Alimentum has one of the most ambitious projects for a restaurant in Denmark at the moment. In addition to operating their restaurant with tasting menu and a la carte as usual they also have a new project. Within the restaurant they established a counter with room for 6 people where they twice pr week serve a +35 course menu.
The menu is based on extremely local ingredients where all of the vegetables are grown on their own farm and the proteins are predominantly sourced less than 50km away. Naturally organic and pretty damm sustainable as well. All in all something interesting that I had to try.
We would start in the lounge with some classic snacks all based on ingredients that had been preserved through out the year. They consisted of a classic Danish potato soup with bacon that had been spiced up with y egg yolk and truffle. The pumpkin purée shaped like a taco and served with a bit of hay and duck was my favorite of the 3.
From here we would take our first visit to the sea focusing on shellfish covering oysters shrimp, scallops, langostine and lobster. If the counter seating around the kitchen didn’t tip you off that the menu would be heavily inspired by Japan the first couple of snacks here would. In this context I am referring to how extremely produce driven they are and most of the dishes would have a main element with one simple side. Japanese techniques would naturally also play a big part. In this section I really loved the tempura fried oyster, the scallop which was served rich smokey buttery sauce and a lobster with a with a spicy carrot sauce proving that they are inspired by Japan but a bit of French influence is also allowed. A very promising start and true to the omakasse experience the dishes were served immediately after you were done with the previous. For that reason there were small breaks in between sessions.
From the sea to the vegetable kingdom.
This section would have a lot of variation within type of vegetables and it would cover 12 courses and therefore naturally be the main part of our experience. 12 vegetable courses in a danish autum is very impressive. I can only emagine how the summer menu looks like.
This time we would start where we finished with a French/Japanese inspired dish in the form of a tempura fried Jerusalem artischoke with caviar and another buttery sauce this time based on lactofermented white asparagus. A combination that always works.
From French and rich to two vegetables that had simply been touched by a yakatori grill and nothing else in the form of grilled cabbage and asparagues broccoli. The smoke from the yakkatori served them both well.
A much more technical dish was up in the form of a carrot leather with herbs and salmon eggs. The leather had super nice flavor and texture, but in reality I didn’t think that it needed the fish eggs it was perfect as it was.
Kohlrabi was one of the clear favorites of the evening. Its sour and acidic flavor was a perfect match to the umami rich sauce whose origin I forgot. A dish that proves that the chef really understand the vegetables and techniques he is working with.
It was mushroom season so different form of grilled fresh mushrooms with Piemonte truffles is always comforting and delicious.
The second round of caviar would be together with roasted pumpkin where the caviar was the only piece of salt that the dish needed. Very simple in terms of composition and technique but the flavor was still every bit of delicious as you would expect.
The next round of seafood would be a big heavier than the first round and this time it would only be fish and no shellfish. The highlights of this section for me was in the form of squid served with a bit of steamed cabbage while the second was zander with a beurre blanc sauced filled with generous amounts of caviar. The two opening dishes could not have been more different in terms of style, technique and flavor but they paired each other very well.
From the sea to the forest as the last mains would all be deer in different preparations and they were truely different. They ranged from a tartare to grilled to a rich ragout where you could really get a sense of the different cuts of the animal and how different they needed to be treated. Naturally the yakatori grilled was a clear favorite.
We would finish with 4 different desserts that had taken their inspiration from Japan to France and back to Denmark. An omelet that was inspired by Japan although the crème on top and pea leaves would probably not be recognized as an authentic omelet in Japan, to corn in different flavors with had a nice mix of sweet and salty to the take on the Danish Mazarin tart that can be found in any Danish supermarket but here lifted to a different level and an icecream based on mushrooms.
I think this is just my 3th time having a meal of +30 courses. Maybe because it’s not an easy task to pull off. With that many impressions over just a few hours it’s hard not to get a bit confused and overwhelmed. The concept about an exclusive counter menu where they dive deep into the local products and showcase everything the region has to offer is amazing. The inspiration from Japanese omakasse is obvious and it works for them. It’s also a good idea to adapt it a bit to Denmark with more vegetables and with that also a bit of buttery sauces as it does match well. Several of the dishes have Michelin star quality and if I could reduce the menu to about 20 dishes they would also be a strong contender for a Michelin star. The concept really is interesting with some amazing dishes but it is also a bit rough around the edges. After all having to create 38 dishes at Michelin star quality is a super difficult task which is why not that many try. However give them time and I am sure they will fine tune the concept because they really do have lots of potential and there are some true gems in the menu. In addition to the food lab in their regular diningroom they serve tasting menues of 7-9 and 12-16 which based on what I saw looked pretty good as well. At a price of less than 300$ for the bigger menu including wine its a steal and extremely good value for money which I see more and more if you dine outside Copenhagen in Denmark.
I was invited by the restaurant to try the menu.
Location: Aalborg Denmark
Menu: A la carte and 3 different tasting menu