Nordic Roots Sprout Success for Copenhagen Restaurant

Homage to Nordic cusine pays off for Noma named world's third best restaurant.

ByReporter's Notebook By VILMA ANUSAITE
October 22, 2009, 10:37 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Oct. 23, 2009 — -- Located in a renovated warehouse in the Christianshavn area of Copenhagen,Denmark, the restaurant Noma, is a food lovers gem. Voted the third best restaurant in the world by the Restaurant Magazine in 2009 and a proud holder of two Michelin stars, the Noma menu is an homage to Nordic cuisine.

"This means that we only use the herbs, vegetables, meat, fish, shellfish and other products which you find here in the North," says the restaurant's director Peter Kreiner.

So expect no olive oil or sun-dried tomatoes, and instead plan for horse mussels, deep-sea crab, musk ox, berries, drinking water from Greenland and curds from Iceland.

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The Noma interior is simple but stylish and very sunny, offset with fur, leather, wooden floors and overhead beams. Staff is plentiful, very helpful and handsome.

We had a four-course lunch that included razor clams and parsley with dill and mussel juice; tea-steamed spinach; onions and celery; Danish duck and nasturtiums with grilled pear and leeks, as well as cucumber, verbena yogurt and meringue dessert.

We also got quite a few nibbles on the house and were most impressed with the red radishes served in pots of "soil." The "soil" is actually a mixture made of malt and hazelnuts, but it looks like the real thing, so it feels as if you are eating a very delicious earth.

Noma's chefs are always on a lookout for new products in Denmark and other Nordic countries and its owner, and chief cook Rene Redzepi has also been officially appointed the New Nordic Food ambassador.

Kreiner says at Noma visitors can expect a great dining experience.

"We hopefully will be able to challenge your expectations and make you try something new which you never thought you would try," he told ABC News.

The four course lunch costs about $120 without drinks and service charge, so the great dining experience does not come cheap.

But it was definitely worth it, and I did try things like nasturtiums and edible soil that I never expected.

So if you are in Copenhagen you should, at least once in your life, indulge in gourmet Nordic cuisine.

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