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How To Make a Reservation and What to Eat at Noma 2.0, Copenhagen, Denmark

The most sought-after restaurant reservation in the world is a spot at Rene Redzepi’s Noma 2.0, and on our recent Insider Journey to Copenhagen we were able to experience the second night of his latest innovation: an entirely vegetarian 20-course menu. Dining at Noma really starts with the mythology. What began as a social and culinary experiment has morphed into gourmet dining at its most orchestrated and sought after. The original Noma not only put Copenhagen on the gourmet map and raised the bar for reservation envy, but it kicked off the Nordic cuisine movement that has spawned dozens of great restaurants all over the world. While Claus Mayer (one of the original founders) continues to use cooking for social good through his Melting Pot Foundation, the second version of chef Rene Redzepi’s Noma (commonly known as Noma 2.0) opened in February in a $40 million Danish dining temple designed to accommodate no more than 40 people at a time.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Copenhagen and a reservation at Noma 2.0. Our specialists can book you at the hotel that is right for you and plan guided tours, activities and secure restaurant reservations.

Related: Top Tables Copenhagen

Noma's first course

Noma 2.0’s first course

Our meal began with potted plants, literally. The first course arrives as a terra cotta pot blooming with tarragon or parsley. A hollowed-out plant stalk is tucked in the herbs; it serves as a straw. To sip the potato soup, you nestle your face in the herb bouquet. The message: Nothing about this meal will be predictable, but it will be fresh, inventive, earthy and, for the most part, delicious. Every course offers a twist and asks you to examine your preconceived notions of dining and of food. Marigold flowers were served with whiskey egg nog, mashing up summer and Christmas. A shawarma, just like the lamb ones that rotate on spits in Lebanese restaurants, was brought to the table to be carved. It’s an all vegetable menu, though, so it cannot be lamb even if it looks and smells like grease-dripping, late-night Shawarma. Surprise it’s celeriac as you could never imagine and will likely never taste again. Who dreams up the combinations? The place is electric with the energy of earnest food fanatics who play in the test kitchen out back for hours inventing new ways to ignite your palate and your imagination. This is an experience for food explorers not gourmet snobs. Go to have fun and to marvel at their creativity but starve yourself beforehand because there is a lot to try.

Related: Copenhagen Rising

Indagare Tips: Getting Into—and Getting the Most out of—Noma

  • Membership may have its privileges. There is an online reservation system with spots opening a few months in advance of each seasonal menu. However, it seems almost impossible to snag a seating on the system. Rumors are that American Express will now be the only way to get a reservation, so Centurion and Platinum members may want to take advantage of this card trick.
  • Opt for the earlier service. While portions are small, there are 20 of them, so your best bet is to have a very light lunch and to make this the meal of the day. Then give yourself time for a long walk after dinner.
  • Try everything because you won’t get another chance. These dishes are truly original and you won’t try anything quite like them again. The chef changes the menu each season and doesn’t repeat, nor are others likely to be able to. Out of 20 courses, you may find that a few are more unusual than delicious, and in that case, don’t finish them; instead save room for the ones that you will love.

Related: Upon Arrival: Things to Do in Copenhagen

Second course: Nasturtium tart. Set on a reed basket this two-piece course consisted of a thin potato tart with nasturtium and rose and a fruit leather made of carrot, sea buckthorn and black currant.

Second course: Nasturtium tart. Set on a reed basket, this two-piece course consisted of a thin potato tart with nasturtium and rose and a fruit leather made of carrot, sea buckthorn and black currant.
  • Avoid the wine pairing and order wines by the bottle. You will be offered a pairing of natural wines, maybe even led to believe that they are part of the meal but they are not and the pairing costs approximately $210 a person. You are better off choosing glasses or bottles from the wine list instead of trying the heavy organic wines.
  • Retreat to the glass-walled salon for your coffee or after-dinner drink. Courses come quickly, but you will still find yourself at the table for hours, so move to the lounge after eating.
  • Insist on a kitchen tour. All diners are meant to be shown around the kitchen, but the staff can get overwhelmed or lose track of time and let the visit slip. Speak up so you can see the incredible choreography of the chefs who hail from thirty countries.
  • Dress casually, as most of the diners will be informally dressed. In fact, a certain number of seats are reserved at more than half price for students, so the atmosphere is more egalitarian than elitist despite the difficulty of securing a spot.

Related: Melissa’s Travels: Copenhagen and Noma 2.0

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Copenhagen and a reservation at Noma 2.0. Our specialists can book you at the hotel that is right for you and plan guided tours, activities and secure restaurant reservations.

– Melissa Biggs Bradley on July 23, 2018

Quotable

Dining at Noma really begins with the mythology. What began as a social and culinary experiment has morphed into gourmet dining at its most orchestrated and sought after.
~ Melissa Biggs Bradley

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