First Look: Noma’s Seafood Season 2020 The New Menu is the Best One Yet

It seems like just yesterday when we were arriving for the first time at Refshalevej 96 in Copenhagen, the location of Noma’s gorgeous new restaurant venue. And yet, today marks year three of Noma 2.0, and the start of another seafood season. For the past two years, René Redzepi and his dedicated team have crafted three new tasting menus a year, depicting what’s in season at that time of year in the Nordics. During winter, the water is the coldest, making it a prime time to showcase Scandinavian seafood (which we just happen to think is the best in the world). Past menus have showcased the freshest of fish, Danish oysters, squid, scallops, Norwegian king crab, shrimps, sea snails, and many variations of clams, mussels, and other shellfish.

SPOILER ALERT! If you have an upcoming Noma reservation and want to be surprised, stop reading now! Below is the first look at Noma’s 2020 seafood season with all the dishes pictured. This year’s seafood season runs from today, January 8th, through June 13th, 2020. These photos were shot during a test dinner.

The tables are set for Noma’s seafood season 2020.
The tables are set for Noma’s seafood season 2020.

Noma’s Seafood Season 2020

In our humble opinion, this is the best seafood season so far. The menu brings back many classics from the past two seasons, but refined and transformed into even better versions than before. Don’t worry if you have eaten Noma’s seafood season previously, though, you’ll still see a lot of new dishes – including the best dessert we’ve ever had at Noma 2.0. We almost wonder if René Redzepi will take all the signature dishes and create a greatest hits menu one day in the future?

In the past, there have been a few standout dishes that were our absolute favorites from each menu, but also some less interesting ones. This season, however, we found that the entire menu was really strong. That being said, there were still some plates that stood out, and the ones that immediately come to mind are:

– The Faroese sea urchin with Hokkaido pumpkin, hazelnuts, kelp seaweed, fresh cream, and rose oil. This is easily one of the best uni dishes we’ve had with an incredible balance of flavors.

– The squid with sea buckthorn, horseradish, and an incredible sauce based on grilled squid and brown butter.

– The roasted ling liver “sushi” on top of barley koji with a seaweed glaze. Imagine the flavors of a piece of nigiri with soy-glazed foie gras on top of rice, except this bite had none of those elements!

– The barbecued king crab “collar” with a black truffle sauce. Let’s just say we licked the shell clean…

On the wine side, Mads Kleppe always has unique bottles in stock and he did not disappoint this year either. Right off the bat, a Christian Tschida bottle landed on the table with a familiar label. At a closer glance, however, we noticed the handwritten word “Noma” underneath the Himmel Auf Erden letters. You won’t find this in stores – this was a limited edition bottle created just for Noma, with only one barrel made. Another highlight for us was the pet nat Wild Nature Sparkling from the Australian producer Manon in Adelaide Hills. It had a cloudy orange color and a foamy mouthfeel, with flavors of apricot, citrus, and strawberry.

Skagen shrimps, cured bleak roe, horseradish cream & rosehips.
Skagen shrimps, cured bleak roe, horseradish cream & rosehips.
Danish blue mussels – one with hazelnuts and cream and one with pine and pepper seaweed.
Danish blue mussels – one with hazelnuts and cream and one with pine and pepper seaweed.
Cured trout roe, broccoli stems, and yeast and sea lettuce sauce.
Cured trout roe, broccoli stems, and yeast and sea lettuce sauce.
"Fossil" – Danish Fjord shrimp pressed into a skin made of stock.
“Fossil” – Danish Fjord shrimp pressed into a skin made of stock.
Faroese sea urchin, Hokkaido pumpkin, hazelnuts, kelp seaweed, fresh cream, and rose oil.
Faroese sea urchin, Hokkaido pumpkin, hazelnuts, kelp seaweed, fresh cream, and rose oil.
Squid with sea buckthorn, horseradish, and a sauce based on grilled squid and brown butter.
Squid with sea buckthorn, horseradish, and a sauce based on grilled squid and brown butter.
Breaded and deep-fried cod tongue, with a paste of fermented salted green strawberries, wasabi flowers, and a quince to squeeze over the top like a lime slice.
Breaded and deep-fried cod tongue, with a paste of fermented salted green strawberries, wasabi flowers, and a quince to squeeze over the top like a lime slice.
Roasted ling liver "sushi" on top of barley koji with a seaweed glaze.
Roasted ling liver “sushi” on top of barley koji with a seaweed glaze.
Barbecued Lion's mane mushrooms.
Barbecued Lion’s mane mushrooms.
Cured “black pepper steak” of turbot, with smoked seaweed broth and optional horseradish on the side.
Cured “black pepper steak” of turbot, with smoked seaweed broth and optional horseradish on the side.
Smoked crab leftovers made into a broth, sipped through the seaweed.
Smoked crab leftovers made into a broth, sipped through the seaweed.
Sheep’s milk yogurt, dried and fermented fruits, white currant and pine. Our favorite Noma 2.0 dessert so far!
Sheep’s milk yogurt, dried and fermented fruits, white currant and pine. Our favorite Noma 2.0 dessert so far!

Read what our friend Rasmus Palsgård, aka Feinschemeckeren, thought about the new menu.

What has been your favorite Noma season so far? Please share your experience in a comment below.

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