Having visited plenty of amazing top restaurants all over the world, I thought the number 1 is Noma in Copenhagen. But now I know it's a jungle restaurant in Mexico.
It's called Noma Mexico. And it's unbelievable.
I would need a creative team the size and quality of Noma's to adequately express my opinion. The menu is incredibly brave, it's full of high notes and without any boring bits - the guests won't know what hit them! It delivers as the perfect street food place, bringing the best of the raw, spicy, sometimes hot and distinct Mexican kitchen, and at the same time, it gives you the perfect texture, balance, and uniqueness of fine-dining. It has its feet on the terroir but it's not afraid to reach for the stars, either. And I haven't even mentioned the surroundings, this amazingly well-designed, proportionate jungle restaurant, where the sandy ground, the lush greenery, the authentic decoration, the subdued lights and the palm trees serving as roof are an amazing experience in themselves. There are no compromises here and no nuts and bolts. The drink pairings run with the same effortless courage, covering the full range of drinks: natural wines, craft beers, up until the mezcal. With all this,
Preparations in the afternoon:
I have had the honor of trying the full assortment of Noma's Mexican pop-up, a few days after its opening. Here are all the dishes, as well as the incredible restaurant, which Noma's team built out of nothing, right in the middle of the jungle!
Pinuela and tamarind
Melon clam praised by Redzepi as 'the best clam ever'
Fresh cream and caviar served in a young coconut half.
Tropical fruit and chile de árbol (tree chili, aka bird's beak chili, small and very potent)
Banana ceviche in ant juice
Chaya taco with fresh Bahia Falsa oyster, fermented
Giant kelp filled with a mussel michelada (a Mexican ‘cerveza
Avocado, squash, greens and sea herbs, tomato and avocado fudge plated on a grilled pumpkin
Young black pig roasted,
Cilantro, lime, grilled banana and jicama (Mexican turnip) and Mezcal: epazote and green tomatoes
Dessert of grilled avocado and mamey seeds
Mixed chili with chocolate ice cream made