Lunch at Jordnær
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- Meal Views
This restaurant comes somehow out of nowhere.
To get there takes a short train ride and walk from the center of town. The neighbourhood is affluent with lots of stately villas, but the hotel which houses the restaurant is a nondescript building which does not really look inviting. However all of this falls away when you enter the dining room. The heavy ceiling beams, painted light grey, the dark but warm wooden floors and chairs, and the tables covered with white cloth create an instant welcoming but also elegant environment. Chef Eric Kragh Vildgaard and Restaurant Manager Tina Kragh Vildgaard created something really special there.
The ingredients are local, but the execution and plating French and Japanese influenced. Chef Eric also has the courage to focus and celebrate the main ingredients instead of loading a dish with extra flavours. The execution is precise and flawless. All of this creates an extraordinary food journey which keeps you interested throughout the 18 courses and slightly disappointed when it ends as you wished it could go on a little longer.
The menu as of the time of visiting was composed mainly of seafood and fish and only one meat course, the mallard. Most of the dishes were outstanding. There were simple but at the same time had great layers of flavours.
A good example was the Raw Shrimp with Horseradish and Dill. Five shrimp lying on a dill-oil cream sauce are topped with one wasabi flower. The sweetness of the shrimp was encased by the dill and the wasabi flower delivered a strong punch as a contrapoint. Other, less talented and more timid Chefs would have added 2-3 more flavours and texture for fear of creating something boring. This plating is flawless beauty and precision.
The brioche is another study in courage were the chefs add butter all the way to the limit where the dough breaks and one has to start again. The trick is to stop just before. Amazing.
Some other dishes like the Turbot with Yuzu Kosho and Truffle is a highly complex construction which superficially reminds one of a hand roll in a sushi place. Here the turbot is seasoned with yuzokoshi and then wrapped in black truffle to create the illusion of a nori wrapper. Stunning and very tasty.
Where all of this is coming from is unclear. Chef Eric cooked at Noma, Sollerod Kro and Almanak and says he has not yet been to Japan which makes this food even more surprising. Chef Eric had some deviations in his young life, but it is absolutely clear that with his wife at Joednær he found his calling. How they can manage their six kids on the side will remain an enigma.
I was deeply impressed. This wife/husband team will go places beyond where they are already. This is going to even further complicate my life as there is another MUST-GO stop in Copenhagen.
PS: When riding the train back to the center of town I couldn't help myself smiling about the doomsday choir for the Guide Michelin. If they found this place after only 10 months, they cannot do everything wrong. Here is it to that!