As you can see in my flickr stream, I have a couple other Chinese dishes to share with you but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Right now, I’m simply too excited to think about home cooking. I woke up at 3:30am this morning to the sound of an alarm that I set weeks ago. Then I immediately sat in front of my computer requesting the same webpage over and over again. Four hours later, I finally got through: the online reservation system for Noma. I have secured a lunch reservation for two during my upcoming trip to Denmark!
Last time I traveled to Europe was 2007 for a very similar reason. I lucked out with a reservation at El Bulli. I still recall how I jumped up and down at the office when that confirmation email showed up at my inbox. A flurry of activities soon followed suit with booking flights, accommodation, car rental, and more restaurant reservations. It was an intense gastronomic tour of Catalonia in Spain and United Kingdom that also brought me to The Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay. The level of intensity was evident in these photos. I was a good 10lb heavier than I am right now! The food I enjoyed during that trip was so inspiring that I lost interest to dine out back home long after the trip ended.
The difference this time is that fine dining will not be a focus of my travel. The purpose of my trip is actually an inline speed skating training camp at an excellent facility. I’ll get to work with other great skaters and coaches. I have some lofty goals to achieve this year as an athlete and I cannot let the temptation of food undo the hard work I’ve been putting in for the last four years.
My visit to Noma will be a splurge in more ways than one. Obviously the cost of the meal is in the fine dining range but also it satisfies the food lover in me. A creative and tasty meal prepared with utmost care is a beautiful work of edible art. Having an opportunity to visit such a restaurant is a treat whichever way I look it it. I originally intended to make a reservation for one as per my typical habit. I enjoy dining solo especially when the food engages all my senses. A table for one is not at all awkward. In fact, I appreciate the solitude allowing me to enjoy each morsel with undivided attention. However, in my excitement (or was it a state of sleep deprivation?), I made my reservation for the default party of two. Of course I have the choice to change my reservation but I decided to seek out a dining companion instead. I quickly sent an email to a few friends who will be attending the same training camp including one local to the area. I didn’t want to make a big deal because people who are not as passionate about fine dining don’t necessarily see the value of such an experience. In my invitation, I simply wrote that Noma is a restaurant at the top of its game and if one appreciates fine dining, this is an experience not to be missed. Barely a few minutes went by before my friend from Copenhagen replied.
How did you get a table at Noma???? Their waiting list is one and a half year.
Noma was named not top of the game but “The world’s best restaurant”. Not an honour that you get while asleep at the wheel.
If nobody else wants it, I will be most happy to join you.
Fact check aside, I’m glad that I’ll have a great companion to join me for this rare experience. As much as I like dining solo, sharing the experience with someone equally enthusiastic makes it so much more fun.