It is hard to escape from the influence of Noma in the restaurant industry in Copenhagen, while Chef Matthew Orlando of restaurant Amass tries to avoid any labels although he has a strong background of been working at The Fat Duck, Per Se and other Michelin restaurants such as Aureole and Le Bernardin in New York City. His cuilnary skills were again lifted by years of working experiences as chef de cuisine at Noma. In 2013, Matt left Noma and opened his own restaurant, Amass, a modern Nordic restaurant that one can seek another gourmet experience to discovery the nature.
Amass located in the former Burmeister & Wain shipyard building in an industrial neighbourhood at Refshaleøen where is isolated from the city center. Much like the surroundings, the interior of the restaurant is industrial but stylish and mostly naked. Sitting at the spacious restaurant facing the private garden and the Copenhagen harbour, it feels like stayed out of the lousy world.
With the gold organic certification, Amass insures that over 90% the food and drinks are organic and free of pesticides to reduce the carbon footprint. There’s also a 500sqm+ garden outside the restaurants which supplies part of the restaurant’s daily needs. Nearly 95% of the ingredients are from local and at the same time, minimizing ingredient waste and saving water. Sourcing from the nature, and returns back to the mother nature. I have heard many great things about the Amass, but that’s possibly the main reason that moved me, and made me so keen to try their ‘sustainable food’ that can protect the food we love for the future.
For most of the mornings in Copenhagen, i tried to discover more about this city on foot. And you know how hard is it to get a cab if you have ever been to Copenhagen, and the public transport system is like non-exist for people who grow up in large cities in Asia. I couln’t find a taxi and waited for a long while for my Uber, and i was officially 45 minutes late to get to this isolated area – saying so just to remind you to prepare early if you are not going to the restaurant directly from hotels.
But the extremely friendly people here totally let go the ‘tough’ journey just now. It was around 1pm and the restaurant haven’t been fully seated yet. We got a table by the window with a lovely view of the garden and harbour.
Menu were just simple and clear like the philosophy of the restaurant. A longer course menu include 4 dishes and 2 desserts (650 DKK) with a choice of wine pairing (425 DKK/4 glasses) , or a shorter 4-course lunch menu w/ wine pairing (395 DKK/210DKK for two glass) which removes two (beautiful) dishes from the longer menu.
We had the 6-course menu with a pairing of 4 glasses of wine.
Our first dish was Brussels sprout leaf stuffed smoked cod head with borlotti Bean, charred Chilies and nasturtium. Pretty fresh fish pairing with some hot flavors to whet the appetite.
After having lots of amazing sourdoughs in Copenhagen, i finally something new to love – Amass’s potato bread! Made of potato bread dough that had been fermented for a year (sounds interesting right), freshly char-grilled and pipping hot when it arrived the table, even the smell was incredible.
My partner and i coincided that ‘we don’t need any spreads’ and start nibbling the bread. Crunchy crust and a moist center, you can even see the chopped potato inside which brings a smooth and a slight chewy texture. A mouthful of potato flavors.
We almost neglect the ‘butter’ on the side although this is possibly the most beautiful butter we’ve had so far. Surprisingly delicious and healthy ‘green butter’ that goes well with the out-of-world bread.
Next was a beautiful nut cheese dish of tea pickled savoy cabbage sandwiched nut ‘ricotta’, topped with a layer of black garlic sauce and walnuts alongside herbs and flowers from the garden.
The menu also includes a vegetable dish, sourced from home-grow vegetables from the garden. Underneath the horseradish foam was finely chopped wax beans and wild mushrooms, very clean and the flavor was not that sharp (acid) as vegetable dishes we had at other restaurants.
Fish course was, the was packed of fresh and clean umami flavors, with a melt-in-mouth tenderness to contrast the crunchy vegetables. Loved the fruity tomatoes from the private garden!
So before the main courses to arrive, we asked for a second potato bread. It is just SO GOOD.
Main course was lamb belly with unripe apple wrapped in swiss chard, the distinct texture of succulent lamb and crunchy apple was quite harmonized. The almond milk base added a creamy texture and some mild acidity to balance the lamb. Very elegant combination that was lip smacking.
The first dessert was simple but the tastes wonderfully brings a breeze from the farm. Refreshness of preserved wild berries to balance the creamy corn ice cream, the licorice on the top
The last dessert was sage cake, a fixed routine at Amass, served all along post-meal sweets and coffee. I liked the moist and mildly sweet sage cake which tastes more like a much lighter pond cake, the plum brings a lovely sourness to the cake. Satisfying sweet ending.
A very light lunch but enjoyable one, we loved the casual atmosphere which made us totally relax to enjoy the food. We found a lot of Nordic food are too sour for our liking, while the dishes matches our tastes very well. I may not say the food was surprisingly good to be remembered, but you will get what you paid for – best ingredients, tasty that made with love. Absolutely worth a visit especially for bread cravers.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 6 pm-midnight; Friday and Saturday, 12pm-3:30pm