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Travelling to Kyoto or Copenhagen? Check out World’s Best Restaurant, Noma | Travel


In January 2023, Rene Redzepi announced the closing of his world -famous Copenhagen dining room Noma — the five time No. 1 winner on the World’s 50 Best restaurant list and one of the hardest tables to book on earth — at the end of 2024.

Travelling to Kyoto or Copenhagen? Check out World’s Best Restaurant Noma (REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo)
Travelling to Kyoto or Copenhagen? Check out World’s Best Restaurant Noma (REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo)

Now, Noma’s chef and co-owner is giving diners a reprieve. And a new venue to consider. Noma will return to Kyoto for a second residency at the end of the year. The 10-week engagement will once again be at the Ace Hotel Kyoto and run from Oct. 8 to Dec. 18.

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And when Redzepi and his team return to Copenhagen, they won’t immediately close the doors to the storied compound. Instead they will extend Noma 2.0 into Spring 2025. The chef, who divides the year by three, not four, seasonal menus — Vegetable; Game and Forest; and Ocean — will serve the seafood menu for the last few months before Noma 2.0 ends its run, for real they say, on an undisclosed date.

Reservations for Kyoto will open on May 14th via the Noma newsletter. This year’s Kyoto menu and drink pairings will cost 840 euros ($912) plus a 10% charge for service; last year it was 775 euros plus 10%.

There will be seven services a week, four dinners and three lunches, for a total of 70 meals. About 100 team members and their families, around the same number as last year, will come to Kyoto; Noma in Copenhagen will be closed during that time, although Noma Projects, which produces products like smoked mushroom garum, will continue to operate.

Noma might be returning to the same place as the inaugural pop up a year ago, but don’t expect the same shabu shabu with seaweed and tomato-as-rose that was served last year. “Well, Kyoto in autumn will certainly offer a different experience; seasonality plays a crucial role with its 72 micro seasons,” said Redzepi over email. “Game meats become available, and it’s the high season for crab, bringing a completely different array of ingredients. We’re also hoping for wild mushrooms.” But the menu and specific dishes are still under wraps, says the chef, although he confirms that they have pre-ordered some aforementioned game meats and crab from local purveyors and “collected some items from the wilderness.”

Redzepi adds that his team have also dried 10,000 vibrantly colored koyo (autumn leaves), presumably to set the scene in the Ace’s restaurant dining room for the fall menu.

As for the extension of Noma 2.0 in Copenhagen, Lena Hennessy, chief operating officer of Noma, says it was a function of the Kyoto pop up timing. “We wanted to travel, come back and do another season in Copenhagen. We love our home here.”

Did Redzepi think of taking his residency to a new country, since he’s already done Kyoto and hasn’t recreated pop ups at the sites of other past residencies, including Tokyo and Tulum? In a word, no. “As a chef, a culinary professional, and food lover, I view Japan as one of the highest altars one can visit. The levels of knowledge, the depth of technique, and the longevity of traditions that continue to thrive are simply mind-blowing,” he says.

He also notes that the original Noma Kyoto pop up was planned pre-pandemic to take place in Autumn 2022; when Japan’s strict lockdown protocol made that impossible, it was moved to the arguably less bountiful season for produce, Spring. That left Redzepi with “unfinished business.” He adds, “so, we started planning for another season halfway through our first pop-up, seeking a different experience with a new seasonal menu and the chance to design the space anew.”

But still, Redzepi, says, “I’m pretty certain that once we conclude this upcoming pop-up, we’ll find ourselves reflecting on what we didn’t do, what we didn’t explore, and what aspects we didn’t fully understand.” Which some people might read as a hint that this isn’t the last residency he’ll do in Kyoto.

As it happens, Hennessy says that Noma will definitely visit other places, even after the current version of the restaurant closes in the Spring. “There are residencies in the works,” she confirms. Likewise Noma in Copenhagen will almost definitely continue to feed people, says Hennessy. “It’s not a hard and fast closing of the doors. Serving guests will continue to be a part of who we are.” Even if the chapter of vegetables, forest and ocean will almost certainly come to an end, the Noma team doesn’t know how to stop innovating. “We want to redefine ourselves as an organization. Not in the format people have become accustomed to. But feeding people, yes,” says Hennessy.


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