Restaurant Taller was the first restaurant I booked in Copenhagen this summer. There were no other restaurants I got recommended by more people. Practically everyone I talked to said Taller was a must-visit. The Spanish pronunciation of the word is Tayer and it means workshop. Just like painters need a workshop, so do chefs when they create art on your plate. In this case, it is the workshop of chefs Karlos Ponte Maldonado and Luis Moreno. They are both Venezuelan born and together with the manager Jakob Brink they opened their own restaurant in March this year.
Note: This restaurant has closed permanently.
I had a quick snack at restaurant Geist before I met up with a foodie friend I had scheduled to meet through a Facebook society called Eatinerary. She was excited just like me, but also a bit skeptical. The fact that two of the owners had experience from restaurant Noma could be a curse as much as a blessing.
– Being a Noma alumni is not a guarantee for success, she argued.
A good point. We arrived, slightly late, and was welcomed in the door by the restaurant manager Jakob who asked:
– How hungry are you?
Having just eaten three small courses it felt wrong to say very hungry, but that’s what we answered anyway! Apparently, that’s what Jakob wanted to hear, in order to execute a serving of the big menu.
Restaurant Taller offer the choice between two menus – a small serving with four courses or a big serving with seven courses. As more and more snack kept coming out from the kitchen we continued to be a bit confused as to what we had actually ordered. There was never a menu placed at the table. Thus, we had to consult our sommelier and waiter this evening, Carsten Cesar, who confirmed that we had indeed got the big menu ahead of us. Great! That is of course what we wanted anyway.
I believe my table friend’s skepticism died a little with every new dish we were presented. I got confirmation that my food sources in Copenhagen are up to date, and can be trusted for future references. The food was amazing and something completely different from anywhere else I have eaten in Scandinavian restaurants. It sort of reminded me of restaurant Aymara in Oslo, but it is even closer in style and presentation to new Nordic cooking. At the same time, it is very far from the New Nordic since all ingredients and flavors are South-American. Most of them very exotic to me. I admit I had to google most of them later to understand what we actually ate.
We had a really nice evening at restaurant Taller with food that tasted just as wonderful as it looked on the plate. On the topic of plates, I had to ask who made them of course. I expected to get the name of one of the many famous Danish ceramists, but they were actually from Venezuela as well! The artist’s name is Miku, and I must say he makes truly stunning plates with marvelous color glazing. Our waiter Carsten was a remarkable host who mastered that sweet balance between being an attentive waiter and social almost to the level of taking part in the table conversation. I also loved that the chefs came out from their hiding in the workshop, including Karlos, to put the final touches to their masterpiece by the table.
I recommended the restaurant to my foodie friend Lars, and he loved it as well. You can read his story (in Norwegian) on the food blog Lars Spiser.
What is the best South-American restaurant where you have eaten in Europe? Please leave a comment below.
My favs would be A&G in Madrid or Pakta in Barcelona. Both Peruan & nikkei restaurants. Doesnt get any better. I love me an arepa anyday, would love to try it in a haute cuisine kind of way as presented in taller.
Cool. I will save those tips!