WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: The now legendary New Nordic movement was a fresh approach to everything: the ingredients chefs used, how they sourced them, how they cooked them – or not – and how they presented them. But behind the hype is a rich mosaic of traditions, local variations and individual cooking styles.
(This is an extract - you can read the entire article in The White Guide Nordic Book)
By White Guide’s publisher-editor Lars Peder Hedberg.
When the Copenhagen-based Noma made its trial appearance at Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo in early 2014, it was a roaring success. Savvy Japanese diners couldn’t get enough. And Noma’s René Redzepi wanted more of Japan. It was true love. So, for two months in the beginning of 2015, the entire restaurant is relocating to Tokyo, this time without the Nordic foodstuffs, but only the mindset.
Extremely fresh (as in “live”) and its opposite, rotting (as in “fermented”), are two of the many elements that contemporary Nordic and traditional Japanese cuisine have in common. This gastronomy is not for the faint of heart, but for those who dare to venture outside their comfort zones.
Leading Nordic chefs, such as Copenhagen’s Jakob Mielcke at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, have been inspired by Japan for years now. In Sweden the fusion is especially palate- and eye-catching, where leading restaurants such as Restaurant Frantzén, Oaxen Krog, Mathias Dahlgren, Gastrologik and Fäviken Magasinet all, in different ways, meld Swedish and Japanese techniques and traditions. But the best place to enjoy Swedish-Japanese fusion is at Sayan Isaksson’s triple-unit establishment in Stockholm – the fine dining Esperanto (ranked Best Restaurant in Sweden 2013 and 2014 by the White Guide), the innovative restaurant Råkultur, and the casual izakaya, Shibumi.