Is KOKS the best restaurant in the world?

KOKS, web site, Í Geilini 13, Tórshavn 175, Faroe Islands [Fodors | TripAdvisor]

I am told KOKS is a Faroese word for “adding something excellent,” though there are varying accounts of the translation. In any case, in terms of originality, purity of concept and vision, execution, service, and also view — taken as an integrated whole — I can’t think of any restaurant experience that comes close to this one. Noma in Copenhagen is a pale memory in contrast, as are the Michelin three-stars in San Sebastian. KOKS is still unspoilt and on the way up, and the guiding star is the very young and extremely personable Poul Andrias Ziska.

It has been written up in the New York Times and Guardian for its innovative take on Faroese cuisine, though both articles are now out of date. The dining room seats only 20, and Ziska is also the pastry chef, with no loss of quality. You’ll find photos and food descriptions on their Facebook page. Here is the shaved horsemussel on dried cod skin:

KOKS, shaved horsemussel on dried cod skin

Here is one recent review:

Its cuisine style is earthy and refined, ancient and modern. Instead of the new, it emphasizes the old (drying, fermenting, pickling, curing and smoking) with a larger goal of returning balance to earth itself. At KOKS, the cuisine is about seasonality, seriously engaging with agriculture and history and of making age-old food delightful to modern palates…

Poul continues to simply enjoy the uniqueness and richness of the Faroe Islands. Fan of ræst, (local preservation method) he supports and defends this technique that captures and boosts flavour.

I can agree with this assessment:

And finally (and I have to say the best dessert I’ve ever had), dulse seaweed served with chocolate crumble, fermented blueberries and dulse mousse. Sweet, a bit tangy, a bit crunchy, silky-smooth on the mouth and simple heavenly. My marathon reward ended on a very special note.

I am willing to go out on a limb here: it is probably the best restaurant in the world right now. It alone justifies a trip to the Faroe Islands.

Addendum: Etika, also in the Faroes, has some of the best sashimi I’ve eaten, recommended as well.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

Puffins!

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One Response to Is KOKS the best restaurant in the world?

  1. Paul Sotoudeh says:

    Wow, just seeing this. We went to both KOKS and Noma in the spring of 2015 (Etika as well) as part of a trip around Scandinavia. KOKS was a wonderful experience, really first-rate, especially in terms of service and, as you’d expect, the freshness of the seafood. Having said that, we’d been to Noma a few days earlier and I found that to be a level above every other restaurant I’d experienced, KOKS included. But KOKS is very worthy, and the Faroes as a whole are really spectacular and worth a visit, especially in combination with a trip to either Iceland or Denmark.

    There’s another restaurant in Copenhagen, Amass, which is run by a Noma alum originally from New York City, and it belongs in this discussion. A magnificent, warm experience from start to finish.

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