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Expect a virtual food fight in four days when Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo begins accepting online reservations for a highly anticipated culinary event. In January 2015, Danish chef René Redzepi will temporarily move his Copenhagen restaurant Noma — which has been named the World’s Best Restaurant for the fourth time — from Copenhagen for a three-week “pop-up” in Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental.
Danish chef René Redzepi of Noma is opening the world’s most anticipated pop-up in Tokyo (Photo: AP)
The celebrity chef’s January 9-31 pop-up has the food world popping with anticipation. Dinner reservations will be available at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo’s website starting this Monday, June 23 at 1 p.m. Tokyo time (in Eastern Time, that’s the stroke of midnight between Sunday night and Monday morning). They’ll cost about $1,400 for a party of two (no need to dine and dash; the price includes a one-night stay at the hotel). For lunch reservations — a relative bargain at only about $380 per person — you’ll have to go to Noma’s website. Better be quick on your mouse because spots are expected to go quickly.
Noma restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo. (Picture: Mandarin Oriental)
Pop-ups aren’t usually announced with this much fanfare so far in advance. Foodies often have to find out about them last minute via word of mouth (or, more accurately, word of Twitter). Fortunately for those of us who have the pop-up bug and can’t wait for Redzepi’s Tokyo pop-up next year, we already know about a few others that are going on this summer. Here are the ones you should feast on:
SAMUELSSON AT HP
Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Harlem’s Red Rooster is spending much of the summer at Fairmont Hamilton Princess resort in Bermuda for a two- month pop-up called “Samuelsson at HP.” The menu, which includes signature cocktails, is already online. Samuelsson, who won the culinary reality show “Chopped: All-Stars” in 2012, is putting a Bermuda twist on his international cooking style, offering up treats like fish chowder croquettes with rum aioli and Dark & Stormy sorbet. Samuelsson at HP is open until August 3rd.
Open air dining at Samuelsson’s pop-up restaurant on Hamilton Harbor. (Picture: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)
If you are an experienced champagne drinker, then a pop-up at Moet & Chandon’s historic L’Orangerie estate in France is for you. Featuring Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno, the restaurant simply named “LE &” offers a month of grape expectations with various champagne pairing menus. Guests get more than just a sit-down experience as they journey to four culinary showcases from a Blind Shot Room (where you sip in complete darkness and silence in order to solely rely on your sense of taste) to the 7 Salt Bar, where you can accentuate the champagne with seven salty appetizers, including pasta imported from Sardinia and oysters with cucumber extract. The minimum party size is four and you can book until July 9th.
Run by a husband and wife team, Adam’s won a Michelin Star months after it opened in April of last year in Birmingham (England, not Alabama). Originally envisioned as a two-year pop-up, Adam’s blends familiar countryside flavors with tricked-out twists. The food is served in a five or nine-course tasting menu featuring Cornish crab, Wye Valley asparagus, pink grapefruit, and wood pigeon served with beetroot and watercress.
KOREAN WEEK AT LATITUDE
For one week only, Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel is handing over Latitude’s live cooking station to award-winning Korean chef Hee Seol Kang for “Korean Week.” Expect off-the-grid options like pumpkin porridge — with pumpkins shipped directly from the chef’s homegrown produce market to ensure freshness. Open June 22-28.
The buffet at Latitude (Photo: Jumeriah Beach Hotel)
DINNER IN THE SKY
Dinner in the Sky really puts the “up” in “pop-up.” In this movable restaurant, guests are treated to a five-course menu they enjoy as a crane hoists their dining table 180 feet in the air (yes, there are bathroom breaks available; just ask the waiter and your table can be back on terra firma in less than a minute). Each day, one of seven chefs serve 22 thrill seekers for a high-flying dining experience that turns an ordinary meal into an unforgettable, high-flying night out. Dinner in the Sky has popped up in more than 45 cities in Croatia, Qatar, and Mexico. It’s currently in Brussels, Belgium until June 29th and pops up again in Split, Croatia in August.
Putting the “up” in “pop-up with Dinner in the Sky. (Picture: Dinner in the Sky)
Oregon is so abuzz with pop-ups that the Oregonian newspaper gave its 2014 Restaurant of the Year award not to a traditional restaurant, but to the state’s collective pop-up dining scene. Our favorite of the bunch is Holdfast, a pop-up that operates out of a commercial kitchen in downtown Portland. It offers inventive 9-course menus that make it a true joy to stuff your face. If you want to experience it for yourself, you’d better act quickly because this is one hot meal ticket; dinner tickets are released once a month and usually sell out within minutes.
Crab, uni “robuchon” potatoes, trout roe, seaweed vinaigrette and seaweed chips at Holdfast restaurant. (Photo: Holdfast Restaurant)