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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lunch at noma - take 2

Edible decorations
Moss and cep
Malt flatbread and juniper
Crispy pork skin and black currant
Blue mussels served on empty blue mussel shell
Up-close: Blue mussel and celery
Cookies in cookie tin...
Up-close: cheese cookie, rocket and stems
Potato and duck liver
Dried carrot and sorrel with ash
Snacks on felt...
Up-close: cramelized milk and cod liver
Pickled and smoked quails egg
Radish, edible soil and grass
Grilled baby corn
Sorrel leaf and cricket paste served on ice
Bread served in felt with butters
Cooked fava beans and beach herbs
...with buttermilk sauce
Brown crab with egg yolk and herbs
Beets and plums
With an oyster from Limfjorden, gooseberry and buttermilk
Pike perch and baby cabbages with verbena and dill...
...and some foam
DIY cooking. Step 1: hot skillet and an egg
Step 2: add oil
Step 3: add egg
Step 4: add herb butter (from spoon)
Step 5: add green leaves (bottom pile in previous photo)
Step 6: add potato spiral (left of skillet in previous photos), herbs and flowers
10-year beef culotte and bitter greens, celeriac and mushroom
"Pear tree" dessert
Crazy decanter with only one openining
Birthday cake!
LOCATION: noma, Strandgade 93, Copenhagen 
CATEGORY: Nordic, Danish, gourmet, foraged food 
DRINK: Juice pairing and wine:
2005 Vielles Vignes de Cramant Grand Cru, Champagne, Larmandier-Bernier
2007 'Bréze', Clos Rougeard, Saumur -Loire
2009 'Cuvée Florine' Chardonnay, J.F. Ganevat, Cotes de Jura 
WE THINK: Although we previously posted pictures from a lunch at noma, we feel it would be a shame not to post these photos from our second visit--an appropriate dose of of food porn. Almost 2 years after our first visit to noma, we went back recently for lunch to celebrate our friend's birthday (free birthday cake courtesy of noma--happy birhtday!). It was no less ecstacy-inducing-ly delicious, but perhpas a tiny bit less surprising than our first mindblowing experience. One highlight this time was a small piece of noma's precious, experimental dairy cow (a similar experiment has famously been carried out by Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken). Slaugthered at the mature age of 10 years (retirement age for dairy cows), the meat had been left to hang for a very long time--6 months or so--until the outside layers were in an advanced state of decay, leaving only a small core of edible meat intact. The dish was presented to us in secrecy by a very enthusiastic chef as there were only 8 portions left of the entire cow--the one and only noma dairy cow in 2012--and therefore not enough for any other guests in the restaurant. With what can only be described as the beefiest beef taste we've ever tasted, with a pleasantly chewy-but-soft texture, this was, we made ourselves believe, the best-tasting piece of meat we'd had in our entire lives. Maybe the exclusivity of the experience, eating something unavailable to the other guests in the restaurant, made it tastier... Other stars this afternoon were the cod liver snacks, the beetroot and plum dish and the pike perch with baby cabbage. Until next time...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tip top teppanyaki

The unassuming exterior of Moo teppanyaki restaurant in Tokyo
Giant clams...
...Steamed and juicy
Insanely delicious Matsusaka wagyu beef
Butter-garlic rice
Our teppanyaki table - one of 4 in the restaurant - TV on wall in corner
"Teppan" griddle
Our teppanyaki table, yellowing walls with crumbling menu specials
Installation art
Entrance to teppanyaki heaven
LOCATION: Moo Teppanyaki, Meguro, Tokyo
CATEGORY: Japanese, Teppanyaki 
DRINK: Oolong-hi and beer 
WE THINK: We recently had our best teppanyaki meal of our lives in a tiny dump of a restaurant called Moo--like the sound of a cow. On the ground floor of this unassuming two-story house in Meguro is a tiny, family-run teppanyaki restaurant which, according to our friend who has been going there regularly for 25 years, has not changed much in appearance for decades. The only change he could point out was the upgrade of the TV in the corner--now flatscreen instead of the old boxy one which is instead sitting unused in the window sill. The rotary dial telephone is the same. The current waiter/teppanyaki chef is the son of the previous chef who worked the tables into his late seventies with glacial, yet efficient and meticulously timed movements, cooking simultaneously on 4 teppan griddles in a full restaurant but never overcooking anything. There were only a few people at one other table when we were there, so we didn't get to see our chef under full pressure, but he was a bad-ass who spoke only 10 words to us while we were there so we're sure he would be just fine. The food, like the interior, is kept super simple though more care goes into the food than the interior (which is good). We had some stir-fried beensprouts, asparagus and enoki mushrooms (not pictured), steamed giant clams in their shells, some delicious juicy burgers (not pictured) and one of the best pieces of beef we've ever had. Everything cooked to perfection with little to no seasoning but packed with flavour.  No flaming desserts, onion volcanos or jumping squids, no juggling, shouting or other teppanyaki chef tricks. Very oldschool. It was therefore to our great surprise that we were handed a glossy digital "Moo loyalty card" with a chip in it for our future visits. Oh Japan.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Late night ramen in Tokyo

The vending machine where you order and pay for the ramen
Ticket and change
Ca. US$10 for a bowl of ramen
Afuri yuzu shio ramen with grilled chasu pork, egg, seaweed and mizuna
Afuri yuzu ramen with chili
View from our seat at the counter
View from outside
LOCATION: Afuri ramen, 117 Bldg. 1F, 1-1-7 Ebisu-Minami Sibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
CATEGORY: Ramen noodles, Japanese
DRINK: nothing
WE THINK: We might have found the perfect place to eat after a night out in Tokyo! Not only is Afuri ramen in Ebisu open till 4am, it also serves some of our favourite ramen. A new-ish spot in Tokyo with branches in several locations, Afuri is already well-known for their shio ramen to which they add fresh yuzu, one of our most beloved flavours of all flavours--and it does wonders in Afuri's chicken-based stock with fish, konbu and fatty grilled chashu pork. What a good idea. We went recently, just before closing, delirious from a few too many Oolong-hi and Tantakatan. We ate our ramen in joyful silence, our ears still ringing from the night, while watching surf videos on the tv in the corner. Our enthusiasm for Afuri ramen was definitely amplified in our inebriated state, but we are pretty sure we'd be very excited sober as well.