Kadeau wasn’t in our original planning. We actually had a reservation to AOC, which also holds two Michelin stars. I got such a warm recommendation from one of my fellow foodie instagram friends that I decided to cancel and book at Kadeau (why not both? I can only fit one two Michelin starred restaurant in a trip full of other Michelin starred restaurants without my husband wanting to kill me).
Kadeau was originally opened by chef Nicolai Nørregaard, on the tiny Baltic island of Bornholm in 2007. In 2011 he decided to relocate the restaurant to Copenhagen and offer its citizens and visitors a taste of the island. The restaurant prepares food based on the local nature of Bornholm.
The menu in Kadeau is ever changing according to what the current season has to offer and also includes many ingredients from previous seasons in “preserved” forms, such as pickled and fermented.
The restaurant’s entrance is somewhat obscure. We used the door buzzer to let the crew know we’re there and received a very warm welcome from the entire kitchen staff. And by a ‘warm welcome’ I mean all of them stopped what they were doing in the kitchen, stood in line and greeted us as we entered the restaurant. A very neat gesture. The space itself is very intimate and fits only 24 people so reserving ahead is a must. It’s minimalistic and comprised of wood furniture and muted tones, giving it a rustic shabby chic. The kitchen is completely open, providing you a chance to be a part of the experience. Opher was invited (or rather, invited himself) to be a fly on the wall and capture the chefs from up close as they work.
The pleasure of eating at Kadeau is not cheap. A set menu for diner\lunch here costs 1800 kr. / $255 / 980₪. If you choose to add wine or juice pairing be prepared to say goodbye to another 1300 kr. / 800 kr.
Since we came a bit early, we were seated at the lounge where we got a refreshment of Fermented Strawberry, Lime, Chamomile and Mint Infusion. The soup was cold and sweet and a fun way to start our long evening.
Followed this were another 17 or so dishes. I’m going to break habit and let the pictures do most of the talking here, since I’m afraid this post will turn into a book if I’ll start babbling about each and every one of those. Unfortunately, the lightning in the restaurant consists of bright overhead spots that don’t flatter the dishes and work to counteract the obvious effort put into plating aesthetics by the chefs.
First dish – Razor Clam Sauce, Green Peas, Leek, Celery.
Second dish – Fermented Wheat Cracker, Mahogany clam and Wild Carrot. Exquisite!
Third dish – Oyster, Green Strawberries and Kale. Sour and bitter, very interesting; very tasty.
Fourth dish – Pita Bread, Butter with Herbs and Burnt Cherry Wood Embers. Along with this dish we received hot towels “because it’s gonna get messy”. The prominent flavors are salty and smoky.
Fifth dish – Smoked Salmon with Gooseberry and Plum Juice. A big juicy salmon cut from Faroe Islands was placed on our table and as the chef started slicing pieces of it he told us that it was smoked for six hours in their kitchen. They only serve the inner parts of the salmon because the outer parts are too hard.
Sixth dish – Langoustine, Dried Tomatoes, Tomatoes Juice, Fermented Tomatoes and Hazelnut. A very tomato-y dish and one of our favorites.
Seventh dish – Smoked Mackerel, Potatoes, Withered Sorrel and Butter. We were told the mackerel was smoked that day in the kitchen on the open fire and were invited into the kitchen to take a closer look. Of course we seized the opportunity to share it with you. This dish was amazing – it had every type of flavour imaginable all at being a bit sweet, slightly bitter and sometimes even sour. Every small bite exploded in your mouth.
Eighth dish – Mussels Tart with Pickled Pine and Wild Mushrooms. The tart crust was prepared with squid ink and blue clam shell.
Ninth dish – King Crab with Raw and Cooked Cauliflower, Shaved Walnuts, Red Berries Sauce and Lavender and Crab Bisque. The crab was cooked quickly in a pan until rendered soft to perfection.
Tenth dish – Wood Ants, Celeriac, Caviar, and Woodruff. The star of the dish – the most local ingredient of Bonham – ants. These tiny creatures just pop in your mouth with acidic juices. How do they get the ants, you might wonder? We did too. Apparently they catch them with a stick and then freeze them to death 😐
Eleventh dish – Pickled and Grilled Vegetables, Cured Egg Yolk and Green Plums. This is a beautiful dish but was less to our liking.
Twelve dish – Pork Loin, Onion with Fermented Honey and Fireweed Flowers. The steak was aged for four weeks. Opher really liked this dish but for me the cut was a bit too hard.
Thirteen dish – Porcini, Goat Cream and Shaved Lamb Heart. Opher really liked it but I felt it tasted like rubber.
Fourteen dish – Tart with Hay Cream, Rhubarb and Rose. Creamy filling with a crunchy shell – excellent.
Fifteen dish – Fermented Raspberries, White Currant and Walnut Schnapps. This had a sour and very fermented taste.
Sixteen – Petits fours: Tartlets with Caramelised Apple; Mulberry and Honey; Ember Baked Beet with Pear and Pumpkin. The tart was delight – bitter crust and sour topping. The raspberry was sour and pleasant. The third one was a bit weird, bitter and chewy.
The service was great at start, but slowly deteriorated as the dinner progressed. At the start of the meal the waiters were very quick and attentive. Sometimes even the chefs came to serve and explain the dishes, which was definitely a challenge for those without native English (but A+ for effort!). Towards the end of the dinner the service began to unravel and slow down. The petit four, as well as the check took quite some time to get to us.
Kadeau offers food with bold, uncompromising flavors that don’t apologize or try to hide. On the contrary, they place Nordic cuisine in general and Bornholm’s in particular front and center on the plate. The palette here is unusual, perhaps even experimental for someone accustomed to more westernized, european kitchens and perhaps that’s part of the charm. We’ve never been to Bornholm, and we might never will – but eating here brought us just a little closer there.