Noma is kicking off 2020 with a brand new seafood season that officially takes off today. I had the privilege of tasting the menu a couple of days in advance and I have to say that is was another very good menu. The very first season at the new Noma was the inaugural seafood season, when the restaurant opened back in 2018, and to me, the seafood seasons have been the most difficult season of the three (seafood, vegetable and game) for Noma to work with. I am obviously only speaking on my own behalf, but based on what I have seen and tasted myself, the big challenge for Noma has been to show the precious seafood respect and at the same time refine it and elevate it to the next level. I mean: Nobody will get offended when you deconstruct a carrot into several different variations, whereas if you take a beautiful king crab, you should still be able to recognize the animal when it is served to you.
Again: I am only speaking on my own behalf, but I believe it makes sense – at least I feel the same way when I am preparing oysters, langoustines scallops etc.
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The menu that kicks off today, is the third seafood season, and it seems like Noma has really cracked the code this time. I experienced a menu full of beautiful sea creatures treated with the utmost respect but still with lots of depth from the different preparations that certainly highlighted the natural flavours and created a more complex whole.
My personal highlights
The new menu contains a lot of exceptional bites and all in all I left very satisfied. There was only one dish that did not really work for me. The first was the Faroese sea urchin that was paired with baked pumpkin and that match did not really work for me. The texture of baked pumpkin is quite pasty and it did not really highlight the creamy texture of the sea urchin. I would have preferred something with more texture and freshness. That said, I know that other guests really adored this dish, so it might be a matter of personal taste.
Also, in my opinion, horseradish was present in a little too many dishes. I like horseradish but for the sake of variation, I would have liked to see a couple of alternatives.
Apart from that, everything was very good and quite a few dishes stood out. The first one consisted of the sweetest raw shrimps, bleak roe, rose hip berries and horseradish cream – beautiful natural flavours coming together beautifully.
The second one was the seaweed taco with cod roe emulsion – such a complex bite of greens that exploded in my mouth.
Next up was the trout roe with broccoli stems in a creamy egg yolk sauce flavoured with beef garum. Lots of different textures and rich sea flavours.
I also adored the intense sauce based on grilled squid that was poured over firm yet tender pieces of squid. The king crab feast was another exceptional treat, and finally, the sweet section was also very, very good.
Great wine pairing
Before we get to all the pictures, I also want to highlight the wine pairing by head sommelier, Mads Kleppe. The producers that he works with are only able to deliver very small quantities of wine, which means that Kleppe needs to make a thorough plan for each season in order to make the wines last. Not all the wines do, and thus the wine pairing will change slightly throughout the season. This was the best wine pairing, I have experienced at the new Noma. They are still very natural, so to say, but less funky and simply of very high quality. I especially enjoyed the first wine of the night, 2018 Himmel auf Erden “Noma” by Christian Tschida in Burgenland, Austria. It was a single barrel selected by Mads himself and the minerality and pure, ripe fruit in this wine made it exceptional. Another highlight for me was the 2017 Riesling Grand Cru Muenchberg by Patrick Meyer in Alsace, France. Once again, it was a very pure wine showing beautiful ripeness, bright acidity and depth. Overall, I appreciated the more clean, minimalistic profile of this wine pairing that suited the delicate seafood very well.
And now, without further ado, let’s have a look at the full menu below.
Read more about Noma right here.
Any comments? Are you going to try the 2020 Noma seafood season?
You should also check out the feature made by my good foodie friends Kaitlin Orr and Anders Husa right here.