Can’t book at Noma? Check out its old location instead

Noma is one of the most talked about and acclaimed restaurants in the world – and getting a table isn’t easy. When booking blocks are opened, they are often advertised as rock concerts. Trying to use their online reservation system otherwise may seem futile. And even if you do get the chance to dine, the price is beyond many people’s budget: its current vegetarian lunch menu with wine pairings is $700 (RM3,099).

Yet for foodies, simply visiting Rene Redzepi’s hometown of Copenhagen can exude the presence of Noma: the culinary equivalent of music fans going to Liverpool and immediately evoking the Beatles. And now, time is running out for those curious about Noma: earlier this month, Redzepi announced that 2023 would be “our last year with Noma as we know it”. But for those who still haven’t scored a reservation or – understandably – wouldn’t want to pay even if they could, there’s another way. You can go there anytime, and all it costs is the price of a beer.

How to dine at Noma restaurant?

Considered one of the restaurant capitals of the world, Copenhagen is also a great beer city: it is home to internationally renowned brands such as Mikkeller and Warpigs, hot up-and-coming companies such as Aben and Slowburn, and the major player historically significant, Carlsberg. With that in mind, when Noma moved in 2017, with the help of its former tenant, the space was transformed into Barr – a self-proclaimed “casual restaurant and bar” that, in part, takes its name from an old word Nordic. for “barley”.

Yes, true to its gastronomic roots, Barr offers an impeccably prepared and served tasting menu alongside its a la carte lunch and dinner options. And if you want to have a seated meal, it is still advisable to book.

But if you’re happy enough to just grab a beer, true to its name, Barr also has a 30-seat beer bar with ten well-brewed selections on tap as well as an impressive bottle list with plenty of beer options. cellar among the tastes. of the Belgian Cantillon and the American Jester King. No reservations are required and you can pick up a draft for as little as around five dollars.

Drinking culture in Barr

Noma Restaurant
Image credit: Daniel Rasmussen

At Barr, the beers, like the food, are served with care – but customers get something more with their drink. Each glass is served with a side of the story.

Like a mausoleum with alcohol, Barr is still the spiritual home of Noma. Yes, the space has been heavily remodeled, but the ghost lurks. And if you have limited time in Copenhagen and are curious about noma, I found appeal in simply relaxing with a drink in this former global culinary epicenter. Sure, trying to undermine the essence of a still-functioning restaurant 20 minutes’ walk down the road might seem odd at first, but it’s no different than visiting any historic site.

Gastronomy is multifaceted. Of course, the food – cooking and technique – takes center stage. But the experience goes beyond just eating. One of Liverpool’s most popular tourist attractions is the Cavern Club, famous for launching the Beatles’ career. The Beatles aren’t going to walk through the door and play a set. Heck, the band hasn’t existed for over 50 years. But the feeling of being in this place – this room that changed rock and roll – is incredible.

Noma Restaurant
Image credit: Daniel Rasmussen

Going to Barr, looking over the waterfront, just being at Strandgade 93 in Copenhagen – no, Rene Redzepi probably won’t walk through the door (although he can!) but you are visiting a place which, for a brief moment in time, was, in many ways, the culinary center of the world. The fact that you can grab a really tasty New England style IPA while you’re there is an amazing bonus.

(Hero Image and Featured Image Credit: Daniel Rasmussen)

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