- Nordic Coconut
- Blackcurrant Berry and Roses
- Fresh Milk Curd and Blueberry Preserves
- Chestnuts and Trout Roe
- Aebleskyver and Greens
- Flatbread and Truffle
- Squid and Fernnel
- Potato and Caviar
- Lobster and Nasturtium
- Wild Duck Pear and Kale
In 2008, before becoming as famous as nowadays, René Redzepi deserved the lomejordelagastronomia.com International Award, an honor that has been bestowed on Ducasse, Robuchon, Guérard and Adrià first, and then on Berasategui, Veyrat, Grant Achatz, Roca and Dacosta, among others. The man has now become part of History.
We visit this kitchen that has broken the moulds on a yearly basis. We have just had lunch there and are delighted to see that René is still true to his utterly personal style, to his extremely creative Nordic naturalism that has blazed a trail in the North European countries and that is renewed every year by the artist. His boundless imagination and his philosophy are really unique in the culinary planet. We are before the most daring cuisine in the current world; the one that has distinguished itself most from others authors, theories, fashions and influences. Nor better nor worse than Roca’s or Dacosta’s; it’s just very different and superior in that its inspiration has fewer references.
The 20 dishes we tasted reflect the maturity of a man who is now 37 and the self-confidence of a chef whose restaurant is full every single day of gourmets who are hungry for unpredictable sensations. For dishes that all confirm the criteria and techniques of René’s work and that are impregnated with some more reflexive fantasy and based on brilliant products. It suffices to have a look at the photos to see the profusion of raw material and the intelligence displayed to manage this real ART. We are before a GENIUS who is at his highest peak.
The “Nordic brains” is inspired by the native exoticism of the South. A whole radish, together with its leaves and roots, is used as a plate that welcomes some exultant broth which, swallowed through some “bamboo straws”, acquires a taste of infused cabbage, mushrooms and quince oil. From then on, the guests give themselves body and soul to an unprecedented exhibition of talent, which constantly surpasses any human or divine frontier, as reflected by the black sarsaparilla, blackberry and rose pollen bonbons. What a fruitiness! What a floral touch! What a delicacy! What a construction!
We have a date with a never-seen-before experience. In our 33 years gastronomic career throughout the world, we had never been served such a vivid, immaculate and cruel bite: a gigantic crayfish lain on wonderful sculptural ice mountain, with its shell on its head and the last two centimetres of its tail. All the rest was just pure and vivid meat. So vivid, that the animal’s little pincers were still moving! The guests, terrified, with the help of a knife, had to end up with the crustacean’s suffering. The attendees of the gastronomic feast could not stand the situation. To shorten the last breath of the crayfish, we cut the body next to the head. On the opposite side –the one that had a two-centimetre shell–, we took the body and put it in eruption. We gave three cannibalistic bites to the most vivid, natural and rawest crayfish ever –without any seasoning nor cooking. Nobody dared to suck the animal’s head, as we knew it could feel our teeth. It is clear that this is not an ordinary restaurant and that it is not aimed at ordinary gourmets.
We went on killing top quality animals. Here goes a 300-year-old clam –as they swear and perjure–, served raw, without moving, simply seasoned with chopped seaweeds in order to reinforce its oceanic touch. Naturalist naturalism together with compositions transformed with pure flavours: an exciting canapé made of monkfish liver shavings, slightly smoked, lain over extremely thin crunchy sheets of caramelized milk. Following the same philosophy, we were served a spectacular proposal: two utterly fragile rectangles of duck consommé were sheltering some very iodized seafood. It’s hard to believe that so much splendour and so much inventiveness can exist into a single dish: raw chestnuts and nuts served with trout roe and fermented pumpkin juice.
The fact that dairy products are part of the local and personal culture is expressed here and there, like in the extremely refined composition of creamy cottage cheese, covered with some blueberry sauce and seasoned with pine oil. And the outstanding proposals go on and on, such as the squid, in raw dices, served with a fennel stalk, cut like pieces of asparagus, swimming into a consommé seasoned with celery vinegar. Lobster: a big tail, slightly warmed, covered with some spiced dough made with the heated head, and crowned with some watercress leaves. Some compositions could not be any more essential. To take a short break, what about some beet with plums, seeds and flowers? To make sure that the goodness and the purity of the Nordic delights are duly honoured, the chef proposes a wonderful tartlet of Swedish black truffle … As well as roasted potatoes, pertinently brilliant, utterly creamy and buttery, served with caviar and … seaweed oil. Or the masterfully roasted wild duck, really red, tender and tasty, with quince, pear purée and a vegetable garden garnished in perfect harmony.
The Michelin guide denied René Redzepi the three stars, just like it did before with Michel Bras and Ferran Adrià. The three of them got the three stars late, once their link to the best culinary history got undeniable. Who knows why?
The restaurant, located along the river, in an ancient salt warehouse, is also simple and charming, such as the service, by the cooks themselves. The absence of tablecloth is totally natural, here. The personality of the place is amazing. A great range of juices is offered to go with some dishes as an alternative to wine: sorrel and apple, celery, yellow pine, apple and pineapple, elder flower, etc.