This past year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. As I began on my journey traveling through Europe, I knew I would occasionally have the chance to try some outstanding (and at times outlandish) cuisines. But I never imagined myself eating at the number one restaurant in the world!
Since 2010, Copenhagen’s noma (lower case to those in the know) has been battling top restaurants for the title each year, and all but once did it reign supreme. The restaurant’s interpretation of Nordic cuisine calls for rustic, whimsical dishes that evoke a complete sensory experience for the customer, and top marks from the critics. Regardless of ranking, my experience at noma was once in a lifetime, and I am happy to share that here.
Since noma is considered the crème de la crème globally, getting a reservation is no easy task. I’ve been told that lucky patrons have to book their tables at least two months in advance. However, when my mother came to visit, we opted for the daily waiting list. To my surprise, I received a call from noma saying there had been a cancellation. I would highly recommend looking into this option if you’re traveling through Copenhagen last minute, because you could get lucky like I did!
Located in a modern warehouse along on the water in Christianshavn, the restaurant’s simple yet tasteful architecture matches its interior decor. Within my first few seconds of being inside the restaurant, we were welcomed by a chorus of “Hejs” and “Hellos” from every member of the staff. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for those of you with future plans to visit, so I’ll only say that the noma service is nothing short of impeccable. The servers explained each dish in depth, without overstaying their welcome. It completely enhanced our experience.
The noma menu changes with the seasons, and consisted of a 20-course tasting for each person. The first 10, all relatively bite-sized, were served very quickly, one right after the other. Much of the cuisine consisted of fruits and vegetables, with only a few seafood dishes and one poultry dish. The second 10 courses came with an optional wine pairing, which my mom and I enjoyed. The wines complemented each plate beautifully, but were all on the lighter side, so not to distract from the intricate dishes. The staff explained that their wines were selected from across the continent, based on what the chef and sommelier found new, exciting and “perfect for the season’s menu.”
I hope I leave you with your stomachs growling... mine certainly is just thinking about how wonderful my experience at noma was. I would jump on the chance to try it again, and for those of you who ever find yourself in Copenhagen, hop, leap, and BOUND to get a reservation here. It’s number one in the world for good reason!