Waiter, there are live woodlice in my soup! - the weirdest dinner ever
2016. november 04. írta: világevő

Waiter, there are live woodlice in my soup! - the weirdest dinner ever

- "Yes sir, it's the hot water that kills them." And this is not a joke in this restaurant.

I thought I couldn’t be surprised anymore because I’ve eaten so many strange and bizarre things in my life. But a very special restaurant in Copenhagen just went and surprised me! Let me show you how.
Attention: unsettling photos!!!

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If you’d prefer a more modest Nordic menu, here’s where to escape.

I prepared myself with Noma’s modest menu of 15 dishes, then with some authentic Mexican tacos. I was all ready for the 45-course menu at Rasmus Munk’s restaurant, the Alchemist.

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Already the venue is one of a kind: it reminds me of the small Japanese restaurants with a single counter, only here it’s dark, even during the day, with a small spotlight focused on the plate. The place has 15 seats. And not 14, so as not to scare away the superstitious Japanese guests. The design and the layout are not by accident the way they are: Japanese gastro-culture inspires the chef. As he says, his recent Japanese chef guest was laughing like a child every time he received a new course. His colleague didn’t understand it; he has never seen him like this before. (By the way, they continued then to the super foodie event in Ibiza.)

The challenge: can a restaurant give any excitement after Noma, the world’s best one? It can. Look.

I won’t give very detailed descriptions of all the 45 dishes; I’ll rather focus on the main ingredients for each. First a short video with some food:

And then the whole menu.

Green apple
(in the form of a loose, frosty foam, with petals and citrus flavoured, crispy ants)

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Frozen cherry
(molecular joke, liquid cherry juice in cracking shell)

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Potato crisp, wild garlic
(the bag is to be eaten, too)

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Ashtray
(potato, leek ash, dried tomato)

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Tomato tart, mustard

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Lemon, geranium, gin

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Octopus, bonito flakes

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Gillardeau oyster, bacon

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Sea urchin on toast

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Crayfish with juniper
(and with a very caramelised tail)

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Spider crab and buttermilk

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Avocado and lime

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Nori, yellowtail
(yellowtail tartar and caviar in crispy algae cone)

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Goldfish and fish food
(hake and crispy scales)

Unagi burger
(grilled eel)

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Sunfish, smoked butter, caviar
(the fish bones are edible, too)

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Sunchoke
(Soup with strong, appetizing scent)

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Goose liver, corn
(this time it’s up to the guests to apply the method of force-feeding on themselves: they have to suck out the mousse of goose liver from a funnel, which then looks exactly like if they were force-fed)

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Lamb brain, ants
(Lamb brain mousse served in lamb skull, with crunchy ants and larvae for the sake of easy digestion)

Raw, marinated heart, blood
(served in a raw heart, where else?! The heart is really a heart; the “blood” is a fruit sauce that is portioned onto the plate from a fluid bag used for intravenous therapy – talk about a dramatic effect!)

Cattle udder, truffle
(another very original pairing)

Bone marrow, red berries
(served in a bone that is not strange at all anymore)

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Laksa soup
(it is what it seems: a good, spicy Southeast Asian laksa)

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Wagyu A5 BMS12
(as it turned out it is from Kentaro Nakahara (will write about his yakiniku restaurant in Tokyo later!))

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Horse tartar, chicken feet
(crispy chicken feet (skin) that is used as a fork first and then it is to be eaten)

Teriyaki pork belly
(with truffle)

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Tom yum, woodlice 
(Or “cellar bug” as we call them so affectionately in Hungarian, in the soup, served alive on the plate. The hot soup is poured on top of them only after we had the opportunity to admire them running around on the plate, as you can see it in the video above. They don’t have any taste; it’s only an additional crunchy texture.)

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Here is one of them:

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Here comes the cheese selection:

Waffle with gruyere
(served with vinegar powder)

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Beverly Hills 90210
(you have to listen to the soundtrack of the chef’s favourite(?) series while eating a very tasty ham-cheese-truffle toast. Luckily, I didn’t recognise the music.)

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Brie de meaux, brown bees
(different brie textures with bee puree)

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Cheese cloche
(a modern cheesecake)

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Stilton, chocolate
(cheese and chocolate)

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Redcurrant pie
(liquid pie, you have to suck the two tubes at the same time, so that the two different liquids with different tastes and temperature mix in your mouth)

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Strawberry salad, basil
(a very funny salad, because it’s iceberg, the reinterpretation of a Danish classic as a dessert)

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Vanilla, olive oil
(an extremely moist mini sandwich, without fingerprints)

Best before: 18/04/2015
(ice cream made of larvae, with fried larvae)

The painting
(there are fruit flavoured “paints” in the tubes that you can paint with on the edible canvas. This is what I could come up with.)

Turtle and worm
(The turtle is the recreation of a classical Danish chocolate with chocolate of excellent quality, and the “worm” planted in the edible soil is apple jelly)

Elderflower, mini doughnut:

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'Crêpe Suzette'
(a flambéed “pancake”, made of buttermilk, deep-frozen)

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The bill and the lower arm of the chef that comes handy as a guide when picking wild herbs:

Overall, I can say that despite of the many shocking courses, neither the flavour, nor the enjoyment of the food were hidden behind the simple jokes with bizarre dishes. We saw rather the realisation of a high quality gastro-theatre here. 

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If you’d prefer a more modest Nordic menu, here’s where to escape.

My rec for hotel: great location near Nyhavn(!), great location, more luxurious, Nyhavn, great viewcheap hostel.  (Affiliate)

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