Firstly, I just wanted to share with you how excited I am to be featured on Ashley’s blog today in her ‘Marathons and Moderation’ feature. Welcome to ‘Heatlhy Happier Bear’ readers!!
The week before last I was lucky enough to have a chance to try Noma @ Claridges for an 8 course tasting lunch. Noma has been awarded the ‘San Pelligrino Best Restaurant in the World’ award two years in a row. The original, in Copenhagen, is pretty difficult to get reservations at, especially combining it with a weekend in Denmark. So when Claridges announced that Noma would host a pop-up restaurant during the two week Olympic period, friends and I jumped at the chance to try it out.
The first hurdle was actually getting a table. Three of us sat at different computers trying to book tables of various sizes. Finally we managed to get one for 8 people for lunch. Our second hurdle was that we had to pay the £200 cover charge up front.. cue a friends credit card and a £1600 hit… and the table was ours!
As we entered Claridges foyer there was a large map depicting where all of the ingredients from the various dishes were from. It was a bit of a teaser and had us wondering what exactly we were in for.
We were instructed to eat with our hands and to eat all of it; plants, soil, grass and flowers. And it was pretty delicious. The vegetables were mini carrots and radishes, with Nasturtium flowers set in a dark emulsion of herbs.
Next up was something described simply as ‘ANTS’ on the menu…
The ants came in a kilner jar with cabbage leaves and a lemony creme fraiche.
The ants themselves tasted had a lemongrass/citrus flavour. When we spoke to Rene Redzepi (the head chef/mastermind of Noma) afterwards, he told us that the ants naturally taste like that, and that they had been carried over in big rucksacks from Brazil!!
The scones were served with a rasberry bergamot tea, very refreshing but not as good as the scones!
One of my favourite courses was the tartare of beef, served with juniper powder and a smear of tarragon. It was just delicious. Especially when served with fresh sour dough bread with two butters; a ‘virgin’ butter (only churned once) was so creamy, and an amazing goat’s milk butter.