Worlds best restaurant. Nothing less can do it for the young chef Rasumus Munk. That is the ambition for his restaurant which suting enough takes its name after the old profession that is pursuit of turning everyday itemns into gold much like him.
Already at 22 Rasmus Munk was the headchef of an ambitious restaurant in Vejle earning great reviews. Due to differences with the owners Rasmus decided to open his own restaurant with his own money to achieve complete control without a single compromise.
The result is a small restaurant that seats 15 people where he seeks to win best restaurant in the World with a concept of 45 dishes with high degree of theatrical and technique.
Nobody wants to read a review of 45 dishes and to be honest my memory is not strong enough to remember each and every one of them in detail which I therefore will not do.
The ability to develop 45 World class dishes that varies with the seasons is an impossible task for any restaurant regardless of money and size and some would therefore say that Rasmus with this strategy may have overshot his target. At this point it should not be a secret for anyone that I visit a lot of restaurants. What I am looking for is always the same. Something that stands out from all the thousands of other restaurants around.
Alchemist defininetly stands out with its political views (serving tartare in a frozen heart following which you could sign up to be an organ donar), ambitious menu of 45 servings and the highly theatrical presentations and use of techniques. For me the most important is however whether or not the food is delicious. Out of the 45 dishes a series of them blew me away. Dishes that combined use of tecnhiques with amazing flavor combinations and last but not least nice presentations. The overall level was great and only few dishes were indifferent.
And yet I found my self struggeling with the restaurant. When thinking about why I came to the conclusion that despite the close encounter with both Rasmus and the waiters I felt a strong distance from the food to Rasmus. The menu covered dishes from ALL over the World with dishes from China, Japan, Thailand, Denmark, France and Spain just to name a few. The huge spread in flavor pale made it hard for me to detect a common denominator and even who and what kind of chef Rasmus is. The dish where I senced the strongest connection was also one of the most simple. A truffle toast which was served while lissening to the theme of Beverly Hills 90210 (the old version). Watching Beverly Hills while snacking is definently a situation I can relate to.
With time I am sure that Rasmus will find a more clear sence of identity in his cooking and be able to not let the new impressions from his travels overwhell him but incorporate small elements in his own style such other chefs have done when travelling the World. Being a skilled chef which he truly is I am sure that this will happen over time. A journey that I cannot wait to follow. Afterall his food is damm good and his technical skillset is right up there. Al that is needed for him to reach the top is experience.
Act 1 (vegetables)
Frozen Yuzu and flowers. Cherry and lemon verbena. Potato and caviar
Ashtray. A take on the classic Danish dish “burning love” which was a favorite of his grandmother who was a heavy smoker
Mushroom tarte. A great dish which combined Spanish techniques with great flavors
Act 2 (shellfish)
Knivmusling and mussels. Oysters and comte 32. An extremely mild oysters. Scallop and miso. Great presentation and an amazing scallop. Langoistine and elderflower. One of the highlights of the meal. So well balanced and just pure deliciousness.
Lobster and brioche. Both fun and tasty
Act 3 (fish)
Nori seaweed and hake. Such a simple dish but so delicious. A great use of caviar and fun to see it combined with an also salty nori seaweed. Unagi burger. I really loved this one. Smokey in the best possible way. Black cod and truffle. From a series of very good dishes to a bland one. Somehow it just didn’t work. Maybe the truffle was too mild in flavor.
Act 4 (meat)
Fois grais. A spot on political statement. Having to eat fois grais in the same way that geese are being stuffed feed. Delicios as well.
Lamme brain and thyme. Another of the iconic dishes from Alchemist. Despite the presentation it didn’t leave a lasting impresision though.
Organ donation. Serving a tartare inside a frozen heart while pouring the sauce from an IV and encouraging the guest to sigh up to be an organ donar. Beautifull presentation and great flavors.
Ceaser salat with cows utter. Beautifull and delicious
Street kitchen Bangkok. Very good
Act 5 (more meat)
A simple and delicious bao. Chicken “tart” with fresh cheese. Kobe tartar. Sweet and delicious. Just a bit of thyme made a massive difference. Soba noodles inspired by Slurp Ramen in Copenhagen. A delicious “ramen” where the woodlice was a very great crunchy element
Act 6 (cheese)
Beverly Hills 90210. A truffle toast served while lissening to the theme music from the classic show. Blue cheese and chocolate. It doesn’t look like much but it was really delicious blue cheese serving with chocolate. The flavors just worked together
Act 7 (dessert)
Mango kakigori. Vanilla and oliveoil. A great combination. Oliveoil in dessert is a new favorite of mine. Sweet potato and caramel.
The painting. You were given an editble paint and canvass for you to be able to add your own style to the dish. Subsequent the canvas was mixed with liquid nitrogen in an order to break it into small pieces.
Act 8 (petit four)
Turtles. Eartworm with edible dirt. Really good. Mango lassi from india. Baked Alaska