• Vegetarian Degustation at Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Geranium was one of my favourite meals on our family holiday.  Considering eating at amazing restaurants was one of the main goals of the itinerary, this is no slight comment.  It was another fine dining experience, this one memorable for Nordic specialities.

Let me be frank.  The meal did not start off well.  We were served by the most abrupt and rude waitress, who seemed to be the manager (at least she was bossing the others around as if she were) that we all felt very uncomfortable and intimidated.  A relaxing meal with fine service?  At this point, no.  If it had continued in this manner, we all would have kindly requested to be served by someone else.  Thank goodness someone heard our comments of discomfort and, to compensate, by the time our entrees arrived, our waitress had been replaced by one with an Australian accent talking to us in slang with Aussie humour and even referring to her old suburb as a ‘shithole’ to make us feel more at home.  Yes, Australian culture and service is an interesting thing.  Finally we could relax.

Now to the food.  What delights were enjoyed!  Appetisers started well with carrot and sea-buck thorn.  This was a ball, crisp outside with toffee a berry puree and a round of fresh carrot in the middle.

At the same time we savoured seaweed chips, that were like veggie chips and very salty.
Next were brittle cheese sticks made from south cheese with cream and a mini salad.  They complemented well.

Mushroom soup was served in silver eggcups.  Everything was coming out so quickly, we had not even ordered yet!  The mushroom soup was frothy and warm with chewy, pickled mushrooms at the bottom.  The mushroom flavour was intense but the vinegar of the pickling balanced it out well.

The next appetiser was an interesting display of Jerusalem artichoke heart with a smooth and creamy mayonnaise which was not strong in flavour but was lovely and rich in texture. The curls maintained the artichoke flavour and were slightly salted like a chip.  They had also created little leaves to comply with the tree theme.

The wine we chose (without the assistance of the rude waitress) was a Domaine de L’Ocre Rouge, 2009, Pinot Noir.  It was dark for a pinot with slight tannins and the scent of wood and cherries.

Entrees began with a clear tomato soup.  I still remember the first time I saw clear tomato consumé at Vue de Monde back home.  It thought it was so amazing that they could turn such a red tomato into something so clear and flavoursome.  The one at Geranium was even clearer, like water but flavoured as tomato.  Green dots artistically spotted the plate, which were thyme oil.  Little spheres of fresh radish hid in between.   The radish was strong against the subtleties of the thyme oil and soup.

Baked beetroot and yoghurt is common place on vegetarian menus, but not like this…

The presentation was striking with the dark red against the white plate.  The yoghurt was light with the crunchy beetroot thinly sliced.  Inside was a strong jam.  The beetroots tasted more pickled than baked.

The next creation smelt delicious like spiced apple.  It was composed of rye seeds, celeriac, celery and apple.  Again, the presentation was art.  The rye had a slight crunch and tiny capers gave an extra hit.  It was a very tasty, salted soup with thyme, interesting flavours and textures.

Bread, they explained, was not served as part of the menu, but as a course in itself.  We received serviettes enclosing tiny loaves that were more like savoury cakes.  They had been made as a sourdough with buttermilk and spelt.  Oats were on top and they were served warm.  Butter had been mixed with crème fraiche so that it was light and fluffy.

Looking back, there were many soups.  This one was of slightly pickled onions and onion leaves in a soup of hay cheese.  Crumbed rye bread was on top.  It was peculiar.  I nearly always prefer onions cooked.  The modern take on French onion soup was strong with the flavours of onion and cheese.  The others really liked this dish.

By this stage, I think we must have been at main course, at least the next was heavier than its predecessors; a potato and leek compote with salad and vinaigrette.  It had a parmesan crust with soft creamy potato that was somehow in slices rather than a mash.  It was like a potato gratin and filling.

A palate cleanser led us from savouries into dessert.  It was an elderberry gel with elderflower mousse.  It was bubbly like a champagne sherbet with berries at the bottom like a cranberry sauce.

Dessert was rhubarb compote with spring flowers, crystallised thyme, biodynamic cows ‘cream.  Look how pretty this one was!

The thyme was like fairy floss.  The crème was not at all thickened.  The rhubarb was tart, the flowers soft.  It was like eating a flower salad.  Light and pretty.

We were starting to get upset that our meal was ending, it had been so good we wanted to continue tasting all day.  But when we thought the finale had been served, we were asked to move to their couches for more delights: carrot leaves and chocolates.

Of course, they were not carrot’s leaves, but tangy carrot made into a toffee and shaped into leaves.

The chocolates were served cold and were also tangy.  Inside was cream, chocolate truffle and citrus.  How delicious!

To end such an incredible dining experience we were given a tour of the kitchen.  Surprising us all, the chefs were calm, the kitchen was quiet.  They explained that it is always like this and that they always only take nine tables at lunch time.  For dinner they allow themselves to fill and more chefs can accordingly been seen through the glass between dining room and kitchen.

What an incredible meal.


Per Henrik Lings Allé 4, 8
2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
+45 69 96 00 20