Noma is a restaurant in Copenhagen which has been in the top five best restaurants in the world for more than 6 years. The chances of dinning there are almost impossible, and getting a reservation is extremely difficult! In short, it is a challenge to dine at Noma!
It all started on March 29th when we entered Noma’s website to make a reservation which was going to be 3 months later. We were the number 2,109 in line and we had to wait for more than an hour to be able to access their calendar!!! The wait seemed eternal, and the thing that we were most afraid of was… internet disconnection and loosing our turn in line! so, we just sat in front of the monitor and, waited and waited and… waited.
Finally the calendar appeared and we just had 15 minutes to find a date, time and number of peopl attending, and confirm it, but everything was almost fully booked!!! the whole month of July! But after searching quickly, we managed to make a reservation for July 19th at 1 pm.
That’s where the excitement began! When we were able to have a reservation in Noma, but it was like finding a needle in a tread.
After three months of waiting, the day finally arrived, July 19th. We dressed up casually as Noma has no dress code. We grabbed a taxiand when we finally arrived outside of Noma, we started to see lots of people getting pictures outside of the restaurant, so while we joined the crowds and lined up to get a picture at the entrance.
When we were taking pictures, someone opened the door and approached Beca to ask her if she could help us with our things. We don’t know how she knew it was us, but anyways, we finally entered paradise! or at least, the closest to that for the next three hours.
So, when we walked in, around 15 people lined up in the entrance and they all started to say “welcome”. It was so cool but intimidated at the same time, none th less, after a short while the friendliness of the staff and the casual vibe of the restaurant made us feel like at home. The chairs we’re amazingly comfortable, the interiors were modern and simple, and it was fresh and nice. We didn’t get the vibe of the snobbish fancy restaurant which intimidates, just the opposite!
One of the waiters explained to us that we would be getting 16 different dishes and that we could decide on a wine or a juice pairing. Since we are not much into wines we went for the juice option.
And…the feast of kings began!! That’s when we realized that we had been living in the shadows of gastronomy this whole time.
The first thing that took our breath away was the presentation of the dishes! The way in which the food was served was a spectacle on its own, they really were the most beautiful food servings that we had ever seen. They were unique, beautiful and even… crazy looking. They managed to transport you to places that were no longer inside of the restaurant!
The fortune of having a great first impression was that when we tasted the dishes, each of them managed to awaken every sense of our bodies… we could feel the sweetness, bitterness and sourness in every bite and in the end, the combination of the ingredients, which gave the food a unique flavor.
It really was like if we had been dinning small pieces of heaven. All dishes were brought to us by different chefs, which specialized in different foods and which made the experience even more entertaining. They would be coming to explain what the plate contained and that was also a show on its own.
So we will tell you what heaven tastes like…
1. A Rose made from Seaweed which tasted like nothing we had understood as seaweed before. It had a refreshing taste with a delicious sour flavor. That was paired with a delicious juice, unfortuantel we can’t recall the flavor…
2. A dish capable of transporting you into a hobbit town. It was quail egg, fried blueberry filled with yogurt served in the interior of a flower, and a bread stick covered in green leaves. These were served on top of green moss and rocks.
3. Radish pie. Despite the fact that we hate radish, the combination of flavors in the dish made it taste delicious. It’s presentation made us sing in our heads “under the sea” we couldn’t avoid linking its looks to the deep sea.
4. We love dips but this time it was taken to a different level… Several green leaves, a strong tasting flower, and a grilled cucumber which tasted sweet. These were snacks to be dipped in a horseradish cream sauce. The combination of strong, bitter and sweet as well as the different textures, where a magnificent experience. These, along the side of a elderflower kombucha juice was just an experience that awaken all of our degustative palates.
5. To change the strong flavors that had been given to us before, a sour dough bread with rich and soft butter was served to us. The rich and creamy butter which was extremely soft, was made out of a combination of Swedish cow’s and goat’s milk with a pinch of salt. The butter was so fresh, that the only thing missing was the sound of the mooing animals there.
6. We apologize but we were so enchanted with the flavors that we had experienced so far, that we forgot to take a picture of this dish. But, it was a rich and creamy fresh cured milk, and seaweed in mushroom sauce made from strawberry and parsley.
7. The green berries and terragon juice was something unique and with a strong flavor but it’s combination with the dish was fantastic. Green beans with berries and smoked tomatoes sauce, it was sweet and dense. The sweet bean and the sour berries make an amazing contrast.
8. Lobster with caramelized onions with a vinaigrette made of lavender and rose oil. The combination of the ingredients realmed the flavor of the different foods, but also we could have one taste at the beginning, and a different taste at the end. This simply was like dinning glory. Multiple tastings in one bite!
9. A fragile and delicate dish which evoked elegance and sofistication. It was green peas that were peeled twice, served on top of a fermented plumb cracker like which was quite fragil. The sweet flavor of the peas and the sourness of the fermented plumb, along the side of the gooseberry juice was a perfect combination to experience sweet and sour at the same time. Our favorite juice! simply delicious.
10. Meat of the head and legs of a Norwegian King crab, which was as soft as silk and which was mixed in egg yolk, it was a sweet gift from heaven.
11. We thought we would be getting some kind of meat since a meat knife was put on the table for us, but going vegan has never been easier! Multiple charcoal grilled green vegetables were the perfect meat substitute. On top they had been caramelized in a scallop sauce. Some of them were more steamed and some more crunchy, but the different textures and the amazing taste, were outstanding. These were paired with a cabbage and celery juice.
12. This was definitely Jack’s favorite dish. As he is a fish lover of course there is no better place than the Nordics to have fish at. Beca dispises fish, but she couldn’t even tell that this was fish. Noma is full of surprises with, but it was amazing to have shrimp ravioli made out of leaves! they were perfect and pretty. The mushroom broath gave the dish a marvelous flavor. This was paired with a pea juice. This dish was really to die for!
13. We would have never thought that we would ever be capable of eating insects, but Noma was the exception… The first dessert that we had was a yogurt mouse made out of goat milk and which had an ants paste on top alongside fennel paste. Yes ants! This was all covered in a green strawberry sorrel sauce. The function of the ants jelly was to give the whole dish a unique acidity, for all the ingredients to be brought in harmony. This was really antilicious!
14. A very refreshing, soft and silky, flower-seed popsicle. It was a hard chocolate cover filled with rose petal ice cream. The stick was made out of a branch. Really natural and yummy!
15. This dessert was Beca’s favorite, as she loves dark chocolate. The chocolate covered moss was crunchy, full of flavor, and when it was dipped in the crême fresh it was even better! The feeling of the crunchy moss combined with the soft cream was amazing! For sure something that we will never have again, because it was so great that it’s going be hard to find it elsewhere. The presentation of this dessert was fantastic, once again in hobbit village. A fermented mushroom covered in dark chocolate was delicious, especially when dipped in the cream.
16. Last but not least, a plate of all types of different berries. Some of them, we had never seen before. Different in shape, size, color and texture, with unique and delicious flavor. All of them were a great match for a tasty drink of egg nog with licor.
We ended up our experience at Noma by touring around their kitchens, which have around 40 different people working around, to make every single ingredient perfect. They were cutting, preparing and creating the magic for us!
It was probably one of the healthiest meals that we have ever had. It was so full of nutrients… It was also the most expensive detox of our lives. But it was definitely worth it and we would do it all over again!
No wonder why Noma is one of the best restaurants in the world! It really is!