After a drumroll of media announcements, a steady drip of social media speculation and the crescendo of anticipation, Noma Japan has finally opened. Denmark's preeminent restaurant has begun its month-long residency in Tokyo, and it's every bit as remarkable as expected.
You can't help but be wowed by the setting. From the 37th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, diners look out toward the distant hills and the unmistakable snow-capped, sunset-silhouetted cone of Mount Fuji. It is hard to think of a more auspicious backdrop for the three-hour, 16-course banquet.
But the view is immediately forgotten as soon as the first dishes are served. Noma's dynamic head chef, Rene Redzepi, and his dedicated, hardworking crew have developed a complex tasting menu that's unlike anything anyone has ever served before in Japan. Or in Copenhagen for that matter. In keeping with his locavore philosophy, all the ingredients are sourced entirely within Japan, many of them foraged during Redzepi's many visits last year.