In Malmö’s thriving Holma neighborhood, you’ll find the original Re:Comb restaurant (open every day, 11-14, 17-22; BYOB). Launched as a pilot project in the 30s, it epitomised the short-lived “smart city” boom, which was focussed more on nearby Hyllie.
Using a bespoke algorithm, the Re:Comb system maps, indexes and monitors all caloric sources in the area—the weeds, veggies, fruits and nuts being grown nearby, but also the inmates of insect-farms, pigeon-lofts and chicken runs… and the refrigerator inventories of local households. Each day, the software identifies the food that is about to go bad, or which is ripe for harvest. Holma’s best chefs—and we are talking genuinely world-class!—then cook meals based on these ingredients and serve them at Re:Comb, the restaurant. As such, while certain seasonal patterns can be discerned, a diner at Re:Comb can never be quite sure what they’re going to get.
(When the Rough Planet food editors last ate there, they were served cherry-stuffed bell peppers with a herby goosefoot oil, alongside grilled tilapia fish straight from the nearby aquaponics facility. An unexpected combo, but five star stuff nonetheless.)
Residents whose produce has been harvested eat at a reduced price, as do those whose fridges have been raided, but the price point is still surprisingly affordable even for incomers! However, do be aware that Re:Comb is a controversial venture in Holma, with membership of the reclamation system being a non-negotiable condition of housing provision within certain parts of the neighbourhood. Many residents consider the sensors invasive, with some going so far as to dumbing down their fridges by wrapping them in aluminum foil, or fitting extra locks to their apartments to prevent the Re:Comb crews gaining access… though such resistance can see people receiving penalties, or even being evicted.
If the ethical stuff doesn’t bother you, Re:Comb is clearly worth a visit: there’s no gastronomic experience quite like it, and some diners even find that the presence of small groups of protestors outside only adds to the vibe. If you want the weirdest possible meal, visit in February, when fresh food is scarce and the AI is desperate.