But if you are already on this third part of the story, please continue on…
Right after our meal ended (as if the whole experience was still not enough)… I kindly requested them if I can see the kitchen. And they willingly said YES!
So I went in and around the back doors, up and down the stairs, through the different parts of their many kitchens, and got to see even their outdoor griller where they cooked the large, sweet onions served to us that day!
The back kitchen showed me a lot of things, things that we normally take for granted when eating in a restaurant, especially a good restaurant such as this! I got to see how each dish was cooked in various parts of the kitchen, and how different groups of chefs meticulously prepare and care for every single ingredient — by hand!
Then we also got to see their staff area ~ right where their lockers are located and where they proudly iron their chefs’ uniforms and aprons! I was even able to spot THE Rene Redzepi himself having a closed door meeting with some of his business partners!
And guess what, even their awards, trophies and other recognitions are all here — hidden all the way to the back, in the staff area. (They don’t even want to display it in the front of the restaurant itself.) Maybe this is their way of thanking their staff and telling them that all these awards are really for them and because of them!
What truly makes NOMA such a wonderful restaurant? I believe these are the people who work behind their famed kitchen : the chefs, the interns, the assistants and the waitstaff. They are the real superstars here. Given NOMA’s amazing position in the world of restaurants, you might even imagine that the staff here are somewhat arrogant. (Don’t we all get that from even the most mediocre of restaurants?!) But what I actually saw and experienced here in NOMA was the complete opposite. The waiters talked to almost every customer, the chefs answered all our questions (I had one too many!) and some of them even told me a story or two about their unique produce, the ingredients they are currently fermenting in their kitchen laboratory and the “normal food” they ate for breakfast that day (eggs and bacon for lunch!) The whole team was extremely personable, caring and very competent — even though they were running around like headless chickens right before I entered the kitchen and bothered them for a photo! So yes if you ask me, NOMA is truly deserving of all its accolades and recognition. NOMA is really worth all these and more.
Another reason why this meal was truly special to me was the mere fact that I was told that they are closing soon… albeit temporarily at the end of this year. (What perfect timing then for us to have been able to eat here in their original location and right before they shut down!) They are moving to a different location (a much bigger and better, they say) by the first quarter of 2017. So definitely, this is one meal that ranks high on my list in terms of experience — from trying to get that coveted table…. to eating all their weird but amazing dishes… to having all these wonderful memories made!
I cannot add anymore praises to NOMA (they must have seen and heard it all), so I will now end my story by leaving you with this short video clip which encapsulates this once-in-a-lifetime experience for me:
To read about how I made it to NOMA, click this link here.
To read about the deliciously weird stuff I ate in NOMA, click this link here.