Noma restaurant

The restaurant that declined the Obamas.

by: AFP | 09 Dec 2009

You may carry the name of the planet's mover and shaker, but that doesn't cut the mustard (organic and bearing just a tiny hint of tarragon) with Copenhagen's top restaurant.

If their minions haven't booked months ago, heads of state and government attending the UN climate summit have no chance of a table at Noma, routinely described in the gourmet media as one of the world's Top Ten restaurants for taste and inventiveness.

The restaurant, perched on Copenhagen's waterfront, offers a series of tiny dishes created only from fresh, locally-sourced food - fish or root vegetables that are often humble or overlooked.

It proposes delicacies such as chilled razor clams and parsley in dill and mussel juice; morsels of lamb, cooked for 36 hours in a vacuum at a temperature of exactly 63 degrees Celsius, served with horseradish, fresh salad and pickled ramson onions; and a dessert of chilled, pureed carrot, coated with buttermilk and anis.

The medley is washed down with a series of seven wines, including "La Lune," a wine from France's Touraine region that comes from grapes hand-harvested only at certain phases of the moon.

Ordinary people - well, ordinary people whose credit card can take a hit of 300 Euros (R 3348) for a three-hour gastronomic experience - can take precedence over VIPs, because reservations are dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis, the restaurant says.

"A couple of months ago, when there was the meeting on (choosing) the (2016) Olympics, Michelle Obama asked if she could book for dinner," a waitress says.

"We had to say, 'we are so sorry, all our tables were reserved months ago."



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