Amass ing! An incredible evening @ Amass.

Amass ing! An incredible evening @ Amass.

It is a frost worthy Nordic evening, silver mist hangs overhead and a light dew dapples our coats as we climb the stairs to our next foodie adventure. Matthew Orlando, former chef of Per Se, Noma and a host of other serious places has opened his new venture. Amass. Graffiti lines the walls, the kitchen is insanely open and the crowd is a mix of dressed socialites and hipsters. This is Amass, because food is for everyone and they don’t care how you come.

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We’re greeted and seated at what can only be described as the best seat in the house. Inches away from the pass we can see the kitchen pumping out seriously fine fare, snacks arrive and we jump straight into the world of Nordic food with attitude. Cod head rillette looks like a stegosaur, grey spikes peaking high off the plate, the spikes are in fact deliciously puffed fish skin filled with the savoury rillette mix. Textural, creamy and delightful.

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Next a curious looking wrapped parcel arrives, this dish was probably my favourite as it was so complex. Wrapped inside a vividly green chard leaf was a baby leek that had been perfectly steamed and stuffed with pieces of salted mackerel. The bright nasturtium on top brings bitterness in contrast to the salty mackerel and sweet leek, this dish wanted to be eaten! Bitter greens, salted mackerel vinaigrette, young onion. And eaten it was. Yum.

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Another semi snack dish arrives; crispy oats, hot smoked foie gras, walnut. A winter snow is the only way to describe the texture of the foie, delicately shaved over a wafer thin crisp made of oat. The foie is rich, with the smoke bringing a lovely depth after eating. At this time we are also tempted with some insanely good fermented flatbread, charred and gnarly, Jess and I could not stop eating, but there’s more food to come and I need to save room.

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The next course arrives looking like a piece of art, squid, beans, sour plums, marigold. This beautiful dish was oceanic and herbaceous, the unctuous, melting squid, the little pop of sour plum and the wonderfully crisp green bean. This is cookery performed beautifully, complexity concealed by simplicity. This is the mark of a true craftsmen, it is a pleasure to eat.

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Burnt kale, chicken skin, almond. We hear our next course crackling away in a pan, then it arrives, the kale is crisp in places, wilted in others, it is delightfully textural. The chicken skin gives that slovenly fattiness that is just naughty and enjoyable, almond is another little crackle. The dish is devoured, that is all I can say. Earthy kale, chicken fat, more please!

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An egg is placed in front of us. Glistening golden and smelling of rich toffee, it sits in a velouté of sorrel and young herbs. The egg yolk is cooked slightly beyond runny allowing for different flavours to develop. It has an almost lingering sweetness, with caramel and honey notes. The velouté brings the whole thing into the earth with wonderful herbaceousness.

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Now as Jess and I are in the midst of an extended tasting menu the fantastic food just keeps arriving. Danish monkfish with ceps and brown butter. Fish and mushroom is such a great combination. The mushrooms provide an intense savouriness that allows the meaty flavours of fish to shine. Brown butter here brings a hazelnut, salty delight swimming in and amongst the exquisitely cooked monkfish. From the sea to me. Dive in.

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Now time for some serious meat, it arrives as lamb breast, squash, baby corn and sunflower seeds. This was a dish celebrating the wonderful squash and corn. Don’t get me wrong the lamb is mighty tasty, soft and fork tender I polish this plate off in just a few bites. Sunflower makes for a delicious bite and oiliness that pairs well with the rich lamb. Yum!

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With our savoury courses finished Jess and I sit back and wait on dessert. Brought to us by chef Orlando himself our little taste of wonder. Blueberries, the freshest of the nearly finished season, drizzled with honey from a Nordic fisherman. Yes I said a fisherman. Matt tells us the story of a jaunty man on his boat bringing in many treats from the sea, one day he arrived with jars of honey. When asked where the honey was from he replied “the boat of course.” The fellow keeps bees on the roof of his fishing vessel. A wonderful story of how food comes to us in incredible ways. The honey is deliciously floral and makes the little sweet pops of blueberry step forward in a different light. This is a dish that makes me marvel at the world and all of the bounty that lays before us chefs.

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Our evening draws to a close and dessert is served. Apple, black pepper ice cream, bitter caramel, oregano. Intrigued? Jess and I certainly were. The apples are cooked in the caramel, the heat of black pepper contradicts the cold cold ice cream, oregano brings spice to the dish absurdly reminiscent of apple pie. It is an incredible play on spice, heat, cold, sweet. It is fantastic and ends our meal in a way that almost sums up our dining experience. Incredible.

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Petit four is whisked out with some serious coffee, kitchen is on the scrub and we take this opportunity to snack on some bay cakes and chat with the chefs. Matt is humble, driven and fantastically passionate. Each of his chefs look like creating great food is what they do rather than just a job. It is infectious and Jess and I truly love meeting inspiring people that love the industry as much as us.

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It’s amassing!

Josh and Jess

Amass Restaurant
Revshalevej 153; 1432 Copenhagen, Denmark
http://www.amassrestaurant.com

Eating and drinking. Day 61 and 62

Eating and drinking. Day 61 and 62

Today is the day. The one day we have been waiting for since we left Australia sixty one days ago. Today is the day we eat at Noma. After countless emails, phone calls and stalking of the booking website the day is here and we can not be more excited. We jump out of bed, I’m ready in ten minutes which is quite quick for me and Josh is so excited he is bouncing up and down like a kid in a candy shop.

In just under an hours walk from our hotel we arrive. We are caught snapping a few photos out the front by front of house manager James. He snaps a few of the two of us and shows us inside. Greeted by the entire kitchen and floor staff, we walk to our table and then the magic begins. With a beer and cider in hand we are ready for whatever Noma wants to throw at us. Now you all know that Josh is the restaurant review guru so I’ll leave that to him. I will say that Noma service was the perfect blend of professionalism and personality. The food, although challenging in some aspects was creative, unique and delicious. In terms of the search for the perfect dining experience, we have a serious contender. Check out the full review here.

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With a five hour lunch done and dusted we head to the hotel to relax. Struggling to move based on the enormous lunch just eaten, a quiet night in watching movies seems perfect.

Day 62

Copenhagen is filled with sights to see, although the main reason we are here is to eat. As I’ve said before, palaces, museums and churches are getting a bit mundane so I check google for some other things to do. This is how we ended up at Carlsberg Brewery. Although this old brewery is no longer operating, the foundation remains here and there is plenty to see with the tour.

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First stop is the bottling collecting. Guinness world records awards this collection as the largest in the world with just over 22,000 unopened beer bottles. Although I’m not a lover of beer, I am impressed with this. Sorted into country of origin, rusted and dusty beers line the shelves filling out the room they are preserved in. It’s quite impressive that one man could resist just opening a bottle or twenty. From here its on to the history of Carlsberg where JC Jacobsen founded the company in 1847, transforming from a local brewery to a global sensation. Touring continues through the old brew house, stopping to explore the machinery and stories of past workers. Finishing in the Jacobsen Brewhouse and Bar, Josh kicks back and enjoys his complimentary beer while I get a whooping in foosball. This brewery is a perfect day out and a change from the classic holiday experiences. Well worth a look.

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Walking around all day reminds us of one thing, food. The Danish hot dogs we ate for breakfast just aren’t cutting it and we are eager to dine at our next destination. Former chef of Noma, Per Se and many other top restaurants, Matt Orlando is the new kid in town and his restaurant Amass is making some serious noise. After getting recommended by Josh Evans from the Nordic Food Lab we booked our table and now we are here. From the moment we sat at the chefs table (best seat in the house) I knew I loved it. From here we could watch the chefs work which added a whole new element to standard dining. We had great food, great service and great entertainment. The food itself was complex with flavours that complimented each other and techniques so rarely used in food today. Josh will have the full review up any day now, so stay tuned!

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These two days have definitely been food highlights. For any foodie out there, I would recommend Noma and Amass to anyone travelling in or near Scandinavia. Copenhagen is putting food on the map and I can’t wait to return to see what else it delivers.

Velbekomme!

Jess and Josh