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June 19, 2014

Copenhagen’s Noma Restaurant Comes to Japan

By Sasha Levine | Restaurants

From January 9 to 31, 2015, chef René Redzepi will close the doors of his highly acclaimed Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma and re-create his kitchen at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. But those looking to taste his renowned signature cuisine—which has claimed number one on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list four times—won’t find it here.

Long curious to experiment with Japanese culinary traditions, chef Redzepi is cooking up something entirely new: a blend of his celebrated “time and place” food philosophy and traditional Japanese techniques and seasonal ingredients that he’s taken months to explore. (Rice, for instance, is something he has plans to integrate into a dessert, though he has never worked with the grain at Noma).

“René will bring something far beyond the typical pop-up restaurant experience,” explains Tony Costa, general manager at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. “Typically a pop-up restaurant is an abridged version of the original—but René wants to do something very different.”

As a result, both the kitchen and the decor of the hotel’s Michelin-starred eatery, Signature, will be transformed to take on its own distinct look and feel. That includes singular tabletop elements and other details curated by both the chef and Costa.

With only 50 spots at each service, they are bound to fill up fast—which is why reservations can be made beginning at midnight on June 23 when booking the Noma at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo package ($1,455 for two). A small number of spaces will be reserved for dinner and lunch outside of the package deal ($380 a person; noma.dk/japan).

“Consider it a team-building exercise I’ve had in mind for a long time,” says Redzepi. “We are walking the plank, and it feels good.” 2-1-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo; 81-3/3270-8800; mandarinoriental.com/tokyo.

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