Even though I don’t want to think about leaving Australia yet, my upcoming trip to Noma’s pop-up restaurant in Japan makes it a lot more bearable! Thinking about our visit to Noma Copenhagen last summer gets me extra excited for our lunch in Tokyo in three weeks.
The excitement I used to have as a kid before my birthday is equal to the excitement I have now going to visit Redzepi and his crew in Tokyo where they will seek to apply the Noma philosophy to Japanese ingredients.
But first, last summer.
The moment we stepped into the restaurant in Copenhagen, we were part of the Noma magic. Being welcomed by the entire floor staff as if we were old friends was pleasantly overwhelming. There are a lot of young, international, passionate and easy going people working there who made the atmosphere during our lunch fun and relaxed, yet they worked very effective. There was not a single flaw and still service was completely unpretentious, contrary to some fine dining places.
When you’re eating at the ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ your expectations are high and Noma surpassed everything and gave us more we could have expected. Rene Redzeppi has an approach to food that’s not merely delicious or seasonal but it’s the very essence of place.
It’s making the very best of what nature gives us. The team at Noma is constantly combining, mixing, and testing new ingredients and cooking methods. Old techniques like curing, smoking and fermenting often find their way back to the menu as well.
We were invited for a tour through the kitchen, fermentation cells, test kitchen, office and crew-area by pastry chef Rosio Sanchez. With her Mexican roots she and Rene Redzepi will soon be opening a taqueria in Copenhagen. Can’t wait for that!
In the kitchen above the restaurant there were another 30 chefs working. We watched 10 of them making the rhubarb roses we had for dessert and had a little talk with Rene himself who gave us some tips for places to go visit in Copenhagen.
It’s amazing how a restaurant like Noma which is fully booked months in advance still barely breaks even. The 45 seat restaurant employs 68 staff members which we found quite impressive. I could write pages about all the dishes we had but I won’t. I recommend everyone who sees art in this piece of craftsmanship to try and visit this restaurant, as long as it’s still here.
My top 4 of the dishes:
4: Beef tartare with pickled ants
3: Cured egg yolk, potato and elderflower
2: Pickled and smoked quail egg
1: Raspberries with double cream and rye. The staff noticed we liked it so much we got an extra can of the cream! Yum..
Total price for 2 persons including winejuice pairing: about € 750.
Complete menu 14th August 2014:
Fresh berries and lemon thyme
Peas and radishes
Beef tartare and ants
Pickled and smoked quails egg
Cucumber and scallop
White cabbage and samphire
Caramelized milk and cod liver
Burnt onion and walnut
Squid and fennel
Mulberries and turbot roe
Cured egg yolk, patato and elderflower
Turbot and nasturtium
Cream and wood sorrel
Rhubarb, creme fraiche and sorrel
Raspberries, double cream and rye
Friandises: Danish seaweed snegl and pork skin with chocolate