LAST YEAR'S POSITION 2
YEARS ON THE LIST 9
Mould-breaking Nordic food that takes nature's bounty to new levels
Following what chef-owner René Redzepi calls a ‘restaurant mid-life crisis’, Noma has dramatically re-taken the top spot in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The period of angst and creative hiatus he refers to was not prompted by last year’s ‘demotion’ to second spot, but conversely by Noma capturing and retaining the title of The S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant over several years previously.
In the past year or so, the restaurant has been transformed once again with a fresh approach and energy. Its renewed confidence is based on greater knowledge and considered experimentation, rather than the intuition and raw discovery of its earlier period. Many of the dishes are actually simpler now, but no less original – and no less connected to the Nordic terroir. Diners at the 45-seat restaurant, located in a stripped- back warehouse on Copenhagen’s dockside, are introduced to Noma’s food via its inimitable series of ‘snacks’ – 10 servings that include the likes of sea urchin toast and caramelised milk and cod liver. These are followed by 10 further courses – a dish of beef tartar and ants among them – before the meal is rounded off with a stunning array of ‘treats’. Redzepi’s food can at times be shocking – visceral even – but diners who are prepared to put themselves in the kitchen’s hands rarely leave disappointed. With flavour to the fore, there are dishes here that slap you in the face and make you feel glad to be alive.
Never content to sit still, Redzepi and his crew are shipping the restaurant out to Japan in early 2015 for two months, where they will seek to apply their philosophy to Japanese ingredients. But for now Noma can celebrate its 10th anniversary on top of the world once again.