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{12/06/2012}   Food expectations: lunch at Noma

                I found out yesterday that a friend has got us booked into Copenhagen’s Noma, apparently the world’s best restaurant.  I am beside myself with excitement and expectation.  I am also already planning what to wear and how to be cool (given shocking embarrassing previous experience) with any potential celebrity diners!

                I love food, both cooking and eating it.  I have been fortunate enough to have eaten at some amazing restaurants, from Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner to “that little place round the corner from where we stayed in Italy”.  I have eaten at one and two Michelin starred restaurants, but never somewhere as hyped up as Noma, the world’s best restaurant.

I am not going until September, long after this daily blog will be over, but I feel a need to record my expectations now.  I first heard of Noma on, possibly, MasterChef a few years ago.  One of the chefs on it was passionate about seaside foraging, and for those reasons he was sent to Noma, before it was awarded the desperately impossible title of world’s best restaurant.  I remember vowing that I would one day go there, despite the issues I had about Copenhagen from previous experience (my impression was probably largely, and unfairly, marred by three things:  I was backpacking and had arrived in Copenhagen from Germany where we’d stayed with a friend of mine.  She had given us a bag of large fresh tomatoes, which, as our rucksacks were full for a month’s travelling and camping, had been tied to the outside of my rucksack.  I fell over under the weight of my backpack on that lovely bridge with the view of colourful buildings and ended up tortoise-like on my back unable to get up, with squashed tomato everywhere.  Also, the Little Mermaid was covered in graffiti and it was pissing down with rain).  Major parenthesis digression!

Anyway, I am Noma-bound in just over three months.  And I am extraordinarily giddy with excitement.  We are going for lunch, which to me is better than dinner somewhere like that as usually it means you can linger longer and you have the rest of the evening to walk off your meal, not that I’m expecting huge portions!

So what am I expecting?  Well, it’s going to have to be way, way beyond expectations, more delicious and varied and beautifully presented than anywhere else I’ve ever been.  I am also particularly looking forward to trying ingredients and dishes I’ve never tried before.  Oh my, I am so excited!  I think the restaurant environment will be surprisingly relaxed, lots of wood, and I am hoping it will be a small menu and impeccable service.

I might even be really daring and try things I otherwise wouldn’t try, in the knowledge that if it doesn’t taste amazing there I can rule it out as being something I will ever like.  But then again, maybe I should just eat things I know I’ll love.  Oh, what a dilemma!

I suppose the point is that a restaurant with such – well, the ultimate – accolade has no right to disappoint.  What a pressure!  I am expecting culinary and service perfection but, perhaps most of all, an amazing meal in an amazing place with an amazing friend!  Roll on September!

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