Relae — Copenhagen (10/2011)



Relae was my warm-up meal to noma (which will be later today).  It was started by an alumnus of noma, with a similar focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.  The menu is pretty simple – you choose from either a standard menu or vegetable menu.  The menu is in both Danish and English. I chose the vegetable menu only because I really did not want the raw beef and oyster starter.

The place is small and is located in an inner northern neighborhood section of Copenhagen.  Reservations are recommended.  Fortunately, their website handles reservations (and can do so in English), so I managed to get a slot for a Friday night.  They put me at the counter, which weaves around the kitchen prep area, so I could watch the final assembly of dishes.

For full write-up, click here.


noma — Copenhagen (10/2011)


I tried not to think about all the hype surrounding noma.  My expectations were simple.  I expected to have well-prepared food, excellent service (as befits a Michelin 2-star) and a wide sampling of what constitutes Nordic cuisine ingredients.  I was not disappointed.  Was it the best meal I’ve ever had?  Probably not.  Was it one of the most unique and amazing dining experiences I’ve ever had?  Most definitely. And among the more healthy ones too. My approach to dining at this level is like appreciating art – not everything will agree with me, but I appreciate the efforts of insight, forethought and work that go into the piece.  As in some other places, I was asked at the onset if there were any food allergies or even food preferences and dislikes that I needed to convey and the kitchen would be most accommodating.  I have no food allergies and even though I definitely have preferences (no red meat, dislike of mushrooms, no affinity for oysters), I told them that I am willing to try anything.  They designed the menu, representing what they want the diner to experience, so I want to let them give me their best pieces.

For full write-up, click here.