Pop-Up Restaurant Has 60,000 People Waiting To Eat Ants
Calling all adventurous eaters: What's the wildest thing you would ever eat? What about a dead, but still moving, langoustine garnished with ants? Now, would you join a 60,000 person waiting list for such an honor?
If so, look no further than Noma's pop-up restaurant in Tokyo. Noma is a Copenhagen eatery that Restaurant has named Best in the World for four of the past five years.
René Redzepi, Noma's 37-year-old chef and founder, is the leader in Viking-inspired "New Nordic" cuisine, which uses traditional Scandinavian techniques like smoking, pickling, curing and fermenting native ingredients to create modern dishes. Typical "New Nordic" snacks include deep-fried reindeer moss, fermented grasshoppers, and roasted lettuce juice.
Goga Lidz at Newsweek skipped the 60,000 person waiting list, getting to be the very first customer seated for the first meal on the first day. Hold back your envy.
The first of her 14 courses is langoustine on a bed of ice, the tail shell peeled back to expose the raw flesh, which is covered in large black ants. When Lidz takes a bite, she is horrified to notice that the langoustine's tentacles are still waving. When she asks Redzepi whether it is still alive, he reassures her that a needle to the brain has just killed the creature and that three to four minutes after being killed it will still frantically move.
Don't worry, Lidz ends up loving the dish, saying it tasted like lobster ice cream with salted ant sprinkles.
By comparison, the next few courses are tame and motionless. Citrus segments with pickled Okinawa chilies in a puddle of roasted kelp oil. Cuttlefish sliced into ribbons that imitate soba noodles. Creamy steamed tofu with wild walnuts. Frozen monkfish liver on lightly grilled toast. Palate-cleansing juice with each course. Sliced pumpkin dressed in cherrywood oil and salted cherry blossoms. A roasted and hacked wild duck, tongue still visible, with matsubusu berry sauce.
Most of us won't have the chance to indulge in the Noma dining experience, but if you're a single man between the ages of 28 and 46, there may be one more opportunity. Stephanie Robesky, a San Francisco entrepreneur who was one of the lucky few to score a Noma reservation, is looking online for a gentleman to take as a date. You have to cover your flight to Tokyo and any accommodations, but she'll foot the bill for the meal. Nothing says rom-com like a quirky couple eating ants.