Copenhagen, a city that hosts the ‘Best Restaurant in the World’, voted #1 not one but THREE years running. It isn’t the sort of place I necessarily expected this, surely the top chef’s of the UK or USA would out-do little Denmark?
NOMA however, here in Copenhagen, holds the prestigious title. With a 3 month waiting list for bookings, and a price tag of around AU$250 plus expensive drinkies for their ’20 course’ set menu, let me know if you ever get to dine at it, I probably would have dined on my own to have the experience but it’s unfortunately closed from July 22 – August 13 this year (odd for peak season, I guess they can afford a 3 week break). However, if you want to see what’s on the menu and pop on over, here’s the link …
Moving along, my inability to experience the likes of ‘tartar and sorrel’, ‘sweetbread and bitter greens’, and ‘rhubarb and milk curd’ offered on their menu meant heading elsewhere. Dag H promotes itself as “the place to go for a quality espresso, international cuisine and the relaxed ambiance is our signature and what we hope will leave a lasting impression from your visit”. … So off we headed for a lovely evening in Copenhagen.
All meals on the menu can be ordered as individual courses, many as part of a 3-course deal of 329 DK (Danish Krona), we think somewhere in the vicinity of AU$50-$60 …saving up to 90DK (AU$15+ ish). No kids menu, but with fries as an option, and a half-size option for their burger it’s doable. I wanted to make the most of the opportunity and chose the 3 course deal. You can see the full menu here…
They also have a breakfast and lunch menu.
I have NEVER tried fois gras before. It’s not exactly prevalent anywhere I’ve dined at before for starters, and then I probably wouldn’t choose it as pates and terrines just aren’t my thing. Consequently, I chose the Terrine of Fois Gras de Canard (of duck) with Braised Pork Cheeks served with Toasted Bread, pickled Plums, Celery and Cress to give it a go (and hubby had the seafood).
The fois gras had a texture similar to firm butter, and probably the same fat content making it somewhat rich but not so flavoursome. Definitely (at least in this dish) the flavour came from the pork though there wasn’t much of it, dispersed through the centre of the terrine. The pickled plums, that were VERY sweet, and the crusty bread help to cut through the richness of the fois gras. I couldn’t eat it all (gasps a plenty out there I’m sure), the waitress gave a bit of a giggle as she collected the plate, her and a colleague had a small discussion earlier over a plate eaten clean, I got the impression it didn’t happen often! Still, I stomached something I usually wouldn’t even consider, let alone pay for. I have a feeling it’s on the set menu for my visit at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant (would make sense at a place called ‘The Fat Duck’) so we may meet again, I suspect for the last time.
My main choice was the Roasted Veal Steak with Red-Wine Sauce, White Asparagus and Green Asparagus. By the time I got the meal I had forgotten what the accompaniments were and mistook the green asparagus for shallots (they must have trimmed the usually recognisable tops off) and I can only assume the small mushroom looking things were in fact white asparagus, not mushrooms (will Google that later and see, maybe they were)! Either way, they were a delicious little charred accompaniment, I didn’t try the green (I was running out of room and not keen on ‘onion’). The veal steak was met with some disappointment. My medium-well was barely medium, but I can cope with that, the first part was somewhat tough and sinewy …very odd for veal. However the remaining 2/3 of my steak was deliciously tender. In all, a great dish, though I did find the teaming with chunky fries a bit odd, a good mash (served with some of their other meals) would have worked a treat.
Hubby again went with the fish which he found quite nice. We happened to spy their burger being served to another table …fantastic presentation (not necessarily captured in this picture taken from afar), amazing what a simple chilli can do, will steal this idea!
Onto dessert. I skipped on the chocolate given I’m not a licorice fan, and well cheesecake you can find anywhere, the ‘currant pudding’ grabbed my eye. Now stop to think about this for a moment, visualise ‘currant pudding’ and tell me what you see. I’m thinking a nice warm, fruit-cake / chrissy-styled pudding …served with the vanilla panna cotta, vanilla ice cream, meringue and pistachio. Well, I was wrong. The pudding in fact was what I would consider a fruit ‘coulis’, a thick but otherwise very liquid ‘sauce’ in the bottom of the bowl and tasting considerably of raspberry. The panna cotta was sitting in the middle, somewhat overwhelmed by the ‘pudding’ and topped with the ice cream and pistachio and golden meringue shard.
Whilst the service was good, our dessert was forgotten. After half an hour of waiting we grabbed the attention of the waitress …’dessert?” we said “would you like to see the menu?” she asked. “Err no, we ordered already”. Quite puzzled she disappeared but sure enough, returned with some cutlery, including for Miss 8 as she had remembered us saying she could just have my ice cream. She implied the issue was the kitchen and offered free coffee for the wait. We declined and dessert came not too long thereafter.
She kindly didn’t charge us for the drinks because of the delay on dessert ….that’s a score in my book! A lovely walk (3km!!!) back to the hotel along the canal it was a lovely evening. Whilst it wasn’t the cheapest meal I’ve ever had, it was still on-par with some of home’s finer dining and therefore reasonable (especially when things are relatively expensive here). Not quite ‘The Best Restaurant in the World’ ….maybe next time 😉