Eating Ox in Denmark

Be bold and daring. Or just opt for the best.

For the third consecutive year, Noma has been crowned first according to the annual San Pellegrino World’s Best 50 Restaurant awards.

The restaurant, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, is traditional and avant-garde at the same time.  It doesn’t rely on customary ingredients such as foie gras, truffles, and olives typically associated with internationally renowned, upscale restaurants, but instead seek to break through the clutter by utilizing edible materials from the Nordic region, notably Icelandic skyr curd, berries and water, and Greenland musk ox.

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In fact, Noma is a combination of two Danish words: “nordisk” meaning Nordic and “mad” meaning food. Together, the first two letters of each word spell out “Noma.”

The restaurant prides itself on its unique courses that symbolize cultural heritage and health. It is involved in every step of the process from start to finish: cutting, smoking, drying, you name it. And in place of wine as a major component in creating sauces, Noma uses light alcohol like ales and fresh blends like fruit vinegars. The additional mixes of seasonal herbs and spices are not too dissimilar to dishes created in Asia’s high-end vegetarian restaurants.

Their 20-course menu comes at a price of 1500 DKK, or 265.95 USD (based on the most current exchange rate: USD/DKK = 0.1773).

Here’s a preview of some delicacies that are on the menu: celeriac and unripe sloe berry, limfjords oyster and air onion, and brown cheese.

(I specifically picked the ones I either haven’t heard of or can’t pronounce).

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And the current head chef? Rene Redzepi.

It’s no easy feat, but he’s done it—starting his own restaurant in 2003 when he was only 25 years of age.

As of right now, the restaurant is so overbooked that the next available reservation is in August. Evidently the waiting list is in the hundreds. Considering its fame, the length of the waiting list shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise.