Amass will soon take the spotlight, but for now
BROR, only open since March, is the latest entry in the Noma chefs set out on their own genre.
Relae projects the illusion of casualness, BROR actually is lower key. In
theory, I could see stopping in for a glass a wine and a few snacks like
catfish cheeks, chicken wings and kelp, or deep fried bull balls, which I
imagine as Danish Rocky Mountain oysters. In practice, I'm not sure anyone does that;
people without reservations were being turned away and I didn't see a bar, at
least not on the lower level where I was seated.
My snack of choice was the duck neck, bread crumbed and sprinkled
with pine needles. You're given a finger bowl instead of utensils, and encouraged to pluck out the meat with your fingers.
The bread in Denmark was especially good, from the traditional dark rugbrød to the crusty artisanal loaves served in higher end restaurants.
You can order a la carte, but the four courses of the
kitchen's choosing for 350 dkk (more or less $61) is the way to go. Since
there were only three starters and three mains listed, you will be served a
majority of them. First came mullet with grilled cucumbers, also tinged with
pine, and topped with nasturtium leaves, a seasonal favorite in these parts.
Fish was followed by another, this time more substantial
catfish, double seaweed (from both Iceland and Sweden) and pickled onions. I could see this being paired successfully
with sake. (I did not make notes of the wines served, with the exception of an
unusual orange Jura sparkling wine, ‘Tant-Mieux’ Petillant Naturel – Philippe
Bornard, though they were also biodynamic and French as at Relae.)
Pork neck, a shift from more austere to naturally decadent, was the main,
served with a charred leek, cauliflower puree, and countless leaves and wild
greenery, despite ramps being the only specimen named on the menu. I would have to eat more extensively in
Copenhagen and revisit the few restaurants I tried before figuring out the nuances that make each place distinct.
If both pork dishes I had at Relae and BROR were put in front of me, I don't think I'd be able to say which was from where.
I was half-hoping I wouldn't get the rhubarb dessert for
variety's sake, and no, it turned out to be a strongy nutty buttermilk-walnut ice cream, blackcurrant granita, and a poof of woodruff that I
really tried to taste because I'm still not convinced it's an appropriate
flavoring for green beer, as they do in Berlin, but the barely sweet dried foliage seemed to be more about texture
like the shredded phyllo coating used in kataifi.
The amazing thing, though I jest about the tight
repertoire of ingredients shared by restaurants, is how radically the menu changes with time. I saw a
set of photos from the following week and the only dish in common was the
BROR * Skt. Peders Stræde 24A, Copenhagen, Denmark