Noma Copenhagen Reviews
The best restaurant in the world Apr 28, 2014
It’s not that often you eat at the best restaurant in a city of a reasonable size - and for me it is very rare I go to have my dinner at a place which has been mentioned as the best restaurant in the world three years running http://www.theworlds50best.com/awards/1-50-winners/. So it is fair to say I had certain expectations when I went to Noma.
And you got times to prepare yourself mentally for a visit to Noma since you don’t just show up the day you want dinner. You don’t just book a couple of days in advance. No you book at ten in the morning CET three month in advance (usually the first Monday in the month) when the next month becomes available for booking - and you’ll have about 15 minutes to make your reservation before everything is booked out - both dinner and lunch.
Finally it was about time to our visit at the restaurant - unfortunately the biggest scandal in the place history was running through the media just days before we were going. 63 people had gotten food poisoning from eating at the restaurant due to a sick member of the staff. Well I wasn’t gonna cancel just because of this so we went for the dinner.
The restaurant is located a bit away from the city center in an old warehouse at the former harbor in Copenhagen. In general it got a very discrete location for such a famous restaurant - but you can actually see the harbor from the restaurant. The restaurant is located in a pretty big room and they only accept a maximum of 40 guests per night - so there are plenty of rooms between the tables. There is also more staff than guest in the restaurant so you get very attentive service and dedicated food. The tables is without a table cloth which according to local legend is the main reason Noma still haven’t got the third star in the Michelin Guide.
It is pretty easy to decide what you want to have - there are nothing to choose from everybody gets the set menu which consists of about ten snacks and ten courses. The first snack is coming fast which is a Nordic Coconut - which is a hollowed out potato with some sort of juice inside. The whole theme of the restaurant is Nordic ingredients’. When Noma was first established the idea was you could only cook quality food if you went for a French or Italian style - this concept Noma wanted to challenge - they would prove it was possible to make great food using only ingredients native to the Nordic region. This means you skip something which is considered key ingredients of a kitchen today - like pepper and lemon juice. None of these ingredients’ is native to the Nordic region hence cannot be used in the food at Noma.
Instead they challenge whatever they have in the Nordic region and used it to the best of the raw materials abilities. Sometimes it feels like they take it a bit too far - like when they serve reindeer grass as a snack - seriously there are a reason why the Samee people living in northern Scandinavia leaves this stuff to the reindeers - it just doesn’t taste all that well. It may be prepared the best possible way - but should still be left for the reindeers.
The rest of the food was generally excellent and came with great presentations and quick service. The only exception was an onion dish which just tasted like onion. The waiter asked how we felt about it and we said we didn’t really like it - and she said they had heard that before. My only question is then - why do you still serve it on the menu? It might be a brilliant thought out dish - but if the costumers doesn’t like it you really should just take it off the menu and make the whole thing more pleasant for the guest.
The general comments above might come out a bit harsh considering the food was generally very good and unique and tasty - but when a place got such a prominent reputation like Noma - I kind of expect perfection - and when something doesn’t meet these criteria there will be some criticism. For the price - it is on the expensive side - but not significantly more expensive than other restaurants in Copenhagen in the same sort of price segment.
As of April 29 2013 Noma is no longer ranked as the best restaurant in the world. It has dropped to second place on the list.
As of April 28 2014 Noma is again ranked as the best restaurant in the world.
Part of the list Best restaurants in Copenhagen
11 / 11 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Noma Restaurant Mar 15, 2013
To be able to eat in this popular and one of the best restaurant in the world, we have to booked the table three months in advanced. This restaurants specialty is known for it is reinvention of Nordic Cuisine and only using ingredients and materials from Nordic country.
The restaurant located in an old warehouse on the waterfront in the Christianshavn neighborhood of central Copenhagen. Inside the building is quite bare but romantic with many big candles around the tables and soft light overhead.
When we arrived, the staff greet us warmly and take our coat and put in the cupboard and usher us to our table which facing the whole restaurants. The sitting design was good as we have space in between other dinner and can have private conversation without people ear dropping.
On strange twist since this is the most expensive restaurants in Copenhagen, the table itself do not have any table cloth on it, just bare table made from wood. There is flower and candle at the table.
Since this is our first visit to the restaurant, the staff explains the menu tradition and how they will serve it. After our first drink which is apple juice mix with mint, ginger and other stuff (and I am not sure either I like it or not, as taste is a bit bitter), and then the waiter bring the first snack which is Nordic coconut – not sure what ingredient they put inside, outside is potato and the liquid inside is warm and kind of strange mix taste, but not bad really.
Second snack is cream and he said we can eat it with the flower on our table. It appears, there is a couple of malt flatbread and juniper already hanging on the flower on our table. After this, we have more snacks – eleven of them, and then the waiter comeback to inform us that the entry will start and he will match it with wine around the region or other country to accompany the meals. We have seven course menus serve with wine matching plus two desserts.
Some of the food is good but personally I feel they serve food on the cheap and quantity is really small and decoration is not that great (as I had experience better than this).
It seems the restaurant serve more vegetables than meat. To be honest, I expect more from this restaurant than what they served us, especially the carrot, leek, onion, and beets. By end of the meal, I still feel hungry, and can go for another 10 course meals probably. Will I go back there? Probably not. The wine matching itself is not great, only a couple of wines I like, the rest are awful. I am not sure what the fuss about this restaurant, but this is one of the best restaurants in the world. Or might be I am not accustom to this style of dining.
Part of the list The best restaurant in Denmark
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy