27,000 people are currently on the wait list to eat at a pop-up version of one of the best restaurants in the world
More than 27,000 eager diners are currently on the wait list, each one of them willing to shell out the $339 per person that Noma is asking for its unique, bizarre, and otherworldly cuisine. When reservations opened, it sold out in 90 seconds, making nearly $2 million in just a few minutes.Redzepi is known for whipping up dishes that are hyper-local, crafted to artistic perfection, and above all, surprising. His main restaurant is based in Copenhagen, but he did a pop-up in Japan last January as well. The menu for this Australian version has been carefully guarded up til opening, but we know that he is a fan of some unusual Australian ingredients: think crocodile fat and fire ants.Advertisement
Lucky diners from Down Under have been sharing their experiences on Instagram. Let's all celebrate Australia Day with a look at Redzepi's latest concoctions.
First, the space. The Noma pop-up is in a Sydney neighborhood called Barangaroo, near the water. Inside, the restaurant is spacious, modern, and simply designed. It seats 56 at a time.
The exterior is simple and unassuming, although altogether the pop-up took 6 months to come together. Noma's stark Scandinavian aesthetic makes a clean backdrop for the complex flavors Redzepi draws forth from the food.Advertisement
All of the ceramic tableware is locally crafted and commissioned just for this iteration of Noma. At Redzepi's first pop-up, in Japan, he did the same thing.
Redzepi relocated 75 staff members from his Copenhagen base for the ten-week residency — and brought his family, too.Advertisement
Let's whet our palate with a half-beer, half-cider beverage.
Each diner can expect 10 to 12 courses, all of them new creations. Unripe macadamia nuts in a spanner crab broth start things off.Advertisement
Redzepi sent a team of chefs on foraging explorations to find just the right components for each course, taking full advantage of Australia's unique ingredients. Here are wild seasonal berries in a seawood broth, topped with kakadu plum dust.
Next up: wattleseed porridge in saltbush leaves, like a kind of twist on Greek stuffed grape leaves. Wattleseed porridge, though rare outside of Australia, is actually a fairly common breakfast Down Under.Advertisement
Think this is just a pile of rocks in a bowl? Think again. It's a local seafood selection, topped with tissue-thin chips of crispy crocodile fat.
Where normal restaurants might go for a tuna tartare or crab cake appetizer, Redzepi takes it a step further. This is snow crab from the nearby city of Albany, mixed with egg yolk and cured in fermented kangaroo.Advertisement
Next up: a savory seafood pie. The Noma version is scallop. The pastry base involves seaweed, and the pie is topped with purple lantana flowers. Redzepi told one diner that the stems are "mildly poisonous".
Sun-dried tomatoes and sea urchins make an unusual pairing in the next dish, garnished with pepper berries.Advertisement
Here's abalone "schnitzel", served with various foraged nuts and greens.
A kind of bizarre take on a taco, this is what Noma calls a "BBQ'd milk dumpling". Inside, it's marron with magpie goose ragu, all wrapped in a crispy milk skin — literally just milk caramelized until crisp enough to use as a shell.Advertisement
Tiny squares of Australian mango, watermelon, and pineapple are reincarnated as petit-fours for the first dessert dish, served simply on a bed of ice.
The second dessert is an aerated rum cake with dried milk and a native tamarind sauce; the texture is like a sponge cake.Advertisement
And finally, the meal ends with Redzepi's take on a popsicle. It's peanut milk ice cream with caramel and a freekeh glaze, served on a fresh lemon myrtle stick.
Just to recap, here's the menu. It's filled with items unique to Australia — and turned into unexpected dishes in the capable hands of Redzepi.Advertisement
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