The year 2015 has been an amazing year of food for me. I have been traveling a lot, especially in the Nordic countries, and ate some of the best food our region has to offer. You can use tags to quickly look through my Denmark, Sweden, and Finland stories and of course my wider coverage of Oslo. There will be a lot more Scandinavian food and travel tips to explore on this site in 2016. I hope you will continue to follow my foodie stories here, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat – andershusa.
My foodie maps are finally in the making by a developer! Shortly, I will add guides to Tallin, Paris, and London. New trips to Stockholm and Copenhagen are booked in the following six months. I also want to travel more outside the capitals in both Sweden and Denmark, not to mention my own country! The next year I will seek the best dining experiences in Stavanger, Bergen and other places around Norway. Later on, you should be able to read about Singapore, Sydney, and Melbourne as well, if everything goes as planned. Tokyo and New York will follow by 2017 the latest.
I wish you a happy new year! These are my best dishes of 2015. Just to be populist, I have made it into a top 20 list.
No. 20 – Taller, Copenhagen
Rosehip and sweet potato sorbet. There were so many great dishes to choose from at Taller. This one stands out because of its simplicity. It reminded me of the classic dish of potato, plum and plum kernel by Rosio Sanchez, when she was the pastry chef at Noma.
No. 19 – Holybelly, Paris
Pancakes with bacon, eggs, and maple butter. Super fluffy despite being almost covered in sweet and salty maple butter. These pancakes from Holybelly café in Paris were the best I have ever eaten. The café is famous for its long line outside the door.
No. 18 – Mads Battefeld of Henne Kirkeby Kro, Denmark
Burnt pineapple, salty butter caramel, Indian kulfi with cardamom and saffron & rosehip skin. Made by the crown prince of Aarhus, Mads Battefeld, at a chef’s meetup in hotel Frederiksminde. Mads is currently sous-chef at Henne Kirkeby Kro and also does some pop-ups in Copenhagen (see no. 3). This dish was so unique and incredibly tasty. The wonderful flavors of the sweet and salty pineapple, combined with a refreshing and spicy Indian ice cream. It reminded me of the famous tipsy cake at Dinner by Heston.
No. 17 – Noma, Copenhagen
Clam butter paste with burnt herbs and green shoots at Noma. Also in the category of the weirdest presentation. The paste was spread on the plate, and you had to scoop it up with the leaves. Such a rich, sweet and salty umami flavor. Great contrast in textures.
No. 16 – Pjoltergeist, Oslo
White chocolate cream with lemon zest, white chocolate nemesis, caramelized white chocolate, forest berry sorbet, blueberries, and raspberries. Rich chocolate flavor, a fresh sorbet, and so much yumminess. I only ate this once at my favorite restaurant in Oslo, Pjoltergeist, so please bring it back, Tore Kristian!
No. 15 – Eyvind Hellstrøm
Scallops, seaweed and aromatic butter with soy sauce. Made by the grandfather of chefs in Norway, Eyvind Hellstrøm, at the reopening event of restaurant Oro. The butter and soy combination was great, the spiciness just right and the scallops soft as silk. All I missed was some bread to dip in that butter.
No. 14 – Pjoltergeist, Oslo
Pil Pil shrimps in oil and herbs, with steam buns to dip in. F*ck that’s delicious! Just one of many epic dishes from the legend Atli at Pjoltergeist. I always need more steam buns every time I order this. Too much goodie left in that bowl!
No. 13 – Rønnede Kro, Denmark
Gelled milk with black currants, frozen buttermilk, yogurt sorbet, meringue, raw liquorice, and red oxalis. An incredibly light dessert with wonderfully harmonic flavors at Rønnede Kro. It was hard to choose between this dessert and the main dish of quail, but in the end, this is the one I would pay most to taste again.
No. 12 – Democratic Coffee, Copenhagen
Almond croissant at Democratic Coffe. A perfect, crispy, buttery, thousand-layer croissant with a sticky, sweet and salty almond cream inside. The bread is still warm. You hear those cracking sounds when you bite it, and soon you are overwhelmed by flavors and textures usually reserved for dreams.
No. 11 – Bokbacka, Oslo
Brown crab from Hitra, dill, mussels, cucumber, and nasturtium. Served with Perfect fries with Alba truffle and kale mayo. The flavors were as delicate as the presentation. One of many highlights at the newly opened restaurant Bokbacka.
No. 10 – Geranium, Copenhagen
Jerusalem artichoke leaves, rye vinegar & walnut cream. I’d like a bag of these chips from Geranium, please! To be honest, there are many more dishes from this restaurant that could have made the list. I chose one of the most memorable, with a great combination of a superb flavor and an outstanding presentation.
No. 9 – Clown Bar, Paris
Bonito, sabayon sauce, and zucchinis from Albenga. The fish so tender and fresh, the sauce so rich and soft. Crispy greens for contrast in texture. Simple and delicious at Clown Bar in Paris.
No. 8 – Esben Holmboe Bang of Maaemo, Oslo
Scallops, white currants, heather, smoked cream, and geranium. Esben’s tribute to Geranium at their 5 years anniversary lunch. Also to be found on the menu of Maaemo this winter I believe. Fresh, soft, elegant, sweet, acidic. Everything at once. Served in the most awesome bowl by Odd Standard.
No. 7 – Måns Backlund of Bekk, Gothenburg
Jerusalem artichoke & truffle. Crunchy, fried Jerusalem artichoke underneath, a spuma on Jerusalem artichoke and truffles all over. Måns Backlund amazed with this dish at the chef’s dinner at Kontrast. His restaurant Bekk goes straight onto my to-visit-list when I go to Gothenburg.
No. 6 – Stefan Ekengren of Görvälns Slott, Stockholm
Onion soup with a pork broth, onions, and a malt bread. Impressive dish by Stefan Ekengren of Görvälns Slott outside Stockholm. So good in fact, I have booked a room and a dinner there in May! I had this during the chef’s dinner at Kontrast. How can a simple dish of onion soup taste so good? Using many different onions is part of the answer. Making an insanely good malt bread is another.
No. 5 – Sabi Omakase, Stavanger
Eel with unagi sauce. You can read my feature on this amazing sushi restaurant in Stavanger right here. Many of the pieces I ate there could have made this list. If you haven’t had unagi sauce before you are in for a treat. It’s made of grilled eel bones, soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. So sticky, sweet, salty and full of umami flavor.
No. 4 – Søllerød Kro, Copenhagen
Tournedos Rossini, Jerusalem artichoke spuma, and truffles. Everything heavenly in one serving? Sure thing, Søllerød Kro got you covered. It looked like the Phantom Blot when it first hit the table. Underneath the veil was a perfectly cooked piece of meat with foie gras on top. On the side a rich, creamy, airy spuma of Jerusalem artichoke. If you are not already drooling you will when they grate truffle all over it.
No. 3 – Mads Battefeld of Henne Kirkeby Kro, Denmark
Tskune. No clue what it is? I didn’t either. All I knew is that I immediately had to order one more. Mads later explained that it is a kind of Japanese meatball sausage made with chicken meat, liver and skin. It was fatty, juicy and super tender. You dipped it in egg yolk and soy sauce for more fat and salt. This is from a yakitori pop-up Mads did in Copenhagen. It cost DKK 15 I believe.
No. 2 – Bo Bech of Geist, Copenhagen
Truffle toast. This dish was made at Geranium for their 5 years anniversary, by Bo Bech from Geist. It was not a balanced dish, except for being crispy and soft at the same time. So, why did it make so far to the top? Because, if I close my eyes I can still remember it. The amount of truffle shaving on top created such an intense aroma that I felt like I was eating straight from a forest floor.
No. 1 – Noma, Copenhagen
Lobster taco. Burnt milk skin acting as a tortilla with a lobster tail inside and an insanely flavorful sauce made from the juices of the lobster head. I saw people post way more picturesque pictures of this dish on Instagram with nasturtium leaves. However, I think our version was even better tasting with the milk skin tortilla. The tortilla also hid the content, and I was completely thrown off by the savory, slightly sweet, umami flavor of the first bite. Congratulations, Noma!
Which were your favorite dishes of 2015? Please leave a comment below.