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In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, Noma in Copenhagen, founded by René Redzepi, was named as the best restaurant in the world by a British magazine. Opened in 2003, Noma is known for its reinvention and interpretation of the Nordic cuisine.

By the way, this post mentions rankings of restaurants which can sound a bit much … so if it bothers, ignore them and just look at the photos. We don’t take the rankings seriously.

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Months before we arrived Copenhagen, IT put our names on Noma’s waiting list for a table just for lunch (not even dinner). Unsurprisingly, no luck.

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Many alumni chefs of Noma have opened restaurants on their own in the Danish capital. Located in the Nørrebro area, Relæ is one of them, started in 2010 by Christian Puglisi and Kim Rossen. It has received one Michelin star.

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We did not know it at the time, Relae has also been named as No. 45 of the best 100 restaurants in the world (sponsored by S Pellegrino and Acqua Panna). They said:

Relae takes a more flexible approach to local sourcing, creating dishes that are in the New Nordic tradition, but also acknowledge the chef’s Italian background and time spent working at El Bulli in Spain.

If you care to compare, according to this set of judges/diners in 2015, for example, Noma is No.3, L’Arpege in Paris is No.14, Per Se and Momofuku Ko in NYC is named No. 40 and 69 respectively.

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The current No.1 restaurant is El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain (we have been to Girona on our way to Dali’s museum but could not imagine the world’s no.1 restaurant is there).

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I(Chris) read somewhere that food projects personality … and asparagus displays a “resolute commitment to individuality”.

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Relae is certified organic and the menu is a simple choice between four or seven courses. Nothing was written so we cannot reproduce the name of the dishes here.

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The cutlery is hidden inside the table in their precisely cut place.

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The restaurant has a manifesto online.

Relæ works on focused and tasty food, no muss, no fuss. Everything is cut to the bone, no frames but the few hanging on the walls. Simplicity with quality comes first, great details are just beneath. Its our choice to be certified organic, because its worth it. Wine? We pick ‘em naturally, You pour ‘em.

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A bit of theatre  …

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What’s underneath the asparagus ? Voila, la volaille. And morels.

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They believe “An element of surprise makes the dining experience more exciting.”  … the lack of menu, the hidden cutlery, the covered chicken … they are consistent.

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Their web site contains an ethics tab, here is a precis: “We aim to have sustainable practices in all areas, from the food and drinks we serve, to the resources we use and actions we employ… we do not settle with an ’as-good-as-it-gets’ attitude.” – very laudable indeed.

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“By daring and challenging ourselves with serious sustainability policies … problem solving is creativity and creativity is what brings us further.”  – sounds like a restaurant in the bay area or Portland, Oregon.

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Highly recommendable. Overall very good.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Chris, I enjoyed this post especially…will send to Adri who’s in Copenhagen for another few weeks still. I agree, from this passing through in Girona this summer, the #1 restaurant in the world evaded our notice too!


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