Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Battle of Life

The Wall Street Journal sent Jonathan Gold to Copenhagen to eat at the 'World's Best Restaurant', a twelve-table place called Noma. (He also ate at the 'Best Restaurant in North America', which is a place in Chicago called Alinea. There are things that Rupert Murdoch can do for you that the LA Weekly can't.)

The food is mostly unrecognizable as such -- a sort of fantasia of forest and ocean themes -- and from the description of his meal (if you can call it that), I'd pay a year's salary to eat there. Except, perhaps, this:

With a kind of reverence, a chef sets down a lidded mason jar filled with ice. Inside are tiny prawns from the fjord; after lumpfish roe, the translucent creatures are the second sign of Nordic spring. You open the jar, and the prawns stare up at you, barely moving, although when you pick one up, it wriggles like mad. You stare at it a moment, man against prawn, predator and prey, and when you pop it into your mouth you feel it go limp under your teeth all at once, its small life absorbed into your own.

1 comment:

David Chute said...

A recurring theme. This from his review of a Koreatown restaurant called O-Dae San:

The last time I was there, I ordered a few live Santa Barbara spot prawns, at $10 a pop. Some restaurants in Koreatown serve the prawns intact and wriggling, stripped of their shells but still attached to their heads — you kill the prawn when you bite into it, feel the life drain from its body into your mouth. At O-Dae San, only the bodies of the peeled live prawns are served, but the severed heads are arranged neatly around a mound of ice, very much still alive, legs shuddering, black eyes swiveling, watching you as you pick up their bodies with your chopsticks and put them into your mouth. A prawn may not be capable of consciousness as you or even Peter Singer knows it, but it knows when it is being eaten. It doesn’t like it much. But it is delicious, plumped out with briny juices, each individual cell popping under your teeth.

I'm buying!