Exploring Copenhagen: Höst Review

If you're new to New Nordic cuisine, Höst is a great place to start. Located in central Copenhagen, Höst is disguised as an upscale restaurant that's casual, delightful, and surprisingly very affordable. Known for their high quality food and beautiful award-winning interior, the restaurant name translates to "harvest", which is appropriate for their use of local and seasonal ingredients.  

  Photo Credit:  http://xn--hst-sna.dk/

Photo Credit: http://xn--hst-sna.dk/

Thanks to my sweet co-worker Maggie, my first introduction to New Nordic cuisine was an outstanding one. The food at Höst was delectable. The innovation, flavors and textures of each dish blew all of our minds. I've lost count of how many times the word "brilliant" was used that night.

Our entire party of seven opted into the three-course tasting menu priced at 325 kr. ($49). In between the courses were small bites meant to stimulate and tease our appetites. Each dish kept us all engaged and pleasantly surprised with flavors that we normally wouldn't expect. 

Dinner started with salted scallops beautifully plated in their own shells. The scallops were very fresh and melted in my mouth. It tasted like a scallop ceviche with diced apples and watercress in a light buttermilk dressing. 

I've never had a bread tasting like this:  rye muffins with wheat grass butter and mini popovers. I know what you're thinking - wheat grass butter? Trust me, it was really good and the wheat grass is muted just enough that you don't taste that grassy-ness. 

The hake with clam sauce, baby spinach, and puree of sorrel and parsley was excellent. The hake is a very mild tasting fish that resembles cod, had a beautiful cook like it could have been sous vide. 

A poached egg yolk with whipped whites topped with crumbled crisps was presented to us with a pour over of a very rich mushroom and sherry stock. The egg whites tasted like a meringue. The golden yolk had this stand-still yet slightly oozy texture that resembled custard. Very rich, really good. 

For the main entree, we were presented with a thick slice of pork neck topped with charred cabbage and a bean-ham sauce. Disappointingly, my pork was overcooked, slightly dry and tough. The gravy-like sauce was unbalanced, concentrated and too salty that it took away from the flavors of the pork.

We finish dinner with two unique desserts: salted caramel ice cream with pop rocks and spelt ice cream with apple puree and wheat grain, which tasted like a beer apple pie. 

I would highly recommended checking out Höst. If you're in the area, it's a must. 


VISITING Höst

Location

Nørre Farimagsgade 41, 1364

København K, Denmark

Website

http://cofoco.dk/en/restaurants/hoest/

Phone

+45 89 93 84 09

Hours

  • Monday to Sunday: 17.30 - 24.00

  • Last orders: 21.30

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Exploring Copenhagen: 108 at Noma Review

It is in my wildest dreams to have the opportunity to eat at Noma, so when I started my new job in January I was thrilled because I would have the opportunity to take business trips to our Copenhagen office and possibly turn my dream into reality. I didn't score a seat at Noma because the team was in Sydney during the time of my trip, but I was lucky enough to get a seat at 108. 108 is Noma's new casual restaurant that's currently operating as a pop-up out of the same venue. The restaurant is lead by head chef and owner Kristian Baumann (Noma and Relæ). The pop-up serves as an intense "training camp" for the real restaurant that will open in Strandgade 108 in May/June. 

I arrived only 10 minutes before they opened on a Thursday hoping to get a walk-in and was only 5th in line. I really couldn't believe how easy that was! In line, I met Shanta, an enthusiastic diner from Jersey, who happened to be in the area and walked by the restaurant without a clue about 108's pop-up until I told her. "Fuck yes! You just made my day", she says. In that moment, something clicked and we decided to have dinner together. It's not everyday that you meet a complete stranger and share 8 incredible plates. Our fun party of two quickly turned into four as we were seated at a wooden community table and started conversing with a lovely Danish couple next to us, Heidi and Pelle. 

The 108 experience is beautiful, very casual. It's a place where you'd be comfortable wearing jeans and a nice top. I loved the background music - popular rock classics from the 80s and 90s.  

108's food is focused on New Nordic with a Japanese influence, which is very apparent in the flavors and techniques used. The menu is a la carte, a selection of 13 dishes ranging from DKK 85 to 175 ($12 to $26). The dishes are served by the cooks with an explanation of what each dish was and how it was made. The food was extremely satisfying. There wasn't a plate that wasn't outstanding, each dish was creative in its own unique way. Shanta and I were literally nodding our heads throughout the entire dinner. 

Housemade bread with butter. 

Cured squid, bacon broth and mirabelle plums. The texture of the squid was lovely, like delicate al dente noodles in a sultry rich broth.

Salt baked celeriac with hay cheese. Beautiful earthy tastes from this root vegetable with a creamy buttery texture from the hay cheese. 

Caramelized milk skin with sautéed pigs tails and cress. The skin is made entirely from milk cooked in a pan. It's takes about 1 out of 10 tries to nail down the technique for the caramelization, which also involves spraying water in the process to prevent it from burning.

You roll it up with your fingers and eat it like a burrito. 

Braised ox tails with fresh coriander seeds and fresh pine. Think doughy Japanese pancake batter with rich braised oxtails inside, concentrated flavors for that deep umami. This was one of my favorite dishes, glad we each got an individual order for ourselves. 

Veal sweetbread with a salad of sorrel. Lovely flavor of rich fat with taste of offal. 

Preserved rose hips granita with caramel and vinegar. Almost like a thick frozen yogurt. 

Caramelized and crispy sweet potatoes, egg cream and yuzu granita. Fun to crack the shell, tasty treat. 

I am very excited to see what's next for 108 and look forward to visiting again when they open their permanent spot in Strandgade 108. 


Visiting 108

Location

Strandgade 93
DK-1401 Copenhagen

Website

http://108.dk/en/ 

Phone

+45 32 96 32 92

Hours

  • Kitchen Hours: Wednesday-Saturday from 5.30 pm – 10 pm

  • Wine Bar Hours: Wednesday-Saturday from 5.30 pm –  midnight

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