I did something really fun and spontaneous in the beginning of this week: I took a last minute flight to accompany M to Copenhagen (where he was heading for a business trip). He had been going on and on at home about his plans to visit 108, the new restaurant opened by the people behind Noma. So what can I say: you shouldn’t brag about going if you don’t want your wife to join. Noma was one of the most well known restaurants in the world (1st on Worlds top 50 restaurants for many consecutive years) until it’s closure this fall. As Noma turned down the lights, 108 was born; with René Redzepi as the owner and Christan Baumann as head chef. 108 is a cafe, bar and bistro keeping the trend of New Nordic Kitchen alive, but in a more casual setting.
The restaurant its self is relaxed. You are welcome both in a suit or a hoodie, no matter which, service is great. The old industrial space has an airy feel to it and the huge windows give a sense of closeness to the water surrounding the restaurant. We started with ordering some bubbly and white. The list for wines by the glass was great: a lot of wines made with minimal intervention. I had a really great Australian bubbly by Domaine Lucci from Adelaide Hills (ancestral method); and I also saw another old acquaintance, the Il Mio sparkling Malvasia from Italy (have had it at Chef&Sommelier). M opted for an Austrian skin contact white: Himmel auf Erden by Christian Tschida. It was a blend of Pinot Blanc and Scheurebe (never heard).
For food, you can go two ways: small dishes (three per person is enough) or you can have a roast to share. The roasts looked really scrumptious (shortribs, lamb rack etc.) but we wanted to try out many different dishes. So we selected some oxtail with truffle, sliced pumpkin, root celery, milk skin with pork and lamb tartar. The best dish of the day was without a doubt the root celery; funny as we both hate celery. This is a bit similar to the experience we had at Chef&Sommelier in Helsinki, vegetarian dishes that we never knew could be so good. I don’t know if it is the element of surprise that is so delicious. we also got a big bowl of house made sourdough bread ad whipped cream butter. So tasty!
When the bill came, we did not feel sick in the stomach. Around 900 Danish krona per person. That is perhaps the best thing about the restaurant, Noma quality food, but a bit more casual and for a reasonable price. It was not the best value meal I have ever eaten, but a fun experience for a reasonable cost. And according to M, Noma was more into weird stuff, like ants and live shrimp (not sure I could stomach the latter).
I think it is hard for a great restaurant to find new life after (possible, but the chances are quite low). However, 108 is a perfect reincarnation of Noma, with the right spirit, great service and exciting food in a more casual form.