Opening in 2016, former noma chef Kristian Baumann, along with Rene Redzepi, opened this more casual venue with many of the same values, a focus on pickling, preserving and fermenting, the footholds of nordic cuisine. So how does the vision of a chef, once removed from a master, play out?
I arrived for my booking slightly early, but I was met with enthusiasm, and shown to a waiting table. I started with a glass of “Rot-Murlé”, Pierre Frick Riesling, whilst browsing over the menu.
108 is an a la carte restaurant, designed this way to make an evening one’s own. Four dishes per person is recommended, but some of the selections looked so good, I had to pick five!
I started with the cured squid, with bacon broth and salted plums. A perfectly sized dish to start with, beautiful ribbons of the cured squid and a rich, salty, fatty broth make this dish a winner. The salted plum element is a bit of a mystery for me, a slight sweetness towards the end of the dish might be attributed to them? Still, a wonderful starting dish!
Second dish up was braised ox tail with pine. Three balls of braised ox tail meat, crumbed and fried and served with a covering of shaved pine. The ox tail had plenty of flavour, and the pine added to the dish, even more so than just a simple garnish! If this were double the size, I would have been very happy!
Salt baked celeriac, with aged cheese and grilled parsley came next. I picked this because it has a lot of my very favourite things; salt baked, celeriac, aged cheese, crispy parsley. This dish most certainly did not disappoint! The celeriac was perfectly cooked, and the combination with cheese is timeless. The parsley added a nice textural element. I loved this!
My last savoury course came next, caramelized milk skin, with grilled pork belly and cress. The technique here was really on show, with everything served inside the milk skin, with the instruction to roll it up like a burrito. And what a burrito it was, melting-ly tender pork belly, a sweet onion jam, the freshness from the cresses, this was a perfect way to end the savoury portion of my meal.
I did, however, order a dessert. Pineapple weed parfait, with baked apples and oat. This was delicious, the sweetness of the apples, a wonderfully flavoured parfait, and some.oat crisps that added texture and a beautiful nutty element. A real highlight with which to end my meal.
Overall, 108 is most definitely worth a visit. For great food, served with great wines, you really can’t go wrong. The only thing, tables here are REALLY close together. For me, this worked. I had a wonderful conversation with an American solo diner sitting next to me, but for some others, I can understand if it’s not preferable.
(This blog was contributed by the Two Bears’ good friend – who is also a chef – Alex)
Address: Strandgade 108, 1401 København K, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tip! Though 108 is only open for dinner, next door is The Corner. A bakery and all day eatery, come past for some of the best pastries and coffee in Copenhagen!