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The Best Long Reads of the Week, From Noma Tokyo to Burger King's Creepy Mascot

A roundup of worthy weekend reading material.

Mandarin Oriental/Facebook

Nice to Meat You
The New Inquiry

Perhaps the creepiest aspect of The King, however, is his mask. Were a normal actor, even a creepy one like Zach Galifianakis, to appear in some unsuspecting customer's bed, the effect would presumably be less alarming. This is because the static facial expression renders The King's motives completely illegible. When he reveals that all he wants is to deliver a breakfast sandwich, the enigma of his desire is not so much dispelled as redoubled — why on earth would anyone want to do that?

In Asia, Tastes of the Sea
The New York Times

A lot of things started to make sense during that lunch. For instance, the idea that sushi is really about the rice and that the fish is the condiment. A personal stamp is put in place through the choice of rice cultivars, the vinegars and salts used, the blending, the level of firmness of the grains. And, oh, that condiment! I guess one could argue that the few top guys all get the few supreme examples the fish market might offer. Perhaps. But that lunch was perfection: Perfect Rice melded with its Perfect Condiment, the sum greater than its parts.

How Noma Took Tokyo: What Happened When the Planet's Best Restaurant Moved to the Gourmet Capital of the World?

The Independent

It's Monday 19 January and René Redzepi has just had his first day off since arriving in Japan on 26 December. It's a clear day and we can see Fuji as the dining room is set up for lunch. The original plan was to open for three weeks, another two added to the run after overwhelming response. "The Scandinavian part of me wanted to see if we filled up first. Then it all went crazy," he recalls, as we watch a helicopter weave its way between skyscrapers.

Meet the King of Kombucha

The first order — two cases, or 24 bottles — nearly sold out on the first day. The next year and a half became a blur of brewing and bottling and pitching. GT's kombucha factory, initially a few punch bowls on the counter, outgrew the family kitchen and took over the dining room. GT started sleeping from 4 p.m. to midnight, and working while his family slept. He created alter egos — Jorge the delivery guy, George the cook, and GT the president — to sound like he had employees when he talked to his growing list of retailers.

How to Achieve Teenage Immortality at Perkins

Perkins was our Peach Pit, our Arnold's, our Monk's; we stopped by after everything: school, football games, parties, dances, harassing other restaurants. Our nights there often bordered on performance art. Once, my friend Ty and I hauled a hookah into the smoking section, packed it with cinnamon-flavored tobacco, and took long, luxurious pulls as the manager decided if this was a battle worth fighting. (He decided, ultimately, that it was not.)

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