Posts for the 'Avant-garde' Category


Viajante

Note: Viajante was awarded a Michelin star in January 2011, subsequent to this visit.

House sashimi

House sashimi

After closing his critically acclaimed Bacchus in Hoxton in 2008 and an-almost two year hiatus, Nuno Mendes finally opened his eagerly anticipated restaurant, Viajante, in March. Mendes’ career spans stints under Wolfgang Puck, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Ferran Adria at El Bulli, and his travels throughout Asia and South America have helped to formulate the concept that is behind Viajante, a word that means travelling in Portuguese.

To get the full Viajante experience, a restaurant located in the Bethnal Green Town Hall, we felt nothing less than the 12 course menu would do. So when we arrived for our 8pm booking, JK wasn’t particularly pleased to be told that we couldn’t be seated. A table of 16 had just arrived, and even though our table was available, we were asked to wait at the bar so that the restaurant could even out the service. We were led to believe we had to book an 8pm table if we wanted to do the 12 course tasting, so it seemed a bit odd that we couldn’t be seated AT 8pm.

The table we got was great though – right in front of the open kitchen and in full view of all the cooking action. The décor is pseudo-Scandinavian and looks a bit like an expensive version of Ikea. Nevertheless, it’s very comfortable and quite informal. Six, nine and twelve course tasting menus are available at dinner for £60, £75 and £85 respectively. Menus are not handed out before the meal as they’re surprise tastings, but brief explanations are given by the server as each course is presented.

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Noma – Copenhagen, Denmark

Noma

Noma

If you read my Søllerød Kro write-up you would have been aware that I was in Copenhagen. Now you didn’t think I would go to the Danish capital and not go to Noma did you? In fact, it was the only reason I went to Copenhagen.

Noma is hot right now. A two star Michelin restaurant that’s famous for its innovative cooking, use of unique Nordic ingredients and foraging forays, it’s all the buzz, especially after catapulting from number 10 last year to number 3 in this year’s San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Add the fact that Chef René Redzepi was selected by a group of his peers as the winner of the Chef’s Choice Award in this year’s ’50 Best’ and you can probably understand why Noma is all the craze at the moment.

So I decided to save this write-up for last, as my final curtain call on a trip that spanned two months; 12 countries (some of which I went to just for a meal); approximately 18,600 kilometres and a million, gazillion calories. There were some hair-raising moments, but these have all faded into oblivion against the backdrop of many happy days, countless delightful memories and some fantastic meals.

But before I close the chapter on this two month period of my life, a word of thanks to all the fantastic chefs who helped to tantalise my taste buds and to make my belly so happy. And to everyone who’s taken the time to visit my blog, I hope you enjoyed reading about all the food that I have eaten on my travels as much as I enjoyed eating it.

And so ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you Noma.

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