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Image 1: www.noma.dk. Chef: René Redzepi. Located beside a harbour, the restaurant is inside a refurbished warehouse. Our visit was just before they became the best restaurant in the world!
Image 2: Amuse Bouche. René came out and served us fried chicken skin with mustard seeds. I was surprised that he literally delivered the dish himself!
Image 3: Being the only 2-star in the country, this restaurant has been considered as the most exciting restaurant in Scandinavia. It is the ingredient which makes this cuisine special!
Image 4: Surprise (12-course): DKK 1200 Tasting (7-course): DKK 750À la carte menu (3-course): DKK 675Closed for lunch Saturday and Monday; and all day Sunday.
Image 5: Amuse Bouche. A big quail egg!
Image 6: It contained a couple of smoked and runny quail eggs. René again came out and described how he preserved the egg using an ancient Scandinavian method.
Image 7: The first dish was composed of Bleak roe, a fragile milk skin, thin rye bread, and a mild wasabi sorbet. The roe stood out from its distinct bright orange colour. Every element of this course was rather bland in terms of flavours except for a light boost from the wasabi. Not a good start at all!
Image 8: Raw shrimps from the west coast with gooseberry ice garnished with dill. Not many things in the world could beat the pure taste of such fresh shrimps! The acidity from the ice gave a slight lift to the simple but elegant taste of the shrimps. Excellent!
Image 9: Beef tartar guarded by a layer of wood sorrel on top, accompanied by a bed of tarragon and juniper cream on the side. No cutlery was provided as the server suggested us to eat this with our fingers! I didn't like that idea at all as it was messy to smother the tartar with the cream.
Image 10: They then served us an eye-appealing "Vegetable field"! Resting on the rock was a mix of vegetables on a mixture of breadcrumbs and hazelnut. Excellent presentation for such a simple vegetable course! Again, this course was all about the ingredients.
Image 11: Sitting on some mussel sauce was Norway king crab and ash-dusted leek covered by a crunchy breadcrumbs. The seafood here was beautiful. I admired the quality of ingredients here!
Image 12: Langoustines with cauliflower purée underneath garnished with onions and mead. Again, I could truly taste the ingredients. The high quality of the main ingredient always stood out without being distracted by other elements of the dish!
Image 13: This dish looked very simple as well. A big plate with a splash of lobster cream in the centre and a strip of sautéed Danish lobster, salad roots and wild herbs on the side. The food here was unique, very unique. One or two tiny pieces of the main ingredient with one or two other simple components! Very simple!
Image 14: Alright, finally, a dish with more substance. Egg yolk cooked at 65ºC resting on baked and pressed egg white in a birch wine bouillon, crowned with slices of Swedish black truffle. The texture of the yolk was rather unique. It didn't look like solid but it wasn't runny at all. I had a few "perfect eggs" before but this one was more precisely done. Very satisfied with this course!
Image 15: Back to the minimalist theme and this was actually the main course! Braised musk ox blanketed in a thin layer of apple jelly and verbena with slices of Jerusalem artichokes. The meat was fork tender but the fruity jelly was a bit odd!
Image 16: An unusual dessert consisted of elderflower and rose hip meringue with sorbet of Skyr, an Icelandic fresh cheese. What was more unusual was a South American pastry chef came out to explain the dessert to us in Mandarin!!!
Image 17: Another interesting dessert which resembled a huge blackberry. It was actually small bits of blackberry dipped in liquid nitrogen and coated on a goat cheese sorbet! He came out again and we had a long conversation this time, again in Mandarin. He picked up the language when he staged in a Shanghai kitchen for a year without taken any Mandarin lesson! We were both very impressed!!!
Image 18: Our last dessertOllebrod (Danish beer bread) and Skyr (Icelandic fresh cheese).He described this dessert as a twist of a traditional Danish dessert using milk, porridge, and raspberry sorbet.
Image 19: To finish our 5-hour meal, a freezing cold petit-four was offered for our tea - a tarragon ice cream dipped in chocolate.Am I disappointed at the menu? I don't know. The cuisine is very new and definitely isn't what I had expected, but one thing for sure, I admired the chef's new approach which completely opposite to the current molecurlar trend.