Yey, a new restaurant to visit and sample. The truth is that I love to visit and then taste the different menus offered in restaurants. It makes me happy and I wish I could visit many different restaurants every day. I really look forward to experiencing new foods. This time, we visited the Relæ Restaurant, which was founded by Christian Puglisi who is also the head chef. Before he created his own restaurant he worked as a sous-chef at the Noma (voted the best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014). He was one of the first to work with the New Nordic cooking techniques. He left Noma to open his own restaurant which specializes in high-end dining, with reasonable prices offered. The Relae Restaurant is located in a basement on a side street on Nørrebro which is a bit north of the center of Copenhagen, and it now has “one Michelin star” recognition.
Unfortunately, the premises is quite small, and the tables and chairs are placed quite close together. This means that patrons do not have much privacy like other Michelin star restaurants. We could hear other conversations, and that always makes me a bit uncomfortable.
In addition to this, there is time slot for table reservations and guests are only allowed 2.5 hours , as they are doing two servings per evening. As a result ,guests need to arrive at 6pm or 8.30pm. Oh boy… early dinner or late dinner…..
There is only 2 different menu, a four-course menu (DKK 475 or €65), or the full Relæ experience which is an eight-course menu (DKK 865 or €115 and wine pairing DKK 685 or €92). Interestingly, there is no description of the menu and we just had to trust the chef. One just hopes and prays for the best.
We were asked about food allergies and special requirements when we ordered the selection. As usual, we had the full course menu, with wine matching for my companion, which focused on natural wines, and juice matching for me. Yeah…. I need to ride my bike back home… otherwise I get stranded somewhere, if I drink the wine matching. My bike still does not know how to drive home.
We had one snack which was presented beautifully and tasted great. Next, we had large pieces of sourdough bread which were warm and baked at the restaurant own bakery. The bread tasted delicious and we enjoyed it while waiting for our meal.
Finally the first course arrive, and it was a half onion cooked with some birch sap. I was a bit disappointed with this dish, as there was no presentation. It was quite plain and not up to the standard of Michelin star restaurants. We also have to obtain and select our own cutlery which was stored inside the table locker. What a new low design for Michelin star restaurant !
Luckily the next dish was much better in term of presentation and taste, which consisted of lumpfish roe and almonds.
The third dish was mussels and wood garlic which tasted great, but I was getting hungrier by the minute as the portions were very small.
Next, we had potatoes, which did not look, taste or feel like potatoes. The dish was really a deconstructed dish where they cooked the potatoes and then dried them. Then the potatoes were cooked them again with ten year old parmesan cheese. The result chewed like gum with not much taste.
My immediate thought was …”Oh Boy….What we get into?”. To be honest, I am not a big fan of the New Nordic Cooking. I prefer classic cooking which is presented and tastes better. Finally, the meat arrived, but what a major disappointment. It was only a small slice of pork with a piece of baby cabbage. The dish was very simple with no presentation. I could cook and do this myself at home. The pork tasted good but I was still hungry. I really wanted to scream and ask for more meat…….. Oh boy… if you are a meat-eater like me, you probably want to avoid this place as they tend to cater more to vegetarians. I jokingly asked my companion if we needed to go to Mc Donald after the dinner finished.
Well.. the main dish was over, and then we got the cheese selection, with a little pancake mixed with blueberries and olives. The cheese tasted surprisingly good and we enjoy it very much. Lastly, we have a couple of desserts, one was a nice plate of yogurt covered with a selection of different citrus fruits. It was very refreshing after the cheese. The other was ice-cream based on Jerusalem artichoke. The ice-cream tasted reasonably well but it was not my favourite dessert for the night.
Final rating……. I probably will not come back to this place as I like more meat served, but if you are vegetarian, you probably enjoy the dishes.