One of the attractions of a short new year break to Denmark's capital city, Copenhagen (Kobenhavn) is the opportunity to experience their amazing culinary skills particularly with seafood.Nordic food has become fashionable in recent years featuring in several TV shows and reviews. Scientific Research at the University of Copenhagen has found traditional Scandinavian cuisine to be every bit as healthy as its Mediterranean counterpart with emphasis on locally sourced fresh produce and delicate preparation.
We started our tour at 108 which is sited in a former whale meat warehouse with floor-to-ceiling windows and water views; bare concrete and a semi-open kitchen giving it a cool Nordic style.
108 sprung from the world-renowned restaurant, Noma, whose Head Chef and recipient of 2 Michelin stars, Rene Redzepi, is often cited as the founder of the New Nordic Cuisine. The Chef at 108 is Kristian Baumann, once an apprentice of Redzepi, who now also boasts a Michelin star for his success at the restaurant.
Arriving on a cold wet evening we were warmly welcomed by the friendly and attentive staff who recommended a Gin & Tonic using this Scandinavian gin from Nordic Spirits Lab. Infused with Aqvavit botanicals we were equally enthused by its great flavour - so much so that we purchased a couple of bottles at the airport to bring home. Akvavit traditionally contains coriander, angelica and lemon peel but it is the caraway and dill which really adds the the Nordic essence to this refreshing gin.
The menu offers plenty of pickled, cured and fermented ingredients on the 'no rules' menu, from which you pick as many dishes as you like. On recommendation from our table staff, all of whom were extremely well informed about the ingredients and preparation of every dish, we chose a selection of smaller plates and then one larger plate to share. Every dish was beautifully crafted visually and each one contained its own flavoursome character. Combined with their own freshly baked bread we were completely satisfied both in terms of appetite and flavours.
|Glazed Pork with last year's Pickles|
|Raw Shrimp, Mushroom and White Currant|
|Jerusalem Artichoke with Caviar|
Jerusalem Artichoke combines so well with the Royal Belgian Caviar to give exciting texture contrasts and flavour combinations.
|Brown Beech Mushrooms with Smoked Egg Yolk|
Our larger sharing plate was Brown Beech Mushrooms with Smoked Egg Yolk and Grilled Greens. Also known as Buna shimeji (Hypsizygus tessellatus), it is an edible mushroom native to East Asia but it is cultivated locally in temperate climates in Europe where it grows mainly on Beech trees. Although bitter when raw, once cooked they are considered to be one of the most flavoursome of all the edible mushrooms. They were dusted in seaweed and dried mushroom before flash frying to give a Tempura style. Crunchy, nutty and full of flavour they were perfectly paired with the subtle Smoked Egg Yolk sauce. The grilled Greens were fresh and light and topped with thin slices of grilled Butternut Squash. Now, I am not a huge fan of the Butternut but I could eat these all day long.
All in all we had four smaller plates and one larger one, freshly baked bread and a couple of glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. Together with 2 G&Ts and filtered water the bill came to £200 which is not cheap but so worth it for an exciting night out enjoying good food in a great restaurant.