A longtime dream of Chef Rene Redzepi just became a reality: his acclaimed restaurant Noma arrives in Japan. It will set shop at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo, offering lunch and dinner from January 9th to the 31st, 2015. Reservations are now open until July 7th; and the price for a meal is estimated at $383, plus tax and service charge.
The story of this project began five years ago when Redzepi, Noma’s executive chef, was invited by Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata to his famous restaurant Kikunio in Kyoto. The Danish chef was immediately captivated by the cultural richness of Japanese cuisine. That first visit turned on his creative fire. Sometime later, Redzepi partnered with the luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental to take to Japan his culinary art, which has been a key factor for turning his restaurant into “The best restaurant in the world”, according to the British magazine Restaurant.
Recently, almost all of Noma’s personnel traveled from Copenhagen to Tokyo to learn Japanese kitchen secrets and teach the art of traditional Nordic food. As a result, we are in front of a symbiosis of Nordic dining with smooth touches of Japanese flavor. The time has come to impress the very strict Japanese gourmands. Noma staff has been establishing ties with local produce and fish suppliers in Tsukiji, Japan. They want to bring, from Copenhagen to Asia their philosophy of cooking food with respect for the environment, the ingredients and the local culture, hoping to discover its history and visualize its future.
There is an aura of mystery and expectation about which dishes will be presented by chef Redzepi in Tokyo, but if we glimpse in one of the three volumes of Work In Progress, where the chef appears as a contributor, we may be able to read his mind. Written as a personal diary, with recipes and photographs; Redzepi narrates his day to day in Noma, from the trials, until he develops his new plates. Furthermore, the consequences of being the best and most prestigious restaurant in the world, four times, can also be found in his monograph Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine. Redzepi profiles his seven years at Noma, and attentive readers could discover, in its pages, hidden ingredients and extraordinary tricks.
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is offering a promotion for two that includes a night stay in the hotel’s Grand Room, dinner at Noma, breakfast and a special commemorative gift. The price goes for $1468. ■