World Chefs: Tokyo sojourn ends for Rene Redzepi and Danish Noma

Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:26am EST
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By Junko Fujita

TOKYO (Reuters) - The world's best restaurant moved to the world's gourmet capital for five weeks and 2,800 diners in Tokyo made good use of it.

Rene Redzepi, chef and co-owner of the Danish eatery Noma, temporarily moved the Michelin-starred restaurant and its staff to the 37th floor of a five-star hotel in Japan's capital.

The Noma at Mandarin Oriental closed on Valentine's Day after serving 15-course meals twice a day at a 40,200 yen ($340) price tag, with 62,000 unlucky diners still on the waiting list.

Redzepi's Copenhagen establishment, which reigns atop the world's best restaurant rankings, seems a perfect fit for Tokyo, the Michelin guide's gourmet capital for eight straight years.

But Redzepi, 37, told Reuters he has no plans to move to Japan, despite adapting to local cuisine and showcasing a line-up of signature dishes such as fresh prawns served with ants.

Q: How was it to cook and serve food for Japanese customers?

A: It's easier because people are more adventurous here, because they are used to eating so many foodstuffs so people have bigger dedication and they are more curious.

Q: Was Noma Mandarin Oriental profitable?   Continued...

Rene Redzepi, the head chef of Noma in Copenhagen, poses for pictures after an interview with Reuters at Noma at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino