If I were in doubt, going through my pictures and notes from the last 12 months tells me that it has been another good year of dining. I could easily have made a top 50 list but it is also a good exercise to boil everything down to really acknowledge the very best. Even though I am still not traveling as much as I did before I became a father, I have made some pretty good visits around Europe and even abroad. When I look at my 20 picks for the list, meat does not take a lot of space. I love how the best chefs around the world are working with vegetables and seafood that in my opinion are superior to meat in most cases – and much more environmentally friendly. Find the complete list in random order below:
Who comes up with the idea of combining Jerusalem artichokes, pistachios, anchovies and bergamot?! Jakob Mielcke does and it worked so well. Very surprisingly, the pronounced flavours complemented each other instead of trying to steal the picture. Served at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl in Copenhagen.
Read my latest review of Mielcke & Hurtigkarl (in Danish) right here.
Not only the best foie gras dish in 2018 but in my entire life. Freshly slaughtered foie gras from Alsace served in different ways by Torsten Michel at Schwarzwaldstube*** in Baiersbronn, Germany. Product quality and craftsmanship in perfect combination.
Few chefs master the skill of simplifying and taking away instead of continuously adding stuff like Mark Lundgaard does. This tourte with minced veal and foie gras served with an intense sauce with warm spices was unbelievably good. Served at Kong Hans Kælder* in Copenhagen.
Crispy malt puff filled with crab meat, bleek roe, a cream made of cod roe and tiny balls made of cucumber and kohlrabi – cured egg yolk on top. It was served with a sauce with trout roe and bleek roe. Brilliant serving by Tommy Friis, Fru Larsen in Langå.
This may not look like much but this Chinese deep-fried bun with a filling of luke-warm creme fraiche and Beluga caviar was nothing but sublime. One of the best bites I have ever had. The fat, fluffy bun and the creamy interior almost made my brain explode. Served at Disfrutar** in Barcelona.
The most juicy and tender lamb filet with the fat being hardly seared – served with dehydrated beetroot cooked in gooseberry juice. Wonderful serving by Nicolai Nørregaard at Kadeau** in Copenhagen.
Read my latest review of Kadeau (in Danish) right here.
Boragó is rated as number four on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and it is truly a magnificent experience – they take foraging to the next level serving all kinds of wild stuff from all over Chile. This serving of duck breast aged in beeswax and served with plum leaves, miso and blackberry sauce was my favorite of the meal. Rodolfo Guzman, Boragó in Santiago de Chile.
I am still amazed that The Michelin Guide overlooks Søllerød Kro every year. To me the food is on a three star level. This dish is so unbelievably simple and delicious at the same time. Gastro Unika Beluga caviar served with caramelized cream soured with butter milk. Oh my god. Brian Mark Hansen, Søllerød Kro*.
Søllerød Kro is the Danish restaurant of the year according to the Danish Dining Guide – see the pictures from the nomination dinner
Brian Mark Hansen takes another spot at my list with this tremendous dish with salted scallops, pickled white asparagus, hazelnuts and smoked butter – and some truffle. Brian Mark Hansen, Søllerød Kro*.
Some say that perfection does not exist but Geranium is as close as you get. Every single dish leaving the kitchen is balanced in any way. This one was my favorite. It consisted of celeriac, mussels and seaweed and was so umami-rich and light at the same time. Rasmus Kofoed, Geranium*** in Copenhagen.
Geranium also has one of the best pastry sections in the world. This wonderful dessert consisted of a mousse based on toasted grains, toffee and chamomile granita. Rasmus Kofoed, Geranium***.
Noma is stronger than ever after the reopening with so much deliciousness put into every plate. This vegetarian ceviche with grilled cucumbers, strawberries, radishes and gooseberry juice with Mexican chili oil was so fresh and delicate and I loved the spicy kick from the chili. Noma, Copenhagen.
We continue with another Noma dish, this time the famous celeriac shawarma consisting of endless layers of celeriac with black truffle in between. It was served with a brown butter and truffle sauce and some fresh condiments. Noma, Copenhagen.
It is time to go to Austria and Vienna, where you’ll find Steirereck, currently number 14 at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This dish had so many ingredients that you start understanding why they hand out small cards explaining the dishes. This was based on different kinds of pumpkin and zucchini wrapped around dried grapes and served with a green tomato vinaigrette. Heinz Reitbauer, Steirereck** in Vienna.
We stay in Austria but we drive 45 minutes towards the region of Wachau and Landhaus Bacher. This family-run business used to have two stars before the guide closed down in Austria in 2009. This lunch back in September was even at three star level. This dish with puntarelle, cockles, bell pepper, pine nut butter and honey gel was simply outstanding combining freshness and intensity perfectly. Thomas Dorfer, Landhaus Bacher, Mautern.
We’re back at Schwarzwaldstube in Baiersbronn, where I had one of the best meals of my life. Look at these enormous Gillardeau oysters covered by equally insane amounts of oscietra caviar served with a light Champagne sauce. So good! Torsten Michel, Schwarzwaldstube*** in Baiersbronn.
Yes, there is even more dishes from The Black Forest in Germany. This fatty tuna belly served with razor clams, cucumber, shoyu vinaigrette and wasabi foam perfectly illustrated that this place is all about product quality. Torsten Michel, Schwarzwaldstube*** in Baiersbronn.
Ernst is a comet that has crashed straight into the fine dining scene of Berlin with an amazing young team of chefs. This was my favorite among the 37(!) courses served during my visit. Slow-cooked beetroot cooked for several hours until completely tender served with cream and smoked kombu seaweed. Keep an eye on these guys – Ernst will take over the world soon! Dylan Watson-Brawn, Ernst in Berlin.
We are back at Noma, this time in the game and forest season with a very remarkable dish in the shape of a duck nugget served on its very own wing. The meat was incredibly tender and juicy. The sourdough batter with seaweed gave it a wonderful crispiness that I really enjoyed. Noma, Copenhagen.
Read about my impressions from the Noma game and forest season
We finish off the list at Noma with this wonderful serving og cold pheasant broth which was turned into a jelly thanks to the heavy reduction of the stock. It was topped with Rossini Oscietra caviar and whipped cream. One of the best caviar presentations ever thanks to the delicate umami from the broth. Noma, Copenhagen.
These were the words. Have a look at
the top 25 best dishes of my fellow foodie Anders Husa who has been traveling like crazy this year.