Sydney’s worst-kept secret is officially out. Noma is relocating from Copenhagen to Sydney for 10 weeks from January 2016. Chef and co-owner René Redzepi will temporarily close his Danish gastro temple Noma, ranked four times number one on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, to open at its new home at Barangaroo.
What can we expect from the Nordic innovator who put Denmark on every gourmet’s must-eat list? Redzepi will apply his connect-to-the-earth philosophy and arsenal of Scandinavian techniques (fermenting, pickling, smoking and curing) to native Australian ingredients for his Sydney pop-up.
If you’ve been following Redzepi’s Instagram account (@reneredzepinoma) recently, you’ll have noticed that he’s been “on a road trip” “finding flavours”, posting snaps of a gum-tree-lined landscape. He’s on a foraging expedition, discovering uniquely Australian tastes to inspire the menu at Noma Australia. He’s learnt how to cook a freshly laid emu egg (“the yolk is the size of a mango”), marvelled at native blood limes (“bloody amazing”) and tasted the spectrum of native Australian ingredients, from bunya nuts and saltbush to sea purslane.
“Australia’s culture is multi-faceted, with influences from Europe, Asia and beyond, all standing on a strong foundation from its Indigenous people,” says Redzepi. “When you mix it all together, the result is something truly special. When it comes to ingredients, Australia is wildly different than back home – so exotic and unlike any place I’ve visited.”
It’ll be the second time the chef has uprooted Noma, popping up first in Tokyo in January this year. As with the Tokyo pop-up, Redzepi will bring with him his entire staff - that’s 35 chefs, 40 front-of-house, plus partners and children. It's a mammouth venture, which Tourism Australia and Lendlease will be assisting with.
Noma Australia will seat 50 diners, serving lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. That's 100 chances to nab one of the seats. If Noma’s track record is anything to go by (back in Copenhagen, the restaurant is inundated with 100,000 enquiries each month and the Tokyo pop-up attracted a 62,000-strong waitlist), you'll want to keep up-to-date of when bookings open by registering at Noma Australia.
And what will Redzepi be looking forward to the most: “finally getting a summer that lasts longer than five days”. And flip flops? Most definitely.