The Copenhagen culinary scene is and has been for a long time dominated by the all-consuming desire to secure a table at Noma, which until recently held the title of the best restaurant in the world, squashing all other local eateries and reigning over the city like the untouchable grandfather of modern cuisine.
Whilst we mustn’t be slaves to this foodie landmark, we can certainly thank it for a host of creative and very worthy restaurants that have cropped up in the city. Several places have crawled out from under Noma’s tablecloth and have established themselves as institutions in their own right, in turn creating a culinary uprising in a city that is becoming more and more recognised as one of the best European foodie destinations.
With various chefs training at Noma, perfecting their craft and then breaking away to head up new kitchens and challenge the hand that taught them, we are lucky enough to be able to experience innovation and exquisite cooking without having to make a reservation six months in advance. One of these restaurants is Geist.
Here they have managed to create a strong identity through not only their dishes, which are inventive and artistic but also the atmosphere, service and branding which all fall into place magnificently.
Geist is best enjoyed as a two person experience so you can sit at the bar around the open kitchen watching these craftsman create dishes of wonder, futilely trying to guess which dish is which as they fry, sauté, steam, garnish and embellish the dishes, under low atmospheric lighting. The wait-staff patiently explain everything in excellent English, as is customary of the Danes and will happily make recommendations.
The raw fried lobster is timed with precision and complimented perfectly by the pool of accompanying mustard. It makes as an excellent starter. The Cheeks of Veal, fall apart tenderly and melt into the steamed morrels on the plate. Alongside this we ordered Crisp Artichoke with Pork Belly & Black Truffle. The artichoke chips add texture to the delicate fat on the pork belly which was slowly cooked to perfection. The Spinach and Samphire dish serves as a delicious nutritious side. For dessert, flavours are merged that shouldn’t work, but do. Wasabi and toffee dance on the palate, as your brain tries to separate sharp and sweet. Order a coffee after the meal, if only for the fact it is served with a tree of candy floss.
The chefs at Geist have a wonderful way of creating innovative dishes, without betraying the high-quality ingredients they are centred around. There is an experimental edge without bordering on pretentious and this creates a fantastic dining experience. If like most, you aren’t able to secure a table at Noma, take the opportunity to discover a restaurant incomparable in both quality and experience.