Noma Pops Up in Tokyo

The pop-up with the 60,000-strong waiting list.
Shannon Connellan
Published on January 20, 2015

Confirming one of our predicted food trends for 2015, it seems chefs and restaurateurs worldwide want to get out of their own kitchens and test their wares in another. Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck flew over to Melbourne last year, the Rook and Black Pearl exchanged places last year, and now Denmark's Noma has popped up in Tokyo.

Open for five weeks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo, the pop-up Noma restaurant will be run off its feet until February 14. Heralded the world's number one restaurant for four years running, Rene Redzepi's Noma obviously isn't the cheapest pop-up you've ever heard of — $420 per person for lunch or dinner. But as Good Food pointed out, 6500 tickets were sold out within hours of release and there are no less than 60,000 people on the waiting list. Yep, 60,000 individual people.

Taking over the space usually housing the Mandarin Oriental's 37th-floor Signature Restaurant, Noma has gutted and refitted the space with elegant, natural (and considerably more permanent-looking than your usual pop-up) designs by Danish firm Carl Hansen & Son. We're talking super exxy oak tables and serving crockery embellished by local Japanese artisans. But it's not just Noma bells and whistles in the space — the whole Noma team has been flown in, a whole 77 people including Coffs Harbour-raised souf chef Beau Clugston, Adelaide restaurant manager James Spreadbury and Sydney team leader Katherine Bont, and Noma's long-suffering and mysterious dishwasher.

So, the living-vicariously details you've been waiting for — what's on the menu? Redzepi told GF he'd be straying from the usual Noma menu. Having visited Japan multiple times on reconnaissance over the last year, Redzepi and research and development chefs Lars Williams and Thomas Frebel have devised 16 dishes to be served over three hours. Not for the faint-hearted (or squeamish vegetarian), the degustation even features a whole roasted wild duck dissected at the table and served with a matsubusa berry sauce. Here's a menu sampler:

Assorted Japanese citrus and long pepper

Shaved monkfish liver

Just-steamed tofu with wild walnuts

Sea urchin, maitake mushroom and cabbage

Scallop dried for two days, beech nuts and kelp

Hyokkori pumpkin, cherrywood oil, salted cherry blossom

Garlic flower origami

Sweet potato simmered in raw sugar all day

Fermented shiitake mushroom in dark chocolate

Noma pops up in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo until February 14. Tickets are unbelievably, undeniably, don't-even-think-about-it sold out. But we can dream.

Via Good Food.

Images: cyclonebill cc.

Published on January 20, 2015 by Shannon Connellan
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