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Noma

There is a lot going on behind the scenes at Noma. The staff and prep area is bigger than the dining room. The ceilings are high and the room is an open space with a kitchen and bins and containers of everything they are working on. There are cookbooks from the floor to the ceiling in a space where they have their family meals and take reservations. There are desks, a foosball table and creative nooks tucked about.

Those of you who follow food and know about Noma have seen the courses, the plating, the processes. But what I loved at @nomacph was the vibe. The people working there have a magical and symbiotic energy that radiated in the dishes. They are so proud of what they do and it shows. They are transparent in what they do, open to share, and take their time when you ask questions. They “teach” as you eat and it’s a gift to be a part of that conversation.


One of my dining mates lives so far north in Canada, they have little access to what most of us eat every day. They are “past the tree line” which means they have no fruit trees, no gardens, no pigs or cows. Their protein is from caribou and fish. They ferment, grow indoors, forage and order food. Tonight, he asked a lot of questions and staff members willingly told him percentages, temperatures and times while he wrote it all down. It was nice they “let us in” and willingly shared what they know. 


Noma is a special place where it all comes together. You taste it, you feel it, and it’s wonderful to be a recipient of that thoughtfulness and care. When we set foot in the door, over half the staff came out of the kitchen to say hello. They stood their at the hostess stand with the biggest smiles so happy to welcome us! 

It is easy to get caught up in the lists, awards, social media check-ins and hype. It’s significant to both the food industry and to diners for different reasons and there’s no denying that Michelin stars are global currency. Noma may not be a 3-star Michelin restaurant but this is a prime example of why it does not always matter. People who appreciate food at the highest and deepest level fly to Copenhagen just to eat at Noma, and do so repeatedly.

At Noma, there are rooms, shelves and rows of bins, jars and buckets filled with food going through experimental processes that might not be ready for several months or years. And even then, they might discover that the batch is not edible and needs to be thrown out.

Rene Redzepi’s contributions to the culinary landscape can’t be fully quantified until years from now. But if one looks at: restaurant growth in Copenhagen, chefs who have left Noma and what they are doing, where Nordic-influenced food exists, and where else diners can now eat in Copenhagen, there’s no denying that Noma has had impact on shaping Copenhagen tourism as well as food around the world.


At my dinner, different parts of certain ingredients were repeated throughout the menu but used in different ways. Even the deserts had ingredients that were reflective of the earlier parts of the meal. A story told through the food without having to listen to 20 components, is a pure delight for a somewhat seasoned tasting menu diner.

The juice pairings were phenomenal. I predict Noma will also shape beverage programs more than any other restaurant.

And yes, the food was everything I imagined it to be. I take photos to jog my memory about what I ate and to reflect and process everything at a later time. There is no equipment that could capture what I want to remember tonight but I don’t need it because I will remember this for the rest of my life in my heart. ❤️

#2016OAD


Video of My Dinner at Noma

Noma

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Entrance

Fresh of the plane and off to dinner at Noma.

Fresh off the plane from Chicago and off to dinner at Noma.

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Noma has their own bees. The larvae, which is high in protein, is rich and fatty and can be used in an emulsion sauce instead of butter.

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Noma from the side

A warm welcome upon entering Noma

A warm welcome upon entering Noma

They are all coming out to say hello!

They are all coming out to say hello!

Dining room at Noma

Dining room at Noma

Table setting at Noma

Table setting at Noma


Starters

Opening dish. Rhubarb rose cooked with kelp and rose oil, sorrel leaves

Opening dish. Rhubarb rose cooked with kelp and rose oil, sorrel leaves

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Vegetable Platter: flatbread and ant paste, pickled quail egg, black currant berry

Radish pie. Roasted seaweed pie, reduced cucumber, coriander, radish

Radish pie. Roasted seaweed pie, reduced cucumber, coriander, radish. Lovely bite.

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Asparagus, sorrel, fennel. Cream dip made with horseradish and elm seeds

Asparagus, sorrel, fennel. Cream dip made with horseradish and elm seeds


The Meal

Sourdough bread, whipped virgin butter.

Sourdough bread, whipped virgin butter.

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Milk curds, kelp seaweed strips, wild baby garlic shoots, broth of roasted yeast and lemon verbena oil

And then the sun came in to light him up

And then the sun came in to light him up

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White asparagus, bitter greens, black currant shoots, elderberries. Sauce made from fermented barley and butter.

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2014 Domaine des Cavarodes, Chardonnay Côtes du Jura Les Lumachelles

2014 Domaine des Cavarodes, Chardonnay Côtes du Jura Les Lumachelles

Sweet lobster, butter, charred onion, lavender, vinaigrette and rose oil

Sweet lobster, butter, charred onion, lavender, vinaigrette and rose oil

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The traditional Danish holiday aebleskiver. This one is topped with a plum kernel paste, onion, and apple blossoms

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Steamed king crab and egg yolk sauce

Steamed king crab and egg yolk sauce

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Charred wild garlic (ramson) brushed with scallop paste made of dried scallops, horseradish, beeswax

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Grilled turbot, morel mushroom broth, steamed bitter greens, onion cress, shrimp

Turbot spareribs glazed with fermented mushroom, roses, trout roe

Turbot spareribs glazed with fermented mushroom

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Dessert of bitters “Gammel Dansk” ice cream, milk chip rounds, reduced sorrel sauce, milk crumbles


Dessert

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Fried reindeer lichen sprayed with chocolate and pine salt to dip in creme friache topped with roasted seaweed syrup, chocolate covered cep mushrooms. Egg liqueur.

Coffee service at Noma

Coffee service at Noma



Lounge

Noma lounge

Noma lounge

Noma lounge

Noma lounge

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Kitchen

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Viv!

Outside

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View from the outside grill

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Fermentation room at Noma

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Fermentation room at Noma

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Fermentation room at Noma

Upstairs

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Upstairs employee space at Noma

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Private dining room

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Upstairs kitchen

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Kelp and morels

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Table for Family Meal

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Hello!

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Every part of anything edible is explored at Noma. The larvae was used as an emulsifier in our scallop dish.

Every part of anything edible is explored at Noma. The bee pollen was used as an emulsifier in our scallop dish.

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Noma, Strandgade 93, 1401 Copenhagen

View on Flickr

At the 2016 OAD Awards in Copenhagen.

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Info

NomaStrandgade 93, 1401 København K, Denmark | 45 32 96 32 97

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