What I like about Relæ
I think it’s fair to say the opening of Relæ has been one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in Copenhagen this year. For months we’ve been able to follow the ups and downs of the making of Relæ through chef and owner Christian Puglisi’s well written blog.
The somewhat rough location of Relæ has been the talk of the town. Relæ is located in Jægersborggade in Nørrebro. The neighborhood is a mixture of urban coolness and tough attitude. Jægersborggade is a super trendy street packed with cool shops and eateries in the middle of an area that has been the scene of several gang related shootings that past years. To be honest it sounds a lot worse than it is. A little shooting doesn’t put me off in the hunt for excellent restaurants and it was only the “usual” pushers hanging around the night we went to Relæ.
I’d been checking out the menu for days pondering whether to go vegetarian or stick to my meat. Sitting at the beautiful counter checking out the buzz in the open kitchen I finally decided to stay in my comfort zone and went for the meat option.
Pickled mackerel with lemon and cauliflower
The first course was lovely. The mackerel had a firm texture and subtle fresh taste. The lemon cream (beneath the fish) and the cauliflower complimented the mackerel nicely.
The mackerel was followed by a vegetarian dish
Carrots, crushed blackcurrant and söl
Söl is a kind of seaweed, and combined with the blackcurrant and the sweet carrots, it gave the course a very earthy look as well as taste. It completly surprised me how filling two carrots smothered in berries and seaweed can be. It was definitely the most avantgarde carrots I have been served.
Sødam chicken with mini corn, bottarga
My fellow diner who’s in the fashion industry described the dish as “a nude dish, but still with the burned colors of the autumn”. What you couldn’t see before taking a bite was the grass green cow parsley sauce, I guess that somewhat disturbed the autumn correct tone-in-tone color scale at bit. Taste wise the chicken was soft and sweet. Bottarga is a cured fish roe from the grey mullet. It provided a bit of saltiness to the dish. The sweet corn added crunchiness and the hidden cow parsley that earthy flavor I had detected in the carrot course as well.
I really wish I had had room for cheese (as it apparently comes with freshly shaved truffle), but I was nearly full, so we went straight to the dessert.
Milk ice cream, caramelized rape seeds, powder of rape oil and vinegar and raspberries
The dessert was amazing. It was the first time I’ve been served caramelized rape seeds; it provided a beautiful and tasty coating to the sweet ice cream. This dessert seemed more like something from a Michelin star kitchen, than a medium priced restaurant. I was impressed.
What I like about Relæ is their water policy, they served water ad libitum for 35 DKK
I like their food philosophy – taking somewhat common ingredients like chicken and carrot and elevating them to beautiful gourmet food.
I like that they take cooking in the medium range price to another level.
I like their edgy location outside the traditional restaurant zone of Copenhagen K.
I like being able to follow Christian Puglisi’s blog, getting a glimpse of all the thoughts, reflections and emotions one goes through when realizing one’s dream of opening a restaurant.
I like Relæ.
Estimated price: 325 DKK
Visited: September 2010