I’m writing this at nearly 1am. I just had to, I couldn’t wait.
A group of friends and I went to dine at noma, one of the best restaurants in the world.
Thanks to my readers and desire to tell a great story, you are getting my live, unvarnished thoughts from an amazing evening.
In the last five years, noma has been awarded the title of World's Best Restaurant four times.
Rene Redzepi is a genius in the kitchen andnoma is his masterpiece.
noma wants to honor the best that nature has to offer, and they use unique ingredients that tell the story of the Nordic lands, forests, and seas.
In order to challenge himself and his staff, Redzepi has closed noma multiple times, taking his staff on the road to places like Mexico and Australia to explore local ingredients and learn from local chefs.
The only thing that mattered to me was hopping in a taxi near the central train station with three friends and being taken to an unforgettable experience.
noma doesn't announce itself as much as it emerges from its surroundings.
We were checked in by a staff member under an umbrella.
The staff member invited us to follow her into the greenhouse because there were no radios.
As we drank our drinks, we looked out over the fields and towards the plants nearby.
I saw a bee flying around and knew it was a part of the show.
The white building behind us was calm and simple.
We were invited to leave our drinks at the bar and enter the restaurant by our attendant.
We walked down a path that we thought was the main building.
Chefs were hard at work but they all turned towards us to wave hello as we passed the greenhouse on the right.
Next to the wooden facade was a table filled with colorful fruits and vegetables.
We had to open the door ourselves to find what was inside.
I didn't think what would happen next.
It takes a lot of effort to make world-class cuisine in a place like noma, and you should expect big metal-filled kitchens, a constant din of utensils, and a lot of effort.
We didn't see any of that
I have never experienced anything like it before.
The team at noma put in a lot of effort to make sure we were treated well.
Our table was one of six four-tops in a room that was spacious yet still feels intimate, close enough to be aware of conversations at other tables without feeling like you were sitting on top of the table next to you.
The design of the room was simple and clean.
I sat with my back to the windows, which gave me one of the best seats in the house, so I could look into the kitchen to see the staff working.
I will never forget the moment when one of the team members welcomed us and started cooking.
We were seated just after 5pm, natural light flooding the dining room with warm accent lighting.
The wine was described to those drinking it as the juice was poured quickly.
The wait staff was friendly and kind, and they answered any questions we had with genuine politeness.
They told us that we would be eating fifteen courses tonight and that we would find out if any of us had food allergies.
We began with noma's take on a summer salad, with a vibrant array of berries, flowers, corn, and other vegetables.
I decided to eat whatever ended up in front of me, even though I am not a big vegetable eater.
A thin-sliced cauliflower was on top of a waffle that was bright in color.
The cauliflower had its own crunch which was enhanced by the crunch of the wafer.
As our third course arrived, a grilled padron pepper, the skin of the pepper removed, that was stuffed with sunflower seeds, we were invited to squeeze it like a lemon and bite into it.
The charred pepper flesh gave way to the familiar texture of sunflower seeds, again testing a mix of flavors andtexture along with a more monochromatic color pallet.
I had never tasted anything like this before, but it was nuts with mold on them.
The cucumber skin was light and delicate, it felt like the mold.
I didn't just grab one of the disks and take a huge bite out of it, it took everything I had to.
The dishes proved to us that we could handle complicated flavors, and our next course was garlic in an onion jelly with cream.
The garlic cut through the richness of theJelly but the flavors were strong.
We went back to rich colors with a radishes pie.
The rich flavors of the radishes were cut through by a small amount of horseradish in the center.
noma made a dish with smoked pumpkin and chili oil.
The texture of the dish wasn't that different from a piece of ginger that you'd see at a sushi restaurant.
The dish looked familiar and I thought it was the best looking dish of the night.
The marigold was light and crisp, thanks to the cured egg yolk.
It was as good as the mold.
We ate our way through the course, bursting with flavor as we made our way to the main course.
One of the highlights of the vegetable season meal was the egg that was cooked with beets and ramson.
It's another dish where something light and delicate gave way to a texture with a bit of crunch.
The vegetables had not been an issue for me for how picky of an eater I can be.
The grilled young artichokes had a sauce in the center.
I don't like to eat vegetables.
I thought to myself, "Ok this will help things, if I don't like it at noma, I'll have a better retort ready for the people who are like 'oh you'll like artichokes you probably just haven't had them cooked'."
I had a meal at the best restaurant in the world, but I still didn't like it.
We arrived at the main course after 11 courses.
The one who got the reservation was my friend, and noma staff reached out to him about food restrictions a week before we arrived.
Lion's mane mushrooms, roasted and topped with pumpkin along with a sauce infused with roses and a side salad were the main course.
Would I be able to get past my fear of mushrooms?
The mushrooms were delicious and the sauce made them taste like meat to me.
I was able to turn down mushrooms thanks to noma.
The smart lighting design of noma was more apparent as night fell, so I took some pictures.
Every light there was warm and subtle.
Some people were still cooking in the kitchen while others were starting to clean.
The dessert courses started with a salad and chocolate from Mexico.
The chocolate was rich and intense, with almost no hint of sugar to it.
The next course had oatmeal-based ice cream, honey, and a hint of bee pollination.
I had tasted bee pollen before, so I was prepared for it, but others in my party were in for a bit of a surprise when they tasted it for the first time!
Everything was smooth and similar but different enough to make me want to eat it.
The most delicate dish of the night was presented to us in a box.
There was a variety of honeys inside the box.
It was so delicate and genius because it had so many different flavors.
The darkness of night gave us a new perspective on the amazing architecture atnoma.
There were pictures on the wall in the test kitchen as we walked down the path.
A smile crept its way from my face as I remembered what was the best meal I had.
I don't want to make this too dramatic, even though I haven't slept in a long time.
The people of noma stood out in a place where the food was good.
Maybe that is the point of noma's vegetable season.
We approached it with an open mind and left with full bellies and smiles.
Tell me if you've been tonoma.
It has been a long time since I heard about the crazy road trip I took to Norway. You like how ambitiously dumb I can be at times.
Andy shared his favorite pictures from last year. Did your favorite get in?
In the country ofDenmark.
There are great deals this summer on mainline carriers.
There are cheap flights.