This was a highly anticipated lunch. A local friend raved about the restaurant. We booked in advance as our place to have our capstone lunch after a week in Copenhagen. And we just ate at noma the day before. The expectations ran high, and Geranium far exceeded those expectations.
The food here looked like art. The components of each dish were delicate, and you could tell a lot of work went in to place each item on its own spot on the plate. Some dishes came with presentation at the table. The presentation was not gimmicky; it just allowed us to see a piece of art to transform into another piece of art, like the Norwegian king crab served with cold crab bouillon. Some of the dishes were not what they looked like. The Dill Stone was my favorite and a good example of these visual surprises that also tasted delicious.
The kitchen managed to highlight the fresh ingredients and yet add sophisticated flavors, sensations and even surprises without masking the fresh ingredients. The charcoal potato with smoked sheep butter was a good example. It was black like a lump of coal, it tasted solidly like a perfectly baked potato, and it was enhanced by the tangy sheep butter. Simple, and yet elegant.
Desserts were beautiful and inventive. I still remember the delicate taste of the beeswax ice-cream, which paired nicely with the sweet-tart rhubarb compote. The goat milk mousse with beet crystal candy was simply stunning, but that did not stop me from savoring it.
Were there any misses? Of course. The celery chips in seaweed shape didn’t have much of a flavor, and it was too crumbly to dip in the delicious skyr and seaweed dip. Anyhow, the overall meal – or shall I say the culinary proceeding – was simply delightful.
The restaurant offers wine or juice pairing with the food. One of us did wine, and the other did food. The juices were delicious and gave acidity to keep our taste buds going. The wines were also well selected. Unlike at noma, these wines were less unconventional. For example, noma would serve unfiltered wine from a small winery through its partnership. Here, they just serve really nice wine.
The service was professional and friendly. Don’t let the white table cloth make you think that it is a stuffy place. It’s not. You even get your own copy of the menu to take home. I just love the fact that such an elegant setting could make us feel so at home. After eating there for three hours, we also got to know our servers and learn about them. They were knowledgeable about the food and dedicated to their professions. They even gave us recommendations of where else to eat in the city.
The restaurant is on a high floor in a stadium. So, if you go there during the day and remember to take a break from the beautiful meal in front of you, you can look at the beautiful view outside. We were there on the sunny afternoon, we could see all the way to Malmö, Sweden. Depending on where your table is, you can see into the kitchen, an elegant performance in its own right. Even if you are not near the kitchen, one of the course is served in the kitchen, so you can still enjoy it.
I can’t help compare Geranium to noma. They were both amazing and creative, from food to service, but I prefer Geranium. For me, Geranium strikes a balance of simplicity and elegance, from the food to the décor to the service while noma is bold and edgy. I also like that we had our table at Geranium, so we could have our own conversation. Regardless, if you can, try both, and you can pick your own favorite.
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