Noma (short for Nordisk Mad meaning Nordic Food in Danish) is a two Michelin star restaurant in Copenhagen, Scandinavia’s gourmet capital. Since 2010, Noma has been ranked No 1 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The Chef and co-owner, Rene Redzepi, is one of the major drivers of new Nordic cuisine.
As part of our summer vacation, we initially planned to go to France, but after getting reservations here, we could not pass up the opportunity and it did not disappoint (France what?).
Noma accepts reservations three months in advance. The website specifies a date at which they start accepting reservations for a given month. Having experienced a similar reservation system for the Fat Duck, we knew we had to reserve as soon as reservations opened. We got up at 1AM Vancouver time (10AM Danish time) in June for a reservation in September. I manned the phone lines while S tried our luck on the interwebs. After a couple of minutes refreshing the reservations page, S got through when a calendar appeared with available dates and times rather than a “system is busy message”. Of course after this, we were full of adrenaline and could not sleep.
The restaurant building used to be a warehouse and its surroundings are quite industrial-looking, but once inside, it feels as if you are just at home. Upon entering, we were greeted by a number of front of house staff and the man, the myth, the legend himself, Chef Redzepi (which totally made our day!!!!).
We noticed that during service, there was no one task for one person, and we particularly enjoyed all the chefs coming out to serve and describe the food to us. It gave us the opportunity to get to know the people behind our meal (like Head Chef Matt, a transplanted American from San Diego).
Overall the tasting menu was great. It was light, delicious, mostly vegetable-based and gave us a true taste of what Nordic ingredients and cuisine are about. After 13 “finger foods” that came boom! boom! boom! one after the other for a good 45 minutes, and 10 courses later, we were full but not left with that heavy feeling we tend to have at other comparable restaurants.
After our meal we were given a tour of the rest of the restaurant including the kitchen, offices and test lab. We were guided by Chef Sam from Newcastle (where we found out soon after is where Gordie Shore, the UK version of Jersey Shore, is filmed).
After spending 4.5 hours at Noma we knew immediately what we loved about this place (aside from the food of course) – it was the service. From the get go, we felt at home and at ease. It probably helped that we are around the same age as most of the staff, but there were other intangibles as well. For example, they gave us the wifi password so we could live tweet and facebook during our meal. We also always like to try local wines while travelling and though we ended up ordering a bottle of German riesling, after we finished it, they let us try some local Danish wine for free which was totally unexpected and definitely stupendous. The Danish wine was named after Chef Redzepi’s daughter too which was cool. After the rush of eating at Noma and having to pack our bags for a flight to Spain at 6AM, we realised we forgot our menu. We tweeted @ReneRedzepiNoma and after a couple of hours we were in touch with Annika De La Heras, PR Coordinator at Noma, and she immediately sent the menus to us in Vancouver.
Our biggest regret is not being able to speak to Chef Redzepi. He left before service was over, and if we knew before hand, we would have attacked him like a group of fangirls screaming for the Backstreet Boys. Oh well, I guess its better for his own sanity, and this leaves us something to look forward to when we go back.
Before and after our dinner we asked each other if we think we’ll be coming back to Copenhagen anytime soon.
Before eating at Noma…
A: Nah, probably not
After eating at Noma…
A: Heck yeah! Definitely coming back next year!
And thats Noma for you…
To view pictures of our meal in its entirety, click through the photo set below. If you are using a mobile device, please click here for compatibility.
Thanks for reading,
C & S