An evening at Relæ is always an evening filled with contrasts. To me certain expectations come with the territory when you dining at a Michelin star restaurant that is among the 50 best restaurants in the world. Relæ disregards these compleltey. The utensils are placed in a drawer at your table, you pour your own water, there is two seating’s, the restaurant is small and rustic, and the prices can compete with medium priced ”chain restaurants” like Madklubben and Cofoco, but the food is vastly superior to these. The interior and the service provides for a very relaxed atmosphere were you would feel welcome and comfortable eating a nice meal on a Tuesday evening in jeans and t-shirt without felling out of place as well as going there for a 10 course tasting menu for the full experience.
The food is off course delicious. The essence of the food is New Nordic cooking, but Christian Puglis Sicilian roots can’t be denied and he is not constrained to Nordic ingredients. Off course olive oil is served with the bread and they serve a Nordic style risotto and hereby making it his own.
Fresh radishes. Fresh and simple, but seen too many times before.
Whey and oil. Surprisingly cleansing without being either oily or fatty. A nice experience before the menu starts.
Good bread is to be expected. Here it is off course sour dough bread. Very good crust, texture and taste.
The first dish on the menu was unripe strawberries and fermented strawberries. The acidity from the unripe strawberries was perfectly matched by the umami of the fermented. Beautiful and delicious.
Trout ceviche with fresh cucumber, cucumber juice and pine sprouts. Very well balanced where the pine sprouts luckily didn’t take center stage from the delicate trout. Light, fresh and delicious can best be used to describe the dish.
Sunflower seed ”risotto”. Cooked in a pressure cooker served with nettle juice and Parmesan cheese. The essence from the sunflower seeds was clear and a nice combination with the fresh juice and salty Parmesan. A nice risotto. Definitely not the standard version. With the majority of the dishes being very fresh and high acidity this was a nice break in the menu.
Salad. Fermented and fresh romainsalad with grated pistacio nuts and a beurre blanc. The acidity from the fermented salad was a perfect match to the crunchy salad and the sauce. This was the best serving of the evening and a great example of what great chefs can do with simple ingredients.
Sødam chicken with fresh asparagus. Nice and delicate flavors, but maybe too bland, especially compared to the last dish.
Frozen bluechese with fresh herbs. Grated frozen chese are a Relæ classic, but this evening it was not a success. Served with bitter herbs the sharpness from the cheese needed some acidity to create balance in the dish.
Almond ice cream with rhubarb and olives. Very simple and tasty.
Frozen grated egg, sous vide egg yoke and skir ice cream. A very interesting and delicious serving that in a great way concluded the evening. Creative food with new combinations of ingredients, a nice use of techniques and great flavors not least.
After a night at Relæ you have to wonder how it is possible to have such a complete experience in that price range. You don’t find your self-needing a waiter pr table to have a luxurious experience. In that sense it is definitely not a classic fine ding experience, but the food is very excellent and I even prefer the relaxed service that is very competent, pleasant and present.
I love Relæ equally for their creative food as well as the relaxed and cozy atmosphere in the restaurant.