Three Stars go to…. MAAEMO!

Very seldom I have been more enthusiastic about a meal, my one and (sadly) only time (so far) at Maaemo in Oktober 2014 was stellar in every respect – fantastic company, chef’s table and an outstanding meal accompanied by great (honestly insane) wines…

So, today, Maaemo received its third star – well deserved and rightly so. So, time to sit back and let my impressions from this meal speak… ENJOY – can’t wait to be back!

It’s authentic, honest, driven by curiosity, telling a story, emotional, and all tastes simply OMG!

MAAEMO welcomes you!
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Snacks to start with

Nyr from Grandalen farm with vendace roe
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Savories and sweeties:

Emulsion of raw Norwegian oysters from Bomlo with a mussel an dill sauce
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Schweigaardsgt. 15b
0191 Oslo Norway
Phone:  +47 221 79 969
Opening Times:

Lunch from


Dinner from


OAD Dinner (Top100 European Restaurants)

Some stories are there to be told…

… the PAST: one about my personal history with OAD (Opinionated about Dining)…

… the PRESENT: one about the friendship and professionalism of seven chefs serving the OAD Top100 European Restaurants 2014 diner in Brussels last Monday…

… the FUTURE: and, finally, one about the future of fine dining that already shined through at the OAD diner…


When I started to get interested in fine dining in a serious way I came across some forums that discussed the latest trends, shared experiences and gave advice from an international perspective. Among them was Steve Plotnicki’s Opinionated about Dining where I found similar minds to share my passion. It was here that, in 2005, I posted about German fine dining and asked why no-ones writes about the German scene. Steve answered that there is nobody to promote those restaurants and the consensus was that German fine dining was a mere copy of French haute cuisine. So, as a matter of fact my whole blogging mission was born out of this OAD threat as I want to showcase and portrait the German fine dining scene, first on the site highendFOOD (that miraculously now belongs to the you-know-who of the German culinary world) and now under this new endeavor

OAD Top100 European Restaurants.

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The CPH Crawl (V): MR

After noma we took a large taxi back into mid-town Copenhagen to experience MR – Mads Refslund’s fine restaurant.

MR (thanks to FoodSnob)

I had eaten there before is temporary closure in April 2009 and must admit that I enjoyed it very much, especially his burnt field dish where Mads shows that odour is an important part of the overall ‘tasting’ experience of a dish. In essence, Mads’ cuisine is very similar to noma as he was part of the first hour noma team after René and Claus started the project. After six months the friends did realize that they couldn’t work very well together and departed in friendship. In 2005, an investor offered Mads the chance to open his own venture MR. After this investor went bankrupt in the beginning of 2009, he had to close MR in April and reopened it as a seafood restaurant end of June 2009.

Oysters and sake (thanks Trine)

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The CPH Crawl (IV): noma

As we thought to be back in our comfort zone after a bit of rock’n roll at The Paul, René surprised us completely. As we had all eaten there in the three days before (in shifts as we couldn’t organize another joint diner) there was not really much of the current menu or any classic dishes that he could serve us. So he went in a different direction…

Sitting in the bar/lounge area as the restaurant was fully booked he first had a snack of sea buckthorn which René frequently uses in his dishes. This one was jelly like yet fresh and a good start.

Sea Buckthorn

Wine was served blind – although I had the 2008 Arwen when I dined at nome the day before I guessed wrong. This is a wine named after René’s daughter grown on the Danish island Lilleø and elaborated in Germany – a fine blend of Solaris, Riesling, Silvaner and Sauvignon Blanc which was crisp, fruity and very vivid on the palate…

The we got cod milt, cucumber, dill jus and herbs. Milt (containing the fish sperm) or shirako is quite a delicacy in Japan which René visited recently. It is quite a challenge not to be put off by the sheer announcement of the dish but I bravely tried it (Steve didn’t: “I don’t eat sperm”). The milt was slowly poached, creamy and a bit like custard – its main contribution to the dish was clearly texture whereas it did add a slight veal-ish taste much less fishy than expected. All together the dish worked surprisingly well and I must admit I kinda liked it. And, the harmony of flavours and the freshness/rawness is really typical of René’s cooking…

Will I order it if on the menu? Maybe not in the first place…

Cod's Milt

The second dish was cod liver which turned out to be quite fishy. The jogurt-like cream and the berries balanced the dish a bit but this was somehow harder to eat than the cod milt.

Cod Liver (I)

Cod Liver (II)

So, how was this stop? Refreshing in terms of dramaturgy because both dishes where light and herbal. Typical because both dishes were really noma-esk. Brilliant as it showed that the mind plays an important role when it comes to actually taste a dish. Your expectations send some warning signs and it is hard to overcome your revulsion to try the milt – in the end it turns out to less problematic than the liver where your mind gives an ok straight ahead (well, if you like liver…). Interesting because even crazy foodies have limits when it comes to certain products. Memorable as I will still tell my grandchildren (when they are older;-) about this very night…

Thanks René and the whole team for this special dinner!

The CPH Crawl (III): The Paul

As the timing at Herman was perfect we could catch up on time… The sommelier of Herman escorted us through Tivoli to The Paul.

The Paul

As Tivoli is closed in Winter so is The Paul. But chef Paul Cunningham wanted to be part of our tour so he opened the restaurant especially for us – quite nice. Normally he is doing lots of catering and in-house private dining events in Winter and seems to get new inspirations for the upcoming summer season.

Chef Paul Cunningham

Chef Paul Cunningham

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The CPH Crawl (II): Herman

After a short cab ride through snowy Copenhagen (and finishing off our brilliant doggy bags) we arrived at the hotel Nimb at the Tivoli where the one star Restaurant Herman is located. The Nimb is clearly one of the best hotels in town and had been reopened as the New Nimb in May 2008 along with its gourmet restaurant Herman. Soon in 2009 Herman did receive its first Michelin star.

Thomas Herman

Chef Thomas Herman was born in Jutland and worked at Kong Hans, Arzak and La Broche in Madrid. He stresses that the recollection of memories is an important aspect of tasting of a particular dish – he plays with the emotions of the diner by re-interpretations of traditional Danish and Nordic dishes. This is appealing to me – memories of previous encounters with a certain dish or flavour combinations evoke emotions and add another dimension to the dining experience. So, I was ready to experience Thomas’ cuisine…

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The CPH Crawl (I): Kiin Kiin

It’s been some time – but my memories are still so vivid. It was great fun – and not only that – it was also unusual, surprising and entertaining. Unusual because six diners visited six restaurants in the course of one night in one city (well, not really as Holte is not part of CPH). Surprising because some dishes were clearly pushing the border. Entertaining because I had great company and discussed many insights on the culinary scene with them (you know what I mean)…

First stop: Kiin Kiin

A Thai restaurant to start a crawl about Danish/Nordic food… Most surprising but in the course of our first hour there it became very clear why it had to part of the evening.Kiin Kiin is located in Nørrebro which was rather known for occupied houses and street riots. When Henrik Yde-Andersen who had worked as a chef in Thailand for some years was looking for a place for a restaurant together with his business partner Lertchai Treetawatchaiwong this young and upcoming district seemed natural. They opened Kiin Kiin which means ‘eat-eat’ or ‘come and eat’ in Thai in September 2006. Soon in 2007 they were awarded a Michelin star – another surprising point as there are not that many Thai restaurants in the Guide Rouge to my knowledge (well, there is only Nahm in London)…

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The Copenhagen Crawl is Coming Up

When I started reading the international food forums and blogs I almost immediately stumbled on Steve Plotnickis’ Opinionated About – the first post I read was about Steve’s brilliant dinner at Oud Sluis which forced me to go there this very year. A couple of posts later I read that chef Sergio Herman of this very restaurant had called Steve and asked for advice where to eat in New York. Finally, this ended up in Steve arranging the first restaurant crawl with him and Sergio eating at various important NYC restaurants on one night.

A bit later Steve met Jay Rayner who was about to write his book “The man who ate the world” and they discussed whether Jay could follow Steve while he was dining in New York. Inspired by the crawl with Sergio Steve finally proposed a NYC restaurant crawl in search for the perfect meal. The idea is simple: just assemble some of the best restaurants in town, think about their strength & weaknesses and then visit them one after the other which each serving some of the signature dishes. Setting is up, however, turns to be less that easy as Steve reported.

Since these 2007 events attention of the global food scene has moved north to Copenhagen where noma is maybe the brightest star and has a couple of very interesting brothers and sisters which are important in their own right (too bad that Geranium has closed their doors). So, quite naturally, Copenhagen would be ideal for a crawl and Laurent (from Gastros-on-Tour) and Trine (from Very Good Food) arranged the Copenhagen crawl: one city – one dinner – six guests – six restaurants…

The restaurant line-up for Feb 4:

– 17:45 : Kiin Kiin * –
– 18:30 : Herman * –
– 19:30 : The Paul * –
– 20:30 : Noma ** –
– 21:30 : MR * –
– 22:45 : Sollerod Kro * –

The foodie line-up:

– Very Good Food (Danish food blogger)
– High-End-Food (me;-))
– Food Intelligence (French food blogger)
– Opinionated About Dining (US food blogger and restaurant guide owner)
– Gastros on Tour (French food blogger)
– (Belgian restaurant webguide)

It will be very interesting to see how these restaurants show us their aspects of Nordic cuisine, how the different styles and dishes interact and complement each other and how the overal nordic ‘movement’ presents itself…

Stay tuned – besides on Facebook coverage will be provided on each blog…

Wonderful noma

Some reviews are harder, some are easier – after all the brilliant reports on noma by Trine, Laurent and many others what is left to be said? Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for one of the most remarkable and interesting culinary adventures available today… And don’t forget to clear your mind – it will be a quite different one not to be measured by usual standards…

noma stands for nordisk mad which basically means Nordic cuisine – that’s what noma is all about? The name already tells the story? As you will see it is more than that – more of a movement, a philosophy… All in all very thought-through but nevertheless very natural and not arranged…


noma (thanks to Trine)

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