Geranium (Copenhagen)

Geranium Copenhagen

Modern Danish cuisine is piquing the world’s interest, popularizing a menu that’s heavily based in vegetables. Foraging ingredients is seen as trendy, rather than strange that a person would want to pay top dollar to eat peculiar weeds found by a lake. Simple organic is not enough: food is now from biodynamic farms which uses a balanced ecosystem to produce ingredients.

Two Michelin star Geranium serves up such fare – they pride themselves for using locally grown ingredients from biodynamic farms. Behind the helm is Chef Rasmus Kofoed who infamously won gold, silver and bronze from the Bocuse d'Or international cooking competition.  In fact, while visiting Geranium’s kitchen, you will see the three awards proudly displayed on your table.

There’s two tasting menus available: the larger universe (1,600 DKK) and the Geranium dishes (1,200 DKK), we ordered the smaller of the two.

A series of appetizers start off the meal. Two crackers, the crispy grains from Kornly, arrive first; the name seems to be cheeky nod to the grain stored method used to make the Kornly cheese. I don’t want to downplay the dish, but it reminded me of an upscale Goldfish cracker. Crunchy and flavourful, these are some of the best cheese crackers I’ve ever tasted.

Geranium kornly crackers

What looked like floating orbs followed – crispy shells made from carrots and filled with soft sweet carrots inside. The shell itself had a hint of tartness to contrast the naturally sweet carrot filling.

Along with the orbs was a dish of milk custard with fermented carrot juice dotted with fish roe. Sitting at the bottom was a piece of crab, which was delicious but didn’t add to the dish. All in all, a refreshing interpretation of carrots.

As much as I tried to appreciate the raw asparagus dish, it was quite slippery and started breaking apart when lifted. To avoid complete destruction, I shoved it in my mouth and was greeted with a cooling sensation followed by hints of sourness (likely from the asparagus vinegar) and a herby lemon finish.

The following dish is what I like to think of as an opulent chip - delicate crispy Jerusalem artichoke leaves served with a creamy dip. Lighter than a potato, the root vegetable still offered an earthy taste but with a slightly sweet finish.

The dried apple and flowers pouch was a stunning dish. The apple consommé hydrates it slightly as the gelatin shell melts. After getting through the wrapper there’s an intense apple and floral flavour. Chewy and revitalizing this could work equally well as a dessert.  

Although not as esthetically pleasing to look at the “charred potato” was delicious – I desperately wanted more than one bite. The soft, creamy, dense potato sat on a spoon of lightly smoked whipped sheep milk butter. A great balanced smoky dish.

We were invited into the kitchen to experience the next dish. Of course, the cup of grilled asparagus juice was delicious – foamy and surprisingly creamy for an ingredient that’s so delicate. But, the highlight was seeing everyone work!

Of course the kitchen was spotless – all gleaming white countertops and shiny stainless steel appliances. There were tons of chefs, most working in groups to put together the meticulously plated dishes. Nonetheless, the environment was tranquil with communication between the chefs given calmly, not at all like the drama that’s portrayed on Hell’s Kitchen.

Trying to stealthily snap pictures, one chef looked up, smiled and even offered to take a picture for us. It was such a friendly gesture that instantly put me at ease. In fact, Geranium’s greatest virtue, in my opinion, is their service. Every person we encountered was genuinely friendly… and we certainly met a lot of people given each signature dish was served by the chef who made it.

Servers would strike up conversations with us and through these I realized what a multi-cultural staff Geranium has cultivated: it seems like there were people from all over the world (we even met someone from Montreal)! Additionally, the act of inviting every diner into the kitchen for a course is such a great idea – a daring and intimate gesture that made the meal a memorable one.

Once back at the table the last appetizer was served; the seaweed and razor clam was my favourite of the bunch. A crispy edible shell held pieces of delicate, sweet, raw razor clams. A light, velvety, seaweed infused sauce accompanied it.

Moving into the ‘Signature Dishes’, the plates started to become more substantial. The green dill stones were presented amongst other rocks, where the jelly wrappers held large pieces of meaty mackerel. The smooth horseradish cream and cool pickled cucumber granite complimented the fish quite nicely.

Nuggets of warm emmer and spelt bread followed. The sourdough had a chewy exterior and airy springy centre. We slowly made our way through all of them, two bites at a time.  

Geranium’s rendition of French onion soup uses biodynamic onions with chamomile and melted hay cheese. The sweet onions had a slight sour finish to it, but it was the broth that stole the show: light but having a cheese flavour that lingers on the tongue without being overwhelming. How can something so pale looking have such an incredible scent?  

Lastly, a stuffed chicken wing carved table side to share. The dish was the heartiest of the bunch with succulent chicken mixed with cucumber plant, pine sprouts and meadow hay beer. Call me old fashioned, but it was great to finally have a hot meaty dish. Up until this point, the other courses were mainly cold, some lukewarm at best. So, ending off with a piping hot piece of chicken was heavenly.

Dessert started with braised pieces of rhubarb with freeze dried creamy sheep yoghurt and rose hip. A delicate dish with delicious rich yoghurt and light floral notes.

A selection of petit fours ended the meal - each presented on separate dishes that all worked together.

On the metal sculpture were brittle pieces of lingonberry bush with beetroot, having a sweet and sour taste that’s similar to cranberries or red currant.

The soft onion caramels were wrapped in a strawberry fruit roll-up; the onion adding a savoury element to the dessert.

The pumpkin seed oil cake was dense, sweet and nutty. Like the other desserts, the deceptively simple looking dish was richly flavoured and the sweetness set off with another taste – in this case an earthy savoury note from the pumpkin seed oil.

We saved the chocolate for last - the green pine ash on top making way to a dense dark smooth ganache.

Overall, although the menu was a tad vegetarian for the carnivore in me, it opened my eyes to view the ingredients as the star – rather than sides to be eaten after the beef. And after days of eating out, my stomach likely benefited from these antioxidant rich dishes.

Geranium also offers wine or juice pairings: 1,300 DKK and 600 DKK, respectively for the Universe or 900 DKK and 300 DKK with the Geranium dishes. We just ordered items by the glass – a Herslev Bryghus pilsner (80 DKK), a refreshing 2013 Alice et Olivier De Moor Bourgogne Chitry (150 DKK) and a Benromach Speyside scotch (100 DKK). Also, if you want to avoid a credit card surcharge fee, make sure you bring enough cash.

Before we left, our server waited for us at the reception desk to say goodbye and thank you one last time. We left with little boxes of black current licorice, which I had on our plane ride home the next day. They are nothing like the strong anise flavoured licorice candies of North America, instead nice and sweet, bringing back fond memories of the friendly meal from the night before. 

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
 Address: Per Hendrik Lings Alle 4

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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