Review Score: 94 / 100.
Part deux of the Michelin starred restaurant crawl in Copenhagen was at Geranium, which was recently awarded with the prestigious three stars. The restaurant is housed, oddly enough, in the 8th floor of the National football stadium albeit with great view of the city, and chefs could also get a brilliant view of the game below from the kitchen.
The chef Rasmus Kofoed is the only chef ever to win the bronze, silver and gold medal at the Bocuse d’Or competition in France, which is no mean feat. The restaurant’s philosophy, very much like Noma, has a sustainable focus on the local terroir and a particular passion for fish, shellfish and vegetables from around the country. Now that we’re approaching late September, it is only apt that we enter Geranium’s Autumn Universe, which would cost a princely sum of 2000 DKK.
We start off with a dish of Lobster, milk and juice from fermented carrots and sea buckthorn. There some light acidity from sea buckthorn oil, whilst the sweetness from the fermented carrots paired well with the delicate lobsters. A bright and lovely way to begin the meal.
The next amuse was a crisp Jerusalem artichoke “leaves” with walnut and rye vinegar. The earthy sweetness of the Jerusalem artichokes was present, and nicely paired with the walnut and rye vinegar emulsion or Aioli like dip.
Moving on, was tomato water, ham fat and aromatic herbs. The spoon of herbs was dipped into the liquid, and the resulting combination was a very floral, yet rich flavors which were very elegant. I particularly enjoyed the heft provided to the dish by the unctuous ham fat.
Next, was visually stunning charred potato in aroma from Bark & Sheep’s butter. The potato was perfectly cooked and had some smokiness, which was well paired with the rich butter. A lovely combination of flavours.
The chef certainly has an eye for presentation, with the beautiful “Dillstones” with dill-cucumber granita and horseradish cream. The Dillstone itself was mackerel encased with dill jelly, and was a classic pairing together with the horseradish. Very clean flavours, and the granita was a nice complement with the tinge of heat from the horseradish cream.
The final starter was a “razor clam” with minerals and sour cream. The shell was made from dough and colored with squid ink for an incredible visual effect, in addition to having a delicate texture. This was paired well with the chopped razor clam and sour cream inside. A very delicious bite of food.
After a beautiful and delicious array of starters, we moved on to the first main dish of celeriac, scallop and dried trout. The celeriac were sliced into thin strips with lemon verbena leaves and thyme, and was well paired with delicate broth made using scallops. On the side, was a tart of scallops with trout flakes which was redolent of Bonito. This was delicate and had a lovely Umami flavour.
Moving on, was a remarkable dish of salted hake with parsley stems and Finnish caviar in buttermilk. Visually, its was perfectly presented and melded seamlessly with the marble plate. There were crunchy fish scales on top, which paired well with the creamy sauce. The addition of parsley oil with provided some greenness to the otherwise rich dish. A brilliant course with its stunning presentation and interplay of textures and flavours.
An array of breads, and particularly enjoyed the cheese sticks of sorts which playfully resembled wheat.
The next course was creamy vegetables with oyster, peas and pickled Elderflowers. This was a comforting dish with warm flavours contrasting with fresh peas, as well as the grilled oysters.
This was followed by a dish of Quail egg yolk, wild herbs, charred leeks, smoked pork fat and melted “Vesterhavs” cheese. An interesting play of flavours with the delicate yolk and richness of the smoked pork fat, which was balanced by an array of wild herbs and the smokiness of the leek. The Vesterhavs cheese was an interesting addition which provided some acidity to the dish. Overall, very balanced.
The next course was King crab in cabbage, beach plants and Sol vinegar. The king crab was luxurious, and its sweetness was nicely paired with the sauce which had some Umami notes and a hint of acidity.
The final savoury course was grilled and salted pork on the “bone” with pickled pine and blackcurrant leaves. The pork was perfectly cooked and the pork jus had great depth, which had an intense and rich flavour profile. This was then contrasted with the bed of herbs and flowers on top, which added a floral element and resulted in a very well balanced dish. Stunning, stunning dish and a feast for the eyes, as well as the belly.
Now we’re transitioning to the desserts, which kicks off with a sphere of beetroot, rhubarb, yoghurt and Tagetes, the latter which is Marigold flowers. A lovely bite of crisp sweetness with the creamy yoghurt within. As with a large portion of the courses, there is always a floral note to bring an added dimension to the dish.
The next dessert course was Beeswax ice cream, and a dish of blueberries with honey and dusted with pollen. The blueberries with honey and pollen had a lovely natural sweetness, and the flower petals were surprisingly potent and floral. I particularly enjoyed the Beeswax ice cream which was rich albeit delicate.
Now, the Coup de grace was woodruff and white chocolate mousse, with wood sorrel granita and a beautifully crafted twig made from plum. A very delicate dessert with the slightly tart granita pairing nicely with the creaminess of the mousse. A stunning dessert and definitely one for the books.
Finally, we were treated to a Stormtrooper! This was a licorice skull coating with licorice mousse inside, which was quite a delicious bite. After that, we were treated to some petit fours. I particularly enjoyed the eggs with white chocolate ganache and dusted with wood pine, which was rich yet balanced by the greenness of the pine. I enjoyed it so much that I had another helping, which the waiter was kind enough to provide. A magnificent way to end the meal!
New Nordic cuisine seems like de Rigueur with restaurants Noma forging the path, and Geranium clearly leading the pack as well with its very thoughtful and visually stunning cookery. There’s definitely a lot of tweezer action going on in the kitchen, but the clarity of flavours here are clearly evident and properly restrained, resulting in an elegant and magnificent dining experience. While Noma had a lot of soul and a brilliant story to tell, Geranium came from an entirely different angle with its technically precise and flavourful dishes. This place is certainly worthy as a temple of gastronomy, and would highly recommend as a dining destination whenever you find yourself in Copenhagen.
That said, doing Noma and Geranium on back-to-back days was definitely challenging on the palate, and I could certainly use one of those ridiculously decadent and delicious hot dogs in front of Copenhagen central train station after this.
Location: Per Henrik Lings Allé 4, 8. DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø. +45 6996 0020. Website.