The Emperor buys new clothes at Noma, where the ants spin gold
Ever eat at Noma, “the world’s best restaurant”. Noma’s based at the Oriantal Mandarin hotel in Tokyo, Japan:
We are delighted to announce that Noma at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo will be extended for two more weeks due to overwhelming demand. The world’s #1 restaurant will now be open from 9 January to 14 February 2015 except for Sundays.
This is a picture of one of the meals:
As you gastronauts pop along to the garden centre for a budget Noma experience, the few will be tucking into their table centrepieces :
Fixed Menu + Wine pairing: (40,200 Yen + 24,700 Yen)
Fixed Menu + Juice pairing: (40,200 Yen + 16,500 Yen)
Fixed Menu: (40,200 Yen, with an option to pay for wine or other beverages à la carte on the day)
Private Dining Room: our private dining room will have a maximum capacity of 10 guests and will also be offered a selection of the above menu options. Smaller parties are welcome to book the private dining room, however please note that there will be a minimum spend of 618,000 Yen.
Please note that all prices are subject to 8% consumption tax, 13% service charge. Prices above do not include the cost of aperitif, water, tea/coffee, or avec.
Avec! 40,200 Yen is around $350. The dishes looks sublime. These are on offer at Noma’s Denmark HQ:
Ingrid Marie and herbs
Reindeer moss and cep mushrooms
Blackcurrant and rose petals
Beef tartare and ants
Smoked and pickled quail egg
Cucumber and scallop fudge
White cabbage and samphire
Caramelized milk and monkfish liver
Sea urchin and duck
Æbleskiver with greens
Burnt onion and walnut oil
Squid and broccoli
Fennel and parsley
Langoustine and nasturtium
Radish and yeast
Pumpkin, kelp and beechnuts
Beetroot and plum
Sloe berries and aromatic herbs
Cured egg yolk, potato and rose oil
Roasted bone marrow
Cabbage and nasturtium flowers
Aronia berries and söl
Potato, plum and plum kernel
Anything stand out? The poor Ingrid Marie (lovely girl)? The moss? The live ants? And they’re on the menu in Tokyo, too:
Noma Tokyo’s tasting menu, which costs 149,500 yen ($1,265) for two people, has a showstopper opening course: jumbo shrimp, so recently killed that they are still twitching, served with about a dozen tiny black ants for seasoning.
The dish is a take on botan ebi, or shrimp sushi, with the ants providing “flavors of the Nagano forest.” Businessweek explains that the dish takes advantage “of the bugs’ natural reserves of formic acid, which can mimic the sourness of citrus.” A reviewer for the Japan Times said that the ants’ “little pinpricks of sharp acidity” are “a perfect accent for the sweet, pink flesh” of the shrimp.
Noma’s chef René Redzepi served ants over over cabbage leaves dressed with crème fraîche at his London eatery.
You might think the smarter set are being had, fed unseasoned cheap protein as a delicacy. But Matt ‘The Talc’, who has foraged at some of the pop-up mobile farm shops by London’s finesest restautants (you man bins? – ed) assures us that ants and moss have never done him any harm. But, then, he used to be the Emperor and before the charity shop gave him a dressing gown could be seen about town dressed in his wonderful suit of pure-spun gold.