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The Eight Best Lines From Clickhole’s Satirical Review of Noma

A hilarious take on one of the world’s most lauded restaurants

The New Yorker Festival 2012 - In Conversation - Rene Redzepi And Jane Kramer Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Internationally renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma isn’t short on acclaim. It’s been awarded the title of World’s Best Restaurant five times, has two Michelin stars under its belt, and is easily one of the most coveted reservations in the world. It’s also been praised by restaurant critics around the globe. Now, it’s getting the Clickhole treatment.

The satirical website offered its own deep dive into Noma’s brand of hyper-local cuisine. Below, the best lines from what is surely the greatest review Noma has yet to receive:

On Chef René Redzepi’s penchant for foraging: "Redzepi, using hand grenades to displace large mounds of sand, almost immediately uncovers a veritable buffet of herbs and produce sticking out every which way from the soil. There’s wild parsnip, beach peas, sea lettuce, spicy lilac, Osama bin Laden’s beached corpse, horseradish, mustard flowers, and verdant goosefoot — all growing within the same 4-foot radius.

‘We’ll use the horseradish in a sea urchin dish, the lettuce with salted cod roe, and the corpse leg to make a nice broth with ash-roasted beets,’ he explains."

On Redzepi’s respect for his ingredients: "Right as Redzepi manages to wrest the vinegar from his bag, the carrot’s eight-second season expires, and it explodes into a mushroom cloud of maggots and nine-volt batteries. The explosion leaves us both with severe burns over large portions of our bodies, but Redzepi does not seem fazed.

‘To be a good chef, you must respect the ingredients,’ he muses. ‘You don’t go into this profession unless you’re willing to be blown up by root vegetables from time to time.’"

On developing new applications of traditional Nordic foods: "Experiments conducted in the facility have led to an astounding array of groundbreaking gastronomic achievements in recent years, including but not limited to a handheld particle accelerator that reconfigures dairy molecules in real time to make it possible to eat ice cream without a cone; a crudo that knows where you live; a means of genetically altering the pheromones of ants so that the ants taste like moths; a 19-course tasting menu in which each ingredient is infused with a highly concentrated grade of lactic acid, creating a self-composting effect that causes every forkful of food to disintegrate into thin air whenever a customer tries to take a bite; a radish that is also a gun; a meat-locker-sized thermal centrifuge chamber in which butter can be melted; a method for consolidating 100 individual raisins into one huge, unified raisin wad; and helium-instilled chanterelle mushrooms that cause your head to rip off and float away into outer space if you put more than one in your mouth at a time."

On Redzepi’s kitchen staff: "While chefs are hard at work carefully plating mussels and whipping up intricate emulsions, a wee hunchback named Fossegaar, wearing a lace bonnet and leather knee breeches, plucks away at traditional melodies on his hurdy-gurdy, for which he is paid in porridge. A dutiful forest bear named Hungry Harald works as garçon de cuisine, patrolling up and down the kitchen line and making himself available to the chefs whenever something needs to be ripped in half or pounded into dust. ‘Poppa loves you,’ Redzepi says."

On the restaurant’s ambiance: "Ten minutes pass without any sign of the waitstaff, and I can see guests at other tables starting to grow restless. Then, just as I too start feeling impatient, the quietness is suddenly disrupted by the majestic blare of four trumpets. The kitchen doors swing open, and Fossegaar the hunchback rolls out on a golden tricycle, wearing a tiara made of antlers."

On the meal: "I crack the egg to let its yolk cascade over the other ingredients, but, to my astonishment, there is no yolk. Instead, a live fetal quail emerges through the fractured shell and stretches out its frail, tiny body, somberly gazing into my eyes. It unfurls its still-wet wings and flutters two feet above the table, where it hovers peacefully for several moments before, without warning, lowering its head and dive-bombing directly into my mouth."

On the, um, whimsy of Redzepi’s food: "True to Noma’s mission, the second and third courses are resolutely Scandinavian in their execution. One is a poignant ode to Reformation-era Copenhagen, in which a ‘chimney sweep’ (a tiny figurine carved out of charred pumpkin with beechnut eyes and a barley-grass broom) is coughing up ‘lung soot’ (caviar and squid ink), and you’re tasked with baptizing him in ‘holy water’ (chalice of barley cream) so that his soul may transmigrate to Lutheran heaven upon his ‘death’ (you eating him)."

On Noma’s forthcoming closure (it will eventually reopen with a new menu and a new look): "‘If the future resembles the present, then there’s no point in carrying on — you already know the whole story,’ Redzepi muses. ‘With Noma, I always want to be telling new stories. Bigger stories, better stories. Stories like none that have ever been told before.’

‘But the main thing I would like to do is figure out how to catch some clouds and cook them,’ he continues. ‘That would be pretty neat.’"

The Greatest Restaurant In The World: Discovering A New Era Of Food At Noma [Clickhole]
All Noma Coverage [E]