Kadeau Bornholm – a Foodie Must-Visit
Denmark and the capital of Copenhagen has long been on many foodies’ and luxury travelers’ bucket list because of the amazing cuisine that has emerged from this little Scandinavian country. This food-revolution spearheaded, of course, by Restaurant Noma, that has been named the world’s best restaurant on multiple occasions.
Copenhagen has gotten most if not all the attention, but now with the Michelin Guide visiting outside of Copenhagen other locations have gotten some shine on them, and rightfully so. One of these places is the island of Bornholm.
This beautiful small island in the middle of the Baltic Sea has long been the Danes’ favorite local summer vacation spot, known for its fish, unique landscape and sunny weather.
The “Sunshine Island” as it’s often referred to by Danes, in recent time has transformed into something else, and much more delicious then the local holiday destination with smoked herring that it is so famously known for in Denmark.
Bornholm has become a new food mecca in Denmark, hence giving Copenhagen a good run for their money.
It all started with Kadeau Bornholm
In a bit of the same way as Noma started the New Nordic movement and brought the attention to Copenhagen, the transition to Bornholm moving from a regular tourist island to becoming a foodie hot spot was mainly driven by one restaurant.
In 2007 Head Chef Nicolai Nørregaard and Sommelier Rasmus Kofoed opened Kadeau Bornholm. The restaurant started with an idea not just to follow the New Nordic dogma of getting produce from the Nordic region, but to go even more local and use all produce from the island. In this way Nicolai and Rasmus created a unique terroir-kitchen from the island they both come from and love.
It was a bold move, many felt, and again like Noma the established restaurant industry was skeptic about the concept. Who would build a fine dining restaurant in the middle of nowhere, on an island mainly known for smoked herring?
Now 10 years in the restaurant has spawned another Kadeau in Copenhagen as well as other more sister restaurants.
In 2016 Kadeau Bornholm got their official seal of approval as the Michelin for the first time looked ranked restaurants outside of Copenhagen and awarded the restaurant a star. The same year the restaurant also made the Opinionated About Dining top European Restaurants list as number 23 cementing their international exposure. They now in 2017 climbed to the number 7 spot on the same list!
So what is so unique that people travel to an island in the middle of the Baltic ocean and drive to one of the most secluded parts of the island?
Well the kitchen of Nicolai Nørregaard is an absolutely magnificent presentation of new and exciting flavors and textures. It is often simple in its looks, deceivingly rich in flavor and it packs a big wow-effect, which I am, a very big fan of!
Nicolai Nørregaard is unique in the sense that he is a self taught chef. He terefore in his own words, is not as connected to the dogmas of the kitchen, where things have to be done in a certain way. This makes for a very playful kitchen and unique dishes.
Because of Kadeau Bornholm’s use of local ingredients, that is not readily available year around, fermentation and pickling are highly used techniques in the restaurant, adding many new exciting flavors and textures.
Dinner with a view
Eating food at Kadeau is an experience that caters to all your senses. Arriving at the end of the road that takes you to the restaurant, you sense the beauty of the area as soon as you enter the parking lot.
Stepping out you feel and smell the ocean. Walking to the restaurant you see the truly unique feature of Kadeau Bornholm, that none of it’s Copenhagen Michelin colleagues can offer –that being the most splendid Danish beach scenery unfolding below the restaurant. This is really a restaurant where you would want to go for a window seat.
Luckily our party got a great window seat overlooking the ocean and the herb garden behind the restaurant.
We go for the largest of menus aptly called Bornholmerbank (a Bornholm beating) as it gives your taste buds a solid and pleasurable thrashing.
The Bornholmerbank menu is various snacks and 8 courses – the accompanying wine parings came with Champagne starter, which is always a good way to begin a meal.
Don’t let your eyes fool you with this one. First dish was baked carrot, dried scallop roe and hemp. Deep rich flavor from the dehydrated carrots and the dried roe. Lovely, chewy in its texture.
Grilled baby corn, kale fizz and blue cheese. Absolutely beautiful presentation. Looks like it’s served on a Danish forrest floor. Crunchy and fresh. Not one of my favorite dishes on the menu though, but a very nice light start.
Easily one of the most beautiful dishes of the menu. Goose berries, celery and verbena. Fresh, crunchy and with sweet and acidic notes from the goose berries. To me this is a very good presentation of how New Nordic cuisine often is. Fresh, light, simple but beautiful presentation. Often very feminine in its expression.
Simple dish but full in flavour. Danish Mackerel, unripe figs and fig leaves. Due to the high amount of sunny days, figs actually grow on Bornholm as the only location in Denmark.
Another stunning dish and unmistakably New Nordic in its flavour and composition. Fresh peas, woodruff from the forrest of Bornholm, black current leaves and jackknife clam. The earthy freshness from the peas combined with the assidity from the woodrufft and a hint of tannins from the black current laves goes extremely well with the fresh, salty and soft texture of the clam. A lovely dish.
This was one of my favorite dishes. There’s something amazing almost magical about biting into something seemingly simple and then being ambushed by a burst of flavors.
This grilled pointed cabbage came with it’s layers stuffed with oysters and parsley. The salty, mineral richness of the oysters gave an amazing richness to the cabbage and the cream fraiche. This brought a big smile of pleasent surprise to my face.
This was in all honestly one of the dishes that packed the most flavour. Beautifully smoked salmon with rose hyp, which grows just outside the restaurant and tomato. The latter to the best of my knowledge in a slight dehydrated version, which would explain the extreme umami flavor in this lovely dish.
Sweet baked celeriac smoked in hay in a rich sauce of cheese and buttermilk whey. Only acidity in the dish comes from the bitterness of the ants. It’s a brilliant dish that was very tasty, surprising and shows that insects can be a very tasty ingredient when used correctly.
One of the elements that helped make Noma talk of the town, undoubtably, was that they made dishes with ants on it. with this dish Kadeau Bornholm show that they also don’t shy away from using ants as a key element in their dishes.
I have tried one of Noma’s dishes with ants in it. That dish was absolutely amazing, as was this at Kadeau. What I especially like is that they used different kinds of ants. Noma’s having a distinct orange zests flavour to its, where as Kadeau’s were bitter but with no citrus notes. Just shows the variation of possibilities there are found within the insect world.
This was probably the favorite dish of everyone at the table, granted it was a party of five men and this was the only real meaty dish. Still this was a dish so full of flavour that it’s hard for most people not to be blown away by the beauty and taste of it.
Pork glazed in a marinade (of the juice of red berries and fermented garlic as I understood the waiter) topped with various pickled items and white currents. The pork was so juicy and tasty in itself and the marinade just took it up to a whole new level. I had a big smile on my face all the way through this dish!
As the sun was setting, I sneaked a peak over the ocean from the window.
Before dessert we had a moment to stretch our legs and digest. I stepped out to admire the view.
Others went on an inspirational tour through the herb garden.
First dessert on the menu was fresh and green. Caramelized buttermilk tart, pine shoots and citrussy herbs. The freshness and zingy flavors from the pine worked well with the citrus notes to balance out the sweetness from the caramelized buttermilk.
An absolute delight of a dessert. Simple yet surprising and powerful. Imagine the deepest flavour of ripe raspberry, with a fizzy almost champagne bubbly fel to it, then you have the feeling of this dessert.
Fermented raspberries and sour creme. A lovely surprise.
As the night was coming to an end; coffee, contemplating and taking in the experience we had just had, was on the menu.
Dining at Kadeau Bornholm – Final Thoughts:
Despite Kadeau Bornholm being one of the least easily accessable Michelin restaurants in Denmark, it offers a unique set of flavors, mixed in with unmistakably Nordic ones. The restaurant has a breathtaking view and offers an experience that one will remember for a long time.
I enjoyed all the dishes at Kadeau Bornholm, some were good, many exciting and surprising. A few of them absolutely spectacular. In terms of how much this made me smile from pure enjoyment, this has been one of my best restaurant visists in a long time.
If you want to visit Kadeau Bornholm, you should book a stay on the island. The ferry to the mainland does not sail that many times during the day.
The restaurant is located on the South of the island in an area where there is not much besides private summer houses. You should book either Hotel Nordlandet or Stammershalle Beach Hotel which are both located on the opposite side of the island, but both offer a luxury stay in beautiful surroundings by the ocean. Both venues also have a kitchen, that in their own right is worth a visit.