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Dining at Relæ in Copenhagen

A Dance with Difficult Steps

Copenhagen in Denmark is one of our favourite cities, perfect for a Weekend City Break taking the train from Gothenburg directly to the City Centre at a reasonable price.


We have visited three times together since we met and Food Travel to Copenhagen, especially in spring, summer and fall is recommended. This is one of our many restaurants visits to fine dining establishments - famous and praised Relae!

Read our Review from Relae in Copenhagen; Nordic Cuisine with strong focus on ecological ingredients of own produce and clean tastes in their Tasting Menu.

Sticks & Spoons Review of Relae Tasting Menu

Relæ in Copenhagen is one of these restaurants we have heard deliver fantastic food, so we had been looking for a window for a visit for quiet some time. Their minimalistic, ingredient-focused and seasonal driven kitchen is exactly what the Scandinavian and Nordic Food Trend is about right now, so we had some expectations before our visit.


Relæ delivers a performance with an ode to raw, clean and pure tastes from their own organic farm produce, a red line through their tasting menu. So you should expect natural tastes combined with Nature Wines. While not being big fans of Nature Wine we went for one wine package and one juice package to our menus.


Just as we sat down, we happened to overhear feedback from the table next to ours. The two Italian ladies was celebrating a birthday and the were really disappointed, especially on the final dessert.


Perhaps they wasn't prepered for what they had been served and had simply misunderstood the whole Relae concept? The ladies claimed to have eaten at many fine dining restaurants, and none of them had lacked in taste as much as Relae. We thought they were just that kind of difficult guests that are really hard to please whatever you serve or do.


However, it turned out that the ladies had a small point in their criticism and feedback after all.

Starter at Relæ in Copenhagen, Denmark. Food Travelling to our neighbour here in Scandinavia i easy when wanting to experience the Danish Food Scene!

What struck us already after a couple of dishes were two things. Relæ didn't use salt or fat to lift flavors? We were puzzled.


As a chef, these two ingredients are crucial in kicking up the flavor, but here they completely excluded it and relied on the ingredient in their pure natural form.


It turned out to be a "dance with difficult steps" (which also is a song title by swedish artist Lars Winnerbäck - hence the sub-heading in our review). 

First three dishes with wine and juice pairings:

Courgette tarte

La Matta 2015 - Casebianche, Torchiara

Apple/ lemon/ thyme juice

Celtuce, oregano and almond

Vigna Vecchia 2016 - Collecapretta, Spoleto

Salted plums/ sage juice

Pike perch, kohlrabi and coriander

Plume d'Ange 2015 - Etienne Courtois, Sologne

Chamomille/ chevril juice

Clean plating of dishes with the ingredient in focus is typical or Retaurant Relae in Copenhagen. The Ingreients are grown on their own ecological farm and is highlighted in their Seasonal Tasting Menus.

Pure taste of the ingredients and few components require an impeccable performance and design. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the chefs' techniques but especially the edge of taste was blunt figurly speaking and fell flat into a couple of dishes in the Tasting Menu.

Or "flat" is maybe the wrong choice of word, because when it was meant to taste something it really did a lot.


But we really missed components in some of the food to sooth - particularly in the acid ones.


Or in some where fat would be more then welcome to lift the experience of flavour.

Another clean plating at Relæ, this was really tasty in it's simplicity.
A Hollandase Foam that didn't work out as good as it should? We had some difficulties with this one. From theTasting Menu at Restaurant Relae in Copenhagen, Denmark.

An example that clearly describes what we mean was missing, by the above desciption, is a Hollandaise foam from a siphon that only taste eggs and acid. Unfortunately, it doesn't work at all.


Fat in a Hollandaise is what makes it fantastic so the foam falls flat and very far from the tree, figuratively speaking.


The carrot to accompanies is served "un Papilotte" with organic butter and herbs.


Butter is something that the Danes do incredibly well and the taste by itself is amazing - but what if the package had been given some more heat making the butter browned? Maybe that nuttyness had been a flavour beam scale to the highly acidic foam - and it might have saved this serving?

The sweetness of the tomatoes on the side helped a little, with it's incredible taste. A taste not to far from the Epiphany Tomato Knockout at Nestor in San Sebastian!

Next three dishes with wine and juice pairings:

Trout, sorrel and smoked cream

Same wine as to the Pike perch but also the grilled lemon/ juniper juice

Grilled lemon/ juniper juice

Carrots, eggyolk and hollandaise

Lumiere des sens 2014 - J.P. Robinot, Chahaignes

Toasted wild rice/ cowslip (mayflower) juice

Onion, fennel and gooseberry

No paring

Carrots Un Papilotte from our Review of Restaurant Relae in Copenhagen. A rde with some great tastes and flavours ut also some really difficult ons. We enjoyed the ride though! An interesting Restaurant Experience indeed!
Tasteful tomatoes from Restaurant Relae's own farms! Simple yet fantastic. Taste before anything else and even something as simple s a tomato can be amazing!

Natural Wine Package vs Juice Package

The natural wines was very uneven. In some dishes Relæ's Sommelier puts the heads on the nail but often it is - like mentioned - their favorite among the ground tastes that sets it to be unbalanced; acidity.


To match a highly acidic dish with a beverage, acid is also needed in the drink - and that is found natural in Nature Wine.


The important thing here though, is that these two acids are completely in a horizontal balance to achieve harmony. Otherwise either the dish or the drink itself will be experienced too acidic taking over the food and beverage pairing.


Let's say there was some imbalance here.


Instead, a happier surprise is the juice package. Because the Juices blend perfectly with all dishes! Well-balanced, interesting,  packed with flavour finding it's counterparts or companions in the food. A job well done!  And our waiter shines up when we tell him what we think about the drink package, because he was the one who made the juices this evening!

Onion Soup with Gooseberry was one of the intriguig dishes from Relae's Tasting Menu. Copenhagen Foodie Spot for ecologic, pure tastes from their own farm in season. Clean eating and clean tastes - often with high acidity, someting Relae really loves.

Onion Soup with a sourness from gooseberry that was surprisingly refreshing in the bouillion. The deep, deep taste of roasted onion and a more raw onion taste was fantastic. Simple can sometimes be the hard part.

A lot of care and technique obviously combined with a great palette to achieve such a balanced dish but we appreciate the simplicity in the presentation!

Great dish from the Relæ kitchen!

Sea Trout coated with a herb and smoked cream layer at Relae in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Sea Trout with an arty herb and smoked cream layer (served as the fourth dish) didn't add enough taste to the fish, in fact we couldn't taste as much smokiness as we would like here. Salt again had been a helpful hand here we believe.

Lamb Tartare with Salicorn was one of the dishes we enjoyed at Relae in Denmark. Copenhagen is a marvellous Foodie Destination!

Better is the two servings of lamb servings that get top ratings from both of us. First out is a Lamb Tartare plainly presented with just a tasty emulsion in the bottom and Salicorn on top. The ecological lamb was amazing. 

The secon serving of Lamb was fantastic! Cabbage with griled and smokey flavoursand aromas was our favourite dishof the evening at Relae, Copenhagen, Danmark!

Perfectly cooked with a crispy crust the lamb comes with a side partner that was mindblowing in it's earthyness; smokey, aromas of burnet and grilled cabbage and greens was an instant favourite.

Both servings appeal to us and especially in the second serving the wine and juice matching are like a hand in a glove! 

Last four dishes on the Tasting Menu with wine and juice pairings:

"Havervadgård" Lamb and summer greens

Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese 2015 - Auriel, Monferrato

Red currant/ Mary Gold

Herbs and fresh cheese

Rougede Causse 2014 - Lavayasse, St-Jean au Minervois

Blueberry/ woodruff juice

Buttermilk and chevril

Orionides 2011 - La Coulée d'Ambrosia, Anjou

Jasmine tea/ quince juice

Black currants and sage

No Pairing

Herb juices and diary from own farms at Relae in Copenhagen.
A difficult dssert - yet so cool they dare to leave out sugr in a dessert and making it interesting! Everyone idn't enjoy it though and we think this is what Relae is: not for any palette!

And when we come to dessert, we understand exactly what the Italian guests on the table next door talked about; because the desserts are anything but sweet! The restrained caramel-sage-tasting bisquit in the last dish of the evening nearly just compensate the almost brash acidity and bitterness of the black currants and, as an Italian, a sweet finish is as natural as like the Pope lives in the Vatican!


We sit for a while and analyze. Despite some of the difficulties in taking in some of the more "raw" flavours during the evening, we were more than pleased.

Relae delivires an exiting menu with sometimes an unfamiliar range of tastes that still intrigues a Foodie's Mind!


Unfortunatel, the Swedish krona against the Danish krone is really weak so it became an expensive visit and a reminder that Denmark is suddenly a little further away than it really is when looking on a map.


We have been frequent visitors to Copenhagen; It is a great, fun and utterly friendly, welcoming city with lots of good food, drinks and attractions, but in the future, sadly enough, the visits will be fewer because of the currency.

Relæ was kind of a bumpy ride. But we enjoyed it! So it's will be a 4/5 Sticks & Spoons Recommendation.

Visit Relæ's Site to do a reservation. Find Relæ in Copenhagen, Denmark:

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