Food Made Good

Relae – so much more than dinner

In the summer we celebrated Relæ’s success in winning the Sustainable Restaurant Award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants by running a competition with delicious magazine. One lucky reader and a friend got to travel to Copenhagen, stay in the Babette Guldsmeden Hotel and most importantly dine at Relæ. Here’s Michael O’Sullivan’s report of his weekend in Copenhagen…

The hotel

The Babette Hotel Guldsmeden was great. First off they gave us an upgrade to a superior suite which was lovely, the room had a four poster bed, the bathroom was fully stocked with eco products as this is a point that the hotel chain are keen to put across. The breakfast choices were all locally sourced too.

Dinner

Well I hope this doesn’t come across as an advert for Relæ, but from when we walked through the doors until we left, it was nothing but first class all the way.

We were welcomed with a glass of champagne and seated in front of one of the prep areas, so it was nice to see first- hand how much time and effort went into a couple of the dishes.

After we finished the champagne our first course was brought out and the staff explained what it was and how it was all locally sourced. This was a recurring theme throughout the night with each course and the pairing of the drinks to complement each course. Personally I was very impressed with the knowledge of each member of staff and their love of what they had produced shone through as they are very proud of what they have achieved at Relæ.

Onto the menu, of which this was number #473. We started off with Sorrel root & salted strawberries which we were encouraged to eat with our hands and this was paired with Resonance NV – Marie-Courtin, Cote des Bars. A superb start to a wonderful evening.

Next up was cod, coriander and asier, prepared in front of us, the cod was in a broth and the flavours hit you in a 1,2,3 hit. Lovely. The wine was a Pigro delle Sorbet ‘14 – Collecapretta, Umbria and was so light that it was just right.

Apple & anise hyssop was the next treat and it was amazing, it melted in the mouth and the flavours, wow, this pushed the night up a notch. As for the pairing this was Saint-Verna ‘15 – Isabelle & Bruno Perraud, Bourgogne, again it was perfect.

The next course was again amazing; crab, enoki & cress. I was very impressed with the depths of flavour in this and we had a lovely apple & buckwheat drink to wash it all down.

Eggplant, cream & truffle was presented next and the flavours just seemed to tease and entice you more and more as the quality never let up. A Chardonnay Angora ‘14 – Casa Pardet, Catalunya was more than good enough to go along with this.

Havervadgard lamb & bitter greens arrived next alongside a Grignolino ‘14 – Ariel, Monferrato and this was very good, the crispy greens I found wonderful tasty.

Fresh mozzarella & raw mushroom was up neat alongside a Sui Lieviti ‘15 – Orsi, Emilia-Romania. We asked about the size of this mushroom and they produced one from the kitchen which was the size of a dinner plate and revealed that this was a small one! Again it was superb.

Onto the two dessert courses… The first was caramelized whey & blackberry with a Pow Blop Wizz ‘15 – Oliver Lemasson, Touraine, I’m not a great dessert lover but this was pure bliss, as was the second dessert.

Yoghurt, marigold & lemon followed with a lovely cider, P’tite Curvee ‘15 – La Cidrerie du Golfe, Breanne. The cider was a surprise but this went together so well and was a wonderful way to end the evening.

Apart from the nine courses mentioned we also had another three tasters of dishes, the first was cod wrapped in leaf and was so fresh and cleansing, the charred beetroot on skewers was a nice big hit of smoked flavour and my favourite of the three was the carpaccio of lamb with slivers of orange on top, this was so good and just melted in the mouth.

I would encourage anyone who is lucky enough to be visiting Copenhagen to make Relae their number one choice of restaurant as it is so much more than the usual experience with truly wonderful staff who take pleasure in preparing the best local ingredients and the reactions of their customers to the finished article.