NOMA is one of the world’s best restaurants. Opened in 2003, and located in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was ranked the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.
Reservations are very hard to come by, but with luck, and a party of 16, our reservations were accepted. Due to the restaurant’s compact size, our large party was given the only private room. The experience was everything one might dream.
To reach our private room, we were walked through the kitchen where each chef abruptly stopped his or her preparation of food to say, “Welcome to NOMA!” It was quite refreshing and the hospitality set the tone for the evening.
While being introduced to our room, we learned that every employee at NOMA is a chef, server, and researcher. This, undoubtedly, helps to precipitate an atmosphere of luxury, but also of intimacy. For being ranked so highly, there was not a single hint of pretension as each chef was personal, warm, welcoming, and informative. And the interior space worked to support this; it was where farm-to-fork met fine linen. The colors were muted, simple, and one might associate them to the Danish shoreline.
Over the course of 4 hours, we received 18 courses. Each dish was prepared fresh and served immediately by our own personal chef / server / researcher. The menu for dinner on 8 July 2015 was as follows:
Course 1: Turnip and unripe strawberry marinated in aquavit
Course 2: Oland Wheat and virgin butter
Course 3: Cabbage and currant
Course 4: New Danish potato and lovage
Course 5: The first shoots of the season with scallop marinade
Course 6: Sweet peas, milk curd and sliced kelp
Course 7: Flower tart
Course 8: Sweet shrimps wrapped in ramson leaves
Course 9: Sliced raw squid and broccoli stems
Course 10: Cabbage and roses
Course 11: Monkfish liver
Course 12: White asparagus, goosefoot leaves and barley
Course 13: Lobster and nasturtium
Course 14: Vegetable flower
Course 15: Roasted bone marrow
Course 16: Berries and greens soaked in vinegar for one year
Course 17: Rhubarb and sheep milk yogurt
Course 18: Forest flavours and chocolate
The amazing evening came to a close with a tour of the kitchen and research lab.
This was an exquisite evening and one that I will remember for a lifetime. I am thankful for the experience and happy to share this story with you.