Former Noma sous‑chef Christian Puglisi opened Relae in 2010, in a once notoriously seedy area that these days an estate agent would describe as "up and coming". The restaurant is on street level, with counter seats around the open kitchen as well as a series of tables. It has a casual feel, with no tablecloths and basic cutlery. The menu was DKR 385 (£44) a head for four courses, or DKR 675 for seven courses (this menu only available after 20:00).
There was a very French wine list, and wine pairing for the menu was available. I drank Marcel Deiss 2005 Engelgarten, priced at DKR 650 (£74) for a wine that retails at £38. Bread was a small sourdough loaf that was made in the bakery owned by Relae, and located just opposite the restaurant. The bread was very good indeed, with excellent crust and soft texture with a hint of acidity, served warm (17/20).
Radishes and egg featured new season radishes and egg white foam with salad. The radishes had plenty of flavour and the egg white foam worked well with the earthy flavours (15/20). Potato purée with buttermilk and dried olives was a comforting dish, the dried olives offering just a hint of firmness to what was otherwise a dish composed entirely of soft textures. The potato was served warm and had a pleasing flavour, the olives adding an extra taste element, though I do wonder whether something with acidity would have improved the balance of the dish (15/20).
Pork from Hindsholm was covered in a layer of Jerusalem artichoke slivers. The pork had plenty of flavour, the artichokes a suitable foil to the meat (15/20). Blue cheese from Jutland was frozen, then blitzed and served at room temperature with a few herbs. This sounds odd but the treatment worked quite well, the cheese having an unusual crumb-like texture but retaining its distinct taste (15/20).
Ice cream of milk, kelp and caramel is not the dessert of my dreams, but tasted better than it sounded. The texture was smooth and the caramel flavour came through stronger than the kelp, for which I was grateful (14/20). Coffee was Ethiopian, prepared using a drip-feed method called Kalita. The result was a mild, enjoyable coffee. Service was casual but friendly, dishes brought out by the chefs. The bill came to DKR 1,246 (£141) for one, admittedly with a nice bottle of wine to myself. If you shared a modest bottle then the bill would be lower, perhaps £80 a head. Overall, although this kind of cooking is never going to be my favourite, I enjoyed Relae more than I was expecting. There is obviously a lot of thought behind the dishes, and the staff came across as genuinely enthusiastic.