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Noma's Tokyo Pop-Up May Serve Farm-Raised Turtle, Horse Meat, and Hornet Larva

Though the menu will be kept "primarily vegetarian."


Buried deep within the Wall Street Journal's new profile of chef/foraging enthusiast René Redzepi are details about the hotly anticipated Tokyo pop-up of his famed Copenhagen restaurant Noma. As with everything Redzepi does, every detail has been analyzed and thoughtfully executed. The restaurant has hired 12 different artisan platemakers to craft clay and wood table settings. Other local artisans have also been hired to craft the pop-up's brand new flatware and chopsticks.

As for the food, the menu is "being kept primarily vegetarian to stay in line with the idea of ‘being in Japan, but still being Noma,'" — whatever that means. Prospective diners can expect venison tongue, horse meat, and even possibly, farm-raised turtle. Unsurprisingly, dishes will also make use of plenty of atypical local ingredients like larvae from lethal hornets (which will be turned into a sauce), wild kiwis, and Japanese ants. Diners can also except oils and broths made from "five kinds of wood."

So far, 10 types of cooking oil, 10 varieties of salt, and 15 kinds of sugar have been tested "for possible use." Plus, 40 different types of "lacto-ferments and garums ranging from 15 varieties of grapes to plum to eggplant" have also been started.

The Noma pop-up at the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo will serve diners next year from January 9 until February 14.