New 50-course dining experience awaits at Alchemist

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 2 July 2019

An extraordinary new restaurant is opening in Copenhagen on 4 July which offers a tasting menu with no less than 50 courses. The Alchemist is Chef Rasmus Munk’s innovative 40-seater dining, art and theatre creation, which took two years to construct and cost $15 million (10 times its initial budget).

Left: The height from floor to ceiling in the main lounge is over 22m with a partly veiled view into Alchemist’s test kitchen. Right: The massive bronze doors that lead into Alchemist measure 100 sq ft (8 ft wide and 13 ft
tall) and are designed by Danish Artist Maria Rubinke.

Bookings opened on 22 June and despite a price tag of around DKr4,000 (about R8,500) for a five-hour meal made up of 50 tasting courses with wine (from a collection of 10,000 bottles), the waiting list already runs to 15,000 people, according to WantedOnline.

The chef’s former Alchemist restaurant was housed in a smaller venue but the wait for the bigger, better version with its four-metre-high, custom-made bronze doors comes with two sensory experience rooms where artists, actors and creative installations, which change two or three times a year, will enhance the dining experience.

A tribute to foie gras producer Eduardo Sousa, who figured out a way to produce natural foie gras from wild geese (no force feeding) that land in Spain once a year to feast on acorns and olives before migrating further south.
Details: Sautéed foie gras in a Madeira casing topped with aerated foie gras.

‘I’m very excited about our first two themes, New York City and LGBTQ. We want to create magic at Alchemist. And I mean, who hasn’t dreamt of pulling a rabbit out of a hat during dinner?’ Rasmus said.

The Alchemist’s menu is inspired ‘by the elements of the periodic system used by alchemists in the attempt to create gold’, according to foodandwinegazette.com.

‘We play with and stimulate our guests’ senses by making use of flavors, sound and lighting effects, fragrances, textures, and aesthetics. For some servings, we will, for example, deprive guests of one sense to sharpen others, which will make them experience the serving completely different than if they had all senses to their disposal. For another serving, we will play with guests’ visual perception by making use of optical illusions. Our guests will leave full, but not too full,’ Rasmus explained.

This beautiful flower is actually made from thin, dried sheets of “scoby”, the yeast organism that is used to ferment kombucha. The red colour comes from dried hibiscus flowers that have infused in the tea used to brew the kombucha.
Details: The kombucha itself is served in the non-alcoholic beverage menu.

The evening culminates in one of the restaurant’s two lounge areas under a ficticious golden sky designed by Enzo Catellani, where a tea sommelier will perform a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for guests.

200 tons of steel went into the construction of the gigantic planetarium dome, which lies at the heart of Alchemist. The dome has a diameter of 18m, with 12 mapping projectors supplying the guests at the winding dining bar with a 360-degree visual experience while dining. A filmic experience of the aurora borealis, an ocean with floating jellyfish amongst plastic debris and sparks from fire rising to the sky are some of the mood creating tableaus inside the dome.

Images: supplied

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