it was so unbelievably good that I have to share this photo despite the fact that it’s out of focus (sorry guys!)
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - truffle flatbread
Egg yolk, potatoes and nasturtium.
This epitomised the word umami in a dish!
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Egg Yolk, Potatoes and Nasturtium

 

Vegetable flower. This dish was made of whole raw garlic, baked at 60degrees for two whole months until the garlic sweetens and gets sticky – I’ve no idea how else to describe this other than that it tastes almost like aged balsamic with it’s mellow sweetness. The sticky garlic flesh is then rolled out into a sheet then cut and chilled in the shape of a leaf. It’s topped with salted
blackcurrants and lemon thyme garnish. They incorporate ants into the base with a flavour like lemongrass. It was my least favourite of the dishes, but others seemed to love it so maybe it divides you!
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Vegetable Flower

 

Roasted wild duck. This was served in two ways: the grilled breast was wrapped into cabbage and just magical. The rest of the barbecued duck was served with plum in the skin and a pine oil dipping sauce, served sharing style.
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Roasted Wild Duck

 

Berries and greens soaked in vinegar for one year. Yes one year! I really loved the pickle flavour of the cherries, with flavours of salt and vinegar, they were so unusual and delicious served frozen. With these were gooseberries pickled with salt and lavender and lemon verbena as well as elderflowers and blackcurrant shoots. It was at this point that one of my dining companions
had tears in her eyes and said “I just feel like I’ve eaten something amazing!” Slightly dramatic (may have been the wine pairing) but I completely understood the sentiment!
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Berries and greens soaked in vinegar for one year

 

Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Berries and Greens soaked in vinegar for one day

 

Roasted kelp ice cream and lemon thyme aromatics. The ice cream was made with roasted kelp seaweed, served on disc of apple and with apple purée made with lemon thyme and lovage. It had all the creaminess with a distinct herbiness – not that sweet but really good.
Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Roasted Kelp Icecream and Lemon Thyme Aromatics

Forest flavours, chocolate and egg liqueur. The forest of chocolate was made of reindeer moss, fried and sprayed with chocolate, served with a ramekin of crème-fraiche with seaweed. Mushroom candy. Lemon verbena leaves coated with blackcurrant powder. Fondant with barley. The definition of “wonderfully weird!”

Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Chocolate dessert

 

Lifestyle Enthusiast - Noma, Copenhagan - Egg Liqueur

 

We ended the night with big smiles and cups of coffee, made of lightly roasted beans from Ethiopia which are then re-roasted further lightly in Oslo.
The whole meal was amazing from the out-of-this-world creative food, the impeccable service, wooden cutlery used for its natural textures, and the best company a girl could ask for.
René Redzepi is undoubtedly known as one of the most influential foodies in the world for a reason – this truly was the most memorable meal of my life. Noma is meant to be closing down by January 2017, to be reopened as an urban farm. I do wonder, what’s next for Redzepi? I, for one, will be watching to see what this foodie genius does next as based on this
meal, whatever he creates, is sure to be spectacular.
What’s your most memorable meal? How adventurous are you with food? Please do comment below, see more on Instagram and/or follow me on Bloglovin to stay in
touch.
Noma can be reached at:

Tel: +45 3296 3297
E-mail: noma@noma.dk
Website: http://noma.dk/

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  • Looks like you had a great time! How was the egg liquor?

    http://www.theyorkshiregentleman.com

    • Delicious, everything was. They definitely aren't just "style over substance!" Copenhagen is a foodie dream, you'd love it!

  • Wow, this looks incredible. The nearest experience I've had to this was at Henne Kirkeby Kro in West Jutland, in Denmark where we must have had 20 courses of some of the most creative yet delicious food I've ever eaten. Disappointed I won't get to eat at Noma though – looks fantastic!

    • Henne Kirkeby Kro looks amazing, I hadn't heard of it but just had a google and it looks fabulous! I love when restaurants grow their own produce too. I don't know if you saw my post on the Damai hotel in Bali but they have a really similar concept. I have quickly fallen in love with scandi food and would love to try Henne Kirkeby Kro someday soon, I also love that it's a part of Denmark I haven't explored so definitely one for the list. Were you there on holiday or are you based out in Denmark?

      Reena xx

  • Love the article that show your love for meal.
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  • Josh @ Lookdwn.com

    This all sounds delightful. I’ve been to Copenhagen about four times as I have family there, but I’ve never been out to sample the great restaurants as I was quite young. I must go back soon.

    Josh
    http://www.LOOKDWN.com

    • It’s a great city isn’t it, I’ve only been twice but can completely see why you’ve made so many trips! Absolutely, the food scene is brilliant – from the fancy restaurants to the casual stalls in Torvehallane – I love the scandi food!