Friday, July 2, 2010
Lunch at Noma in pictures 29.06.2010
The idea of the world's best known restaurant being a 'find' is, I admit, ludicrous but in some ways true. Every meal is a discovery at Noma (which for those of you who haven't heard of it is a modern Danish restaurant in Copenhagen, recently voted the best restaurant in the world). And eating there is such a rich and complex experience that you need time to think about it before attempting to write it up.
So here are my amateurish, snatched snaps of the 20 courses we ate 3 days ago, described as they are on the menu. Just a remarkable meal.
Bullrush and praline (you find the rushes lying on the table when you take your seat)
Sea buckthorn leather and pickled hip roses
(Savoury) cookie with lardo and currant
Rye bread, chicken skin, lumpfish roe and smoked cheese (a clever spin on a smørrebrød sandwich)
Smoked and pickled quails egg. (Note the wisp of smoke coming up from the side of the dish which billowed out of the decorated egg 'casket' as it was opened suffusing the air with the smell of smoke)
Radish, soil and herbs. The soil, of course, being edible
Æbleskiver and Muikko (spherical apple dumplings with tiny freshwater fish). Loved the way they looked like Viking helmets.
Toast, herbs, smoked cods roe and vinegar (Another riff on a Danish open sandwich topped with 'duck film' the umami-rich crisped up film that forms on duck stock)
Noma's bread which is served with 'virgin' butter and pork fat with scratchings - a fine meal in itself.
Shrimps and sea urchin, cream and dill
Beetroot and sorrel, malt flat bread (the tiny poori like puff)
Dried scallops and watercress. Biodynamic grains and beech nut. Those wafer-thin slices of scallop were possibly my favourite thing in the entire meal. Or possibly not - so hard to decide.
Tatar and sorrel, tarragon and juniper (a steak tartare you eat with your hand, holding the meat with the leaves)
Langoustine and soil, parsley and seawater
Oyster and the ocean
White and green asparagus. Pine. (The pile of green needles in the front are young spruce shoots)
The hen and the egg. A dish that you cook yourself, breaking a duck's egg onto a hot skillet, adding thyme butter, spinach, wild garlic and herbs and topping it with curls of fried potato. Ultimate egg and chips
Summer deer and snails, forest shoots and chanterelles
Sheeps milk mousse, sorrel and fennel seeds (the only dish from the menu I had three years ago)
Strawberries and straw. Chamomile and elderflower (a new dish on the menu for the first time that week)
'Gammel dansk'. Milk and woodsorrel (Gammel Dansk is a bitter herbal digestif similar to Fernet Branca and Jägermeister)
Of course photos alone don't give the full picture. The extraordinary tastes of these dishes, the homely smells coming out of the open-plan kitchen, the beauty of the building, the intimacy of the service. I'll link to other posts and features as I write them but for now that will have to do.
Except to say that the food was so light that even after all these courses we didn't feel overfull.