Perhaps the most immersive restaurant ever conceived. 50 bites over 4-6 hours through a custom $15M facility spanning 22,000 square feet. Video ceiling included.
This visit contains descriptions of some foods and experiences that are out of the norm. Some may find the descriptions and/or photos disturbing.

If you have have not read my review from August 16, 2022, please do that first. This review will not walk you through the experience fully. It will only fill in the gaps - share the things that were different from my first visit.

I did not want to revisit Alchemist this soon. The experience is so dynamic and unique and magical, I needed a lot more time to "digest" my first visit. (See what I did there...?)

But a friend met me in Copenhagen - a trip made to revisit Noma before it closed - and she managed to find an available reservation (I still have no idea how she did that...), I would certainly not deny her this incredible experience.

So return I did.

I didn't expect there to be too much to report. Boy was I wrong!

The biggest thing that grabbed me from this experience was how different it was! From the overall message of the dinner (this time it was self-reflection) to the number of dishes that were changed. Even the infamous video ceiling was vastly different from before. How incredibly impressive that they continue to push and change even such a lofty and complex experience to continue to push the envelope.

From brilliant new dishes (such as a 3d printed Freyda from Mexico which lights up exactly when the server tells you it will to freeze dried butterflies (yes...real butterflies) to the experience rooms at the beginning and after the main dining room, this experience was maybe 40% different than last time? Simply amazing.

I had the non-alcoholic pairing and my word was it incredible! I can't recommend it highly enough to you. The flavors, richness, diversity...and those decanters!! Check out some of the photos below. They are simply too beautiful to miss.

One drink was made from the leftover pulp from cherry juice production. Yet again and still a push to take those ingredients and products that are traditionally discarded and produce something of the highest order. It's just so damn impressive.

To push the evening's theme of self-reflection, the opening experience changed from a violin player to an interpretive dancer emoting in front of large mirrors. In the end, she silently gestures for you to join her, ending by lining you up to simply gaze at your own reflection in the large mirror while the voiceover asks you questions like "What do you see when you look at yourself?"

The interactive experience changed from the gloriously fun pink room to a huge black and white ball pit, surrounded by mirrors. This is intended for you to find your child-like joy that is still down inside you, the same dancer from the start gleefully diving in with you with an enormous, playful smile.

The exit? Changed to be a room adorned with a myriad of neon glowing words - "frightened", "plain", "nervous", "attentive", "determined", "spry". Which words call to you? How do you see yourself?

Dishes even reflected the theme, the most notable being the delicious "reflection" - made with a reflective black currant gel, allowing you to look into it and see yourself alongside a rainbow (prism) "showing the diversity and acceptance of all types of people...". 

Who does this?

Chef Rasmus Munk was again in the restaurant, serving a few of our dishes and chatting with us over dessert more than 6 hours later. The things this restaurant is achieving is truly remarkable. For example, they have two patents: one for an enzyme they created, another for a type of chocolate that is intended to reduce reliance on child-labor-filled cocoa productions around the globe. 

"My true goal is that we have an exhibit in MoMA some day." he shared. These guys aren't playing. It's not just about the food on your plate.

We asked him about the level of effort and commitment to generate this type of experience. He acknowledged that it is monumental and taking a toll. While a date is not yet set, he expects the restaurant will shut down in 5-7 years. Given that this place is what he was dreaming of 5-10 years ago, what are the new ideas and concepts he has been dreaming of? He's only 32 years old!

There can't be a more trailblazing chef on the planet to keep your eye on. And if for that reason alone, plan a trip to Copenhagen to visit Alchemist. You'll eat all sorts of challenging things you've never had before. But moreso, you will have an experience you will truly remember the rest of your life.

"I visited that place." You'll want to say that about Alchemist. Be sure you get here so you can.

This visit contains descriptions of some foods and experiences that are out of the norm. Some may find the descriptions and/or photos disturbing.

Warning: If you are planning to attend Alchemist any time soon, I recommend NOT reading this post. It shares each step along the way and part of the magic here is the surprise of the journey.

Alchemist is an experience that is as unique as it is extraordinary. It's not capturable. Having been through it, I'm not even sure that I captured even a small part of it. It is complex and amazing and difficult and awe-inspiring and beautiful.

As you enter through the 2-ton custom-carved brass doors (that open on their own to beckon you in), you are greeted by some of the most friendly, engaging staff I have ever seen. Handing you a cold, scented towel (so welcome on a sweltering day in Copenhagen), they ask about where you're from, what you're expecting, etc. The tone is set. They are ready for you.

From there, into a pitch black room. "Stand on the light on the floor." As you wait, giddy with anticipation, a violinist appears. She is from the Copenhagen Philharmonic and plays a sad Danish folk song. It's beautiful. SHE is beautiful. What a welcome.

As she finishes, the light fades back out and the wall lifts, drawing you into the lounge. A space buzzing with activity. 4 chairs were waiting just for us as we were welcomed by a server, explaining more about the restaurant and what was to come.

As we were served the first "impressions" (as Alchemist calls them), I have never seen such coordination. Two servers laid down four plates in complete sync with one another. They were similarly cleared effortlessly and in unison.

Let me tell you, these bites were absurd. Beautiful, odd, mystifying and supremely delicious. The drinks provided were incredible too.

You are looking at the test kitchen, which is buzzing with activity. Alchemist employs 8 full time chefs for the test kitchen alone! Along with 5 full time graphic designers, their skills on full display on the wine list. (Check out the video below.)

From there, you are used up stairs to the wine cellar, 5 stories tall and completely made of glass. Even the floor/landing you stand on is glass allowing you to look at the wines under your feet. The host gleefully guides you through the wines visually and answers any questions you may have.

Then, on to the dome. Alchemist's signature dining room with HD video playing 360 degrees overhead and a sound system that envelopes the space. "Immersive" may be too weak a word to describe it.

Sitting along the gorgeous, snaking bar, the many (many!!) courses come from a visible kitchen. Each dish has a message, from sustainability to blood donation, ocean plastics to world hunger, caged birds to child labor. The message comes from the servers, from the dish itself and is mirrored by ever changing worlds on the screen above you.

Each time the scene changed on the screen, the music would get louder and more urgent, subtly announcing "Look up". The transitions were unreal. I have capture most of them in videos below.

I should note that the staff is perfect. Simply perfect. Our primary server Martin was made for this, with an ease of delivery but engaging depth of knowledge about each dish, each wine, each everything. He referred to us BY NAME. ("Dave, your next wine will be...") The highest experience there is.

Their communication was incredible. At one point (following a particularly difficult bite), I joked with my new friends "Can we just have a steak or a piece of chicken or something??" 2 minutes later, a different server walked up with the next wine. "I hear we just want some steak or chicken over here!!" Such incredible little touches that made it clear that you were the star.

Following the meal here, we were used to the pink room. A hilariously fun 10 minutes with a performance actor, allowing you to decompress, laugh, dance (yes, dance!) and just have a really fun time.

From there, to the kitchen where a chef walks you through the space and their digital "pass" which tracks each "table" and where they are in the process.

On to the lounge, for final bites, coffee and tea and just an overall decompression. Martin stayed with us on into the lounge as well, expertly explaining teas and handling even the smallest request.

The lighting in the lounge were little jellyfish, consistently (yet subtly) moving around giving the space life and energy, tying directly into the overall themes for the evening.

Rasmus Munk, the 31 year old chef/creator/visionary was here too (as he had been in the dome, serving us a number of the impressions). He wore the same dress as all other chefs. No tiers. No special call out. Just one egalitarian team delivering the very finest experience.

I'm not sure how else to share what this was. With the visual, experiential and cause-based passions of the next generation, I have to think Alchemist is the first of many to come. But for now, the innovation and excellence of this place is singular. It's special. It is an absolute MUST DO.

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