[Review of a film about a restaurant, so not sure if it should go here or in Culture, Media, and General; I settled on here.]

opening of the two-star Michelin restaurant KOKS in Ilimanaq,
Greenland, relocating from the Faroe Islands. Ilimanaq has a population
of 53, at least before the restaurant staff of 21 move there. (It does have a
school; eight children attend first through ninth grade there.)

KOKS serves a 17- to 22-course tasting meal (the number seemed to
fluctuate) for 3200 DKK (US$455), and had about 1800 reservations
before they even opened, for a restaurant that seats 30. People
can arrive on their own, but the meal is also included in some
high-end tours.

Part of the pressure to open on time in spite of all the problems
was that the people who had booked the first night included a man
coming from Hong Kong just for this, a couple celebrating their
anniversary on opening day. Chef Poul Andrias said at one point
that people were spending 10,000 DKK (roughly US$1500), which
probably only includes travel from nearby airports such as Denmark
or Iceland, plus boat fare.

The film covers the problems of opening a restaurant, exacerbated
by the remote location, the lack of infrastructure, and the attempt
to serve only seasonal, locally sourced food. For example, when
they first turned on the oven, the entire village lost power. It
turned out that seal is not as easy to source locally as they
thought, and since the Greenland whale harvest is limited to two
per year, that is also problematic.

Andrias described it at one point as, “everything that could go
wrong is going wrong, and everything that couldn’t go wrong is also
going wrong.”

They did not give the entire menu (which presumably has some
variations because of supply problems), but what they did mention
were mattak (whale skin); shrimp in a chamomile-kombucha sauce;
Arctic ptarmigan with tumak (reindeer fat), cream, and a berry
salsa; grilled seal ribs; Arctic char; whale with a blue mussel
glaze with beetroot; tartlet of seal blood and seaweed; fried
shrimp head; scallop; halibut; salmon skin; braised musk ox in a
glaze of burnt crab shell; a lovage dessert; and petit fours of
carmelised onion and fermented garlic.

What makes it more complicated is that apparently the meals/dishes
are staggered, i.e., they are not starting everyone at the same
time. So for example, they may be serving Table 1 the musk ox
while they are serving Table 2 the seal ribs.

[WARNING: The film shows a whale being cut up. It also has a lot
of profanity.]


It’s an interesting review.
Do they explain why they chose that location, and how they persuaded 21 people to move there? The chef seems not to have researched it very well.

The 21 people were the staff of KOKS In the Faroe Islands. There was probably some explanation of why at the beginning of the film, but my impression is that it’s a gimmick thing. I mean, the Faroe Islands wasn’t exactly the usual place for a Michelin restaurant either.

Are people going to burn up precious fossil fuels to visit this place?

I don’t even drive more than half an hour out of my way to dine at a fancy restaurant in Canada. I typically don’t go anywhere more than 30 minutes away on subway or beyond 90 minutes on foot.

YMMV :slightly_smiling_face:

unfortunately . . . . we live in a desert of “fine dining”
so 40-60 minutes one way is forced on us as ‘norm’

which, all things considered . . . doing a vacay in Las Vegas, getting out of the room, to the garage, then plod thru traffic, , , is about the same.
but, lots more better “fine dining places” available there than “here”

in LV, based on last trip, avoid CraftSteak. once exceptional, today the kitchen does not support the menu…
obvious tourist trap - but has really good food & ambience - Top of the World at the Strat. obnoxious fees, good food and good views.

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Oh, I get living in a desert of fine dining. I have cousins who will drive an hour for KFC or Pizza Hut. There is one greasy spoon within an hour of their home, and it’s closed on Sundays. The closest one Michelin star equivalent restaurant would be an 8 hour drive to Calgary.

I don’t understand a fancy place in the middle of Greenland, expecting traffic from abroad.

I definitely understand doing a splurge trip to Vegas and fitting in all the food while you can.

I can’t imagine going to Greenland for it, when we’re collectively being asked to watch our carbon footprints, put food waste in the green bins, etc.

foot print aside. there are some real actual ‘accessibility’ issues for Iceland in the ‘not summer’ season.

“tours including transportation” are one potential source of ‘star fixated’ customers.
not a lot of walk in traffic to be had . . .

DW loves LV for the glitter.
I think the most we ever ‘lost’ in the gambling scene was $200.
gambling is not our draw.
I go for the dining tour . . .


I agree with the gimmick point.

Still, it would take an awfully lot to lure me to work and live – presumably for a limited period – to a town with only 53 residents. I’m sure they could all get jobs elsewhere

That sounds like the highly entertaining The Menu might’ve been based on this. None of the food sounds appealing to me.