There comes a time in life when you have to count your blessings for not being allergic to shellfish. Otherwise, you quickly find out if you are allergic to cow’s thyroid or a goat’s heart. Or baby formula!
Aska, is one of those places that you book first and research later. The immediate “hotness” it got off the bat coincided with “where am I eating on my birthday” to the point where I quickly had to reserve a table for 2 before the critics pour in. But the more I looked into it, the more I questioned the decision, especially after seeing the announcement that Saturday’s only option is a 10 courser. Will Mrs Ziggy eat blood sausage, dehydrated scallops, baby formula, cow’s thyroid, anyone’s thyroid? After taking a quick glance at the menu Aska emailed to me, her response was “Its ok I guess”. Good enough for me!
This was a memorable meal to say the least. 20 diners at the back of an art studio, 20 servants (including cooks and the man himself Mr Berselius bringing you teh final touches with the explanations), what seemed like 10o people by the bar, Morrissey blasting in the background, and one extremely interesting 10 courser.
Ok, before I start any rumors, there was no baby formula on this night nor any night as far as I know. But it did cross my mind while we were eating our apple sauce and milk
Started off with some delicious bread, crispy hard bread with whipped NY butter.
Molasses shortbread, trout roe and cheese was interesting. Seemed more like an Amuse than one of the courses
Hay, milk, tomatoes, parsnip, and milk salad. Clearly the best Hay, tomatoes, parsnip and milk salad I ever had. Seriously this was good. I couldn’t help comparing to the amazing Jungsik salad from the night before but this was inventive and satisfying. Great tasting veggies
Parsnip with brown butter and more whipped butter thank you. Delicious! The closest I get to eating parsnip normally is the leftovers from the veggies my wife throws out right after finishing making her chicken and bean bullion. So best Parsnip I ever had goes without saying. Berselius really does a great job bringing all those veggies to life.
Pheasant with sunchoke, liver. Sort of a Pheasant extravaganza with both the dark and white meat (much preferred the dark), and the liver which integrated nicely with the broth of the cooked sunchoke. Sunchoke itself had a nice crispy texture
Blood pudding with seabuckthorn, lardo, dill and anchovies. Pretty to look at without much substance, like Paris Hilton. Didnt care much for this one
Oats, tiny bits of bone marrow, Shad roe, egg yolk (pictured on top). Just like mama makes! All worked together beautifully. one of my favorite dishes of the night.
Pork and beets. A very tasty piece of fatty pork belly and the beets were another example of the great taste Berselius brings out of veggies. Beets is something I never order and the only time I eat them is with an occasional red Borscht, but this was simply delicious.
Whelk – Snails of the sea. Dont believe I ever had them. Although it was very interesting and you could really sort of taste the sea here, it wasn’t one of our favorites. But loved the dehydrated scallop “chips” that cam along
Beef, Burnt potatoes. 60 days aged served rare and very tasty. Potatoes were smoky and fantastic. Add sweet onion – Great dish.
Egg yolk. Not a fave of this one. Looked more promising than its tasted. Sort of sticky, gummy and not much flavor
Apple sauce, oats, cream, baby formula. Awesome! Ok, so there was no baby formula here but as we were discussing with our neighbors it wouldn’t be a total shock to see and Berselius could probably pull it off
Dessert – Some sort of sick ice cream with hazelnuts and other goodies. A great finish.
So there you have it. Dinner was a 4 hour marathon with a lot of big breaks between the dishes. It was mostly a local crowd with the exception perhaps of one particular couple that looked like Michelin inspectors. It was fun seeing the boys (all but one) casually Williamsburg dressed do their thing. Would I come back? Probably not but still a very enjoyable, memorable meal and perhaps the closest I will ever get to Noma, considered by many the world’s top restaurant in Copenhagen.