The casual cousin of Noma, one-michelin star 108 Restaurant in Copenhagen is the perfect case for modern dining with a innovative use of seasonal local ingredients. The menu at 108 is short and simple but as we later found out, every dish was worth the while.
Just a few metres from Noma , 108 restaurant by Chef Kristian Baumann comes across as unassuming on first glance. The interiors are classic Scandinavian – high ceilings, rustic wooden tables and a clear view of the kitchen. We were there over lunch so had the chance to sit out on the terrace and ordered from the menu at The Corner, literally the corner of the building where they serve coffee, pastries and a fixed lunch menu. There is this focus on local seasonal ingredients that is evident across everything in their menu. The service is informal yet attentive.
While the beer & cider was poured and we placed our orders, a basket of thickly sliced sourdough with whipped cream was brought to our table. One bite and every single one of us at the table unanimously knew it was the best bread we’d ever had. I can’t specifically tell you what made it life-changing – it wasn’t just the perfect crust or the hint of sour-acidity. It was all of that and much more. The bread was just so good that I had to either steal a loaf or hug the baker – thankfully, I did the latter.
We got the blue mussels steamed in apple cider, seasoned with salted gooseberries, parsley and roasted yeast oil. One after another, we pretty much demolished the perfectly cooked mussels and before you know it we were only left with shells. The light herb and cider broth was flavorful but never distracting from the mussels. It was the perfect summer lunch dish meant for messy fingers, conversations and sharing.
The white Asparagus with aged cheese and tender pine was truly seasonal, the flavors combined beautifully in the most unexpected of ways. The young pine with their slightly sour taste and the last of the season’s white asparagus which has a more delicate flavor than the green. This one was particularly sweet and had just a hint of bitterness (the good kind). The base of cheese was perfect mopped up with the bread ( yes we practically used the sourdough for mopping everything, it was seriously that good!)
We also shared a grilled chicken thigh bone-in with summer cabbage, green asparagus and caramelized onion sauce that had simple but incredible Asian flavors. The meat was cooked just right with seared browned skin and the asparagus was fork-tender with just a bit of the crunch you need.
One of the highlights of our time in Denmark was the innovative yet simplistic use of fresh fruit in desserts. The textures of the rhubarb compote with a crumble was splendid. Paired with a subtle ale cream that cut through the sharpness of the rhubarb was a match made in heaven.
Thanks to its brilliant energetic staff and sharp service complementing food like this, lunch at 108 restaurant turned out to be one rather memorable meal for us. And let’s not forget the “life changing sourdough”.
Location: Strandgade 108, DK-1401 Copenhagen