Noma’s most bizarre dishes, from live ants to bear dumplings – The Telegraph
Noma is famous for many things: three Michelin stars, a £600 tasting menu with wine pairing, for championing the “new Nordic” approach to fine dining, and, of course , with regard to its controversial chef .
For 20 years, René Redzepi has reigned over both the world’s best and most caricatured restaurant. But not for much longer. Redzepi has announced that the particular Copenhagen restaurant will close for regular service at the end of next year. It will re-open in 2025 as a test kitchen and e-commerce business.
But Noma is most famous for its wildly ambitious dishes. The particular restaurant will be notorious regarding serving unorthodox cuts of meat plus foraged ingredients: shrimp with live ants, reindeer brain “custard” and whole duck heads, among others.
Tourists flock from all over the world to fork out for a taste, although reservations are incredibly hard to come by. At one point in 2015 there was a 60, 000 person waiting list intended for Noma’s Tokyo pop-up.
Many come year after year to sample the rapidly changing menus, which is themed around “vegetable”, “forest” plus “ocean” to reflect the seasons, and focuses on the freshest foraged components. Would you be brave enough to try Noma’s greatest hits?
Shrimp plus ants
Noma’s pop-up residency in Japan served the starter associated with shrimp sushi garnished along with live ants. A reviewer at the time described the whole raw shrimp as “so recently dead that its mind has yet to telegraph this information to the rest of its body… all twitching muscle and whirring antennae”. Ants feature heavily in other dishes: back at Noma Copenhagen, an egg yolk dipping sauce topped with forest ants is also frequently on the menu.
A riff on Danish Æbleskiver (a fried dumpling eaten at Christmas), Noma’s unorthodox take uses bear meat and vegetables. Served with a crispy sweet skin wafer and “bear caramel” on a spoon, diners are told to first lick the spoon then eat the particular dumpling with their hands. The cookbook also offers up another iteration of this: a “bear baba” complete with a “fanciful stencilled bear head” for decoration.
Reindeer penis ragu
This outlandish ragu is usually served having a “savoury granola” and presented on a folded leaf. The particular restaurant’s cookbook, Noma 2 . 0, also features a reindeer penis salad diners could try at home if they dare. It involves pressure-cooking this unusual cut of meat and serving it “folded with cooked barley, spelt, plus emmer wheat, along with cooked mustard seeds, savoury granola and woodland pesto. ”
A whole duck head with fried brain
Among Noma’s more controversial plus grisly dishes is a Hannibal Lecter-esque duck’s head with the top half of the skull removed and the brain deep-fried. It is served with a small spoon produced from the duck’s tongue bone and a duck leg chicharrón – not dissimilar in order to pork crackling.
Reindeer brain custard
Diners offered Noma’s “game and forest” menu are presented with a reindeer head as a starter. Nestled inside is a custard made from reindeer brains to be scooped out with a spoon and consumed with a sprinkle of bee pollen. Noma 2 . 0 features a raft of other unusual reindeer recipes: reindeer brain jelly, reindeer human brain pie and reindeer tongue skewer, amongst others.
The beetle in a box
Perhaps disappointingly, this is not an actual beetle. Instead, it’s a beetle shape painstakingly modelled from fruit leather (made through dried jam) served in an entomology box. The fruit leather-based beetles have also proved questionable: a former Noma intern has said she spent a three-month unpaid internship assembling the beetles (instead of doing any actual cooking) and was forbidden from talking or laughing because she worked.
A whole feathered duck’s side served using the breast still attached. “The breast meat is coated in sourdough tempura batter, deep-fried and then seasoned with roasted kelp butter, arctic kelp salt, horseradish juice, and pine vinegar, ” according to the Noma cookbook. Diners are supposed to use the feathered wing as a tool to eat the particular battered duck.
Chocolate covered moss
On to dessert: deep-fried “reindeer moss” – the light-coloured lichen – sprayed with melted chocolate plus accompanied by a “pine praline” created from sugar, Douglas fir needles and ants (again).