Noma- the number one restaurant in the world!

Noma has been on the list of “The Worlds 50th best restaurants” for eight years, topping the list three times.

This is an amazing achievement for a restaurant in a small country like Denmark, but Noma is very far from the traditional luxury- and gourmet restaurant.

Situated on a slightly remote dock in Copenhagen in a concrete building, with an interior design created by Space Copenhagen, it provides an experience unlike anything and anywhere else. There is no white-linen table clothes here, the waiters doesn´t wear suits, and the best part, the atmosphere isn´t stiff and out-of-date!

Even if the outside of the restaurant doesn´t give the impression of an expensive and high-end restaurant, this changes as soon as you go through the front door. I had been waiting for a few attempts and almost three months from the booking to experience this together with some of my best friends, and the feeling of being welcomed by over twenty employers were overwhelming. It was like we stepped into a different world where only the most enthusiastic food-loving-lucky-bastards were accredited.

I love the design of this place. It is simple (in the best possible way), clean, rustic, earthy, organic and Nordic. And the design is transferred to the dishes, or in all probability, vice versa.

If you love food, the experimental kitchen, the Scandinavian kitchen, the organic and earthy kitchen, and feel up for an adventurous round of unforgettable tastes, then visit Noma. If you prefer Russian caviar, truffles and foie gras served the regular way, this may not be the place for you. The first dish is the table ornament. I kid you not! It looked like a stick found in the park, placed in the middle of a small and discrete flower decoration. And this was just the first of many surprises.

The most vigorous dish of the night was the shrimp. Unlike most other restaurants, Noma decided not to cook, fry or stir it. They served it alive (and kicking). Although it was served on ice, perhaps as an effort to “freeze” and settle its vivid attempt to escape the forthcoming event. But as you pick it up, and take your time to get used to the idea that a live (and kicking) creature is about to slide down your throat (and even further), it becomes very much alive (and kicking) again. To me this was more fun than a gastronomic experience, but I don´t think I´ll forget (or copy) the experience.

Other unforgettable dishes were the “fake” mussels, the grilled leeks, beets and aromatic herbs, the crabmeat with herbs, chestnuts with caviar, smoked quail eggs or the blueberry and ants. And then there were all the fantastic sweets that rounded up the meal, like the potato and plum dessert. It was a symphony of unexpected combinations and pure, earthy and smashing tastes throughout the meal.

When it comes to the fluid part, you will not be served the standard expensive pinot noire at this place. Most of the drinks we got matched very well with the food, and most of it was new to me, but it was all organic, some of it local, and generally fresh and tasty. Noma is not the place for the most exceptional wine experiences, but the beer and wine menu was innovative and fit very well with the concept.

After this visit, the traditional luxury restaurants felt very distant and passé… I love the new wave of Nordic restaurants with a clean look and “back to basic” cooking with the pure and original ingredients. I probably won´t come back to Noma for a while, but I asked the staff here where they liked to eat, and got some VERY good recommendations, to a much more affordable price.

I am very happy that I have had the opportunity to experience Noma, because it really is more like an experience than just a meal. The choice of ingredients, the innovation and the presentation makes it feel like both a dinner AND a show! The kitchen and floor are staffed with fantastic people from all over the world. The service is well balanced with great knowledge, excellent timing and the right dose of humor. So I completely agree that this must be one of the best restaurants in the world!

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