Rene Redzepi may be decamping from Copenhagen to Sydney next month to avoid his least favourite months in his hometown, but he's backing a pop-up in Noma's space that will give the rest of us a good reason to head to the Danish capital this winter.
From January 20, former Noma chef and Relæ sous-chef Kristian Baumann and a team comprising other Noma alumni will test-drive their new restaurant, 108, for 13 weeks while Redzepi is in Sydney running Noma Australia.
Baumann has spent six months crafting a menu heavy on foraged plants, flowers and berries, which borrows from the same techniques as the mothership, but is priced with repeat visits in mind rather than just splurging jetsetters.
His first menu ranges from a riff on a classic Danish fishcake made with pollock and served with parsley and mussel sauce, toasted seaweed and salted plums to sautéed pigtails served with grilled cabbage and spicy herbs.
After the pop-up ends in mid-April, 108 will open in late spring in a newly created restaurant on the ground floor of a building behind Noma, which the group bought last year. Its name comes from its permanent address at 108 Strandgade. For Redzepi, who has long harboured a dream to open a more casual and accessible restaurant that still has Noma's creative edge, the new restaurant represents a change of role from boss to partner. "I don't want more work so we've been very careful in assembling a team that's so strong," he says.
Restaurant manager Jacob Møller has worked at Noma for nine years while general manager Thomas Østergaard Bagge is a former booking manager.
"It's a new realm for us," says Redzepi. "I am excited for this as a Copenhagener. It's supposed to be a middle-class place where you can come and eat at least twice a month." He's had his eye on the site for years and would eventually like to open a B&B on the upper floors of the four-storey building.
Noma itself is moving to a new site at the end of 2016, where Redzepi plans to reinvent the restaurant from the ground up.
108 at Noma, Strandgade 93, Copenhagen, +45 3296 3292