NOMA – Part II
Yup, in English again.
Guys, do you experience the same thing over the years, the older you get, the more early you wake up?
Now, and on a daily basis, I don’t even need an alarm clock to wake up every day of the week before 7:30AM.
Yesterday – It was a saturday – , I opened my eyes at 7:36AM. OK, my beloved one woke me up texting me he was about to take off from LA to NYC. But I didn’t go back to sleep afterwards. I couldn’t fall asleep, I was wide awake. I did try to stay in bed until 8:30AM though. Trying to force myself to sleep.
This morning, I opened my eyes, it was 7:08AM. Jeez it’s the weekend! And I thought instantly, damn, I’m becoming like my mother ._.
And I’m getting old for sure. Damn.
Anyway, where was I. Ah yeah, Noma.
For Part I, it only took me 5
bloody hours last time to sort out pictures, resize them, write, think, try to remember, write again. Let’s hope the second part will not take this long (… On peut rêver).
I left you right after the appetizers, when they brought that wonderful sourdough bread we couldn’t help munching on, while waiting for our next course, which was amazing :
The razor clam is enveloped in a cylinder of parsley jelly, there’s a line of horseradish snow next to it. The broth is mixed with some parsley oil, everything goes really well together in this plate, I’m stunned. Wow. Looking online for this dish, I actually found this post, which is about making this dish by yourself. If you feel bold and brave, you can give it a try…! ^^
After this dish, I’m even more excited about what’s coming next.
We were told the crab was picked just before serving so it stays really fresh and still has all the crab flavours.
Allright. Though really pretty and rather, ehm, poetic-looking, I did have a little bit of a problem with this dish.
I had no idea what the little lily-of-the-valley-looking leaves were, but alltogether the dish tasted kinda like… mmm… Lavender. What?!? The crab had really strong flavours, the green sauce painted in the bowl was really herbal, I guess the combination of everything had a pretty powerful fragrance. I felt somehow disturbed, this wasn’t supposed to taste like it did.
The next plate is probably the strangest dish of the whole meal :
I had no idea what beech nuts were. I had to look up for the translation in French, and when I found it, I couldn’t believe it. Beech … nuts… ?! o_O It’s edible?!
The paper-thin slices of dried scallop are so powerful in flavour, phew. Phewwww. Like a punch in the face. It felt like concentrated scallop extract. I guess I would probably normally have this taste in my mouth after eating 3 dozens of them. Underneath there’s a sauce made of watercress and some squid ink.
This was actually a sorta scaring dish The flavours were so incredibly strong. And when you’re done with your plate, you can actually see your own masterpiece,
sign it and sell it :
As a next dish we get a plate full of stones with one huge oyster :
I love oysters. I could eat so many and never get tired of them. I remember once I went to the seafood store and bought 3 dozens just for me. The guy gave me an extra 6. I stopped eating after the 20th. I think I was just really full… Still now, I could eat oysters until I would feel sick.
And by the way, I think that if you don’t like oysters, you haven’t got a clue about good food. Period.
This oyster was therefore pure heaven to me. It’s pretty big, they slice it so you don’t gobble down a huge chunk and choke to death. Anyway, just the memory of this dish makes me happy. It was so good.
Now let’s eat some pine tree!
Ok, you don’t eat the pine. The sauce is infused with pine (… The cauliflower smoked with it maybe too?). It has a nice soft texture inside, with a nice crust of top. Like a really fancy “chou-fleur à la Béchamel”.
The next dish has at least one flavour I know :
Verbena! Just like my Dad’s killerschnaps.
(Well, I know dill, but that doesn’t count.)
Do I remember this dish? Mmmm. Not really. Maybe was it because our palate couldn’t take any herbal flavour anymore? I don’t know. It was very pretty though, and the fish was nicely cooked.
Ah, I did forget one super important thing : At Noma, the cooks come to your table. There are of course people that are only there for waitering, filling up your glass with water or wine etc… But every time a dish is ready, the person in charge of the dish comes to your table and presents his own creation to the table. It makes what you have in your plate awesomely special. We’ve had therefore the pleasure to meet several times the Head Chef of Noma, Matt Orlando (who’s American).
So as we are waiting for our next dish, one chef de partie comes to our table to show us the turbot he is slowly roasting :
While our turbot is being gently cooked, one of Noma’s most famous dishes comes to our table :
It sure is a beautiful dish. Is it good though? The bone marrow was excellent. I don’t think I’m really into pickled veggies though, to me this was pretty sour and acid. I don’t think my taste buds are enjoying as much as they should.
How many dishes did we have so far? 8, 10? I can’t remember, I’m still in my own little magic bubble, I don’t care about anything apart what’s in my plate right now : the turbot has arrived!
This is, hands down, the best piece of fish I’ve ever had in my life. I’m not even sure I’m ever going to have such a dish in front of me ever again. With my Mom being Asian and cooking way more often fish than meat, plus growing up near the seaside in Southern France, it’s not like I’ve never had any decent fishie in my life before. The fish was cooked to perfection. The greens, the light broth at the bottom…
Whimsical and truly delicious.
And… We are done with the main courses. Can’t write any longer, this is taking aaaaaages every time.
So… There’s going to be a Part III post for desserts.