I had previously visited Oslo a few years ago and was struck by how different Oslo is to other cities in Norway. It’s big and bustling, with notable architecture and an impressive arts scene. Despite it being on the water and there being a forest within the city limits, Oslo can at times feel very urban. It’s fast paced, funky and very multicultural, unlike other Norwegian cities. Which lends well to a decent food scene, as there is a mixture of traditional and international food offerings throughout the city. My last memory of food in Oslo was eating lacklustre food along Karl Johan’s gate, once again suffering from that certain kind of sting to one’s pocket that is so common in Norway. This time I was adamant that I wouldn’t repeat the same mistake and I can happily say that the following places made my taste buds very happy.
(Sunset over Oslofjord.)
Theatercafeen (Stortingsgaten 24/26, Oslo) is a Vienna- style cafe that just oozes charm thanks to it’s Art Nouveau design. We came here on a Monday for lunch, and the cafe was packed full of refined looking women sipping on champagne. The lunch menu is limited to a few mains, salads and brunch dishes as well as a sandwich and dessert buffet. It is hard to chose a highlight meal from the two that we chose, as both were delicious; the fiskesuppe and the steak tartare were equally fantastic. Two mains, two glasses of Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial and a bottle of sparkling water came to approx. €110. Inspired by our surroundings and coming to the end of our trip, we ordered Moët & Chandon champagne, however without this lavish addition the meal would have come to approx. €63.
(Fiskesuppe and steak tartare.)
From the street, Mister India (Dronningensgt. 19, Oslo) looks intriguing with it’s wooden carvings in the window and curtains covering the bottom half of the windows. Once inside, you get the sense that all Indian restaurants should look this way; beautiful mood lighting, lush upholstery, and intricately carved cabinets. Highlight meals were the batakh samosas and the quail tandoor pasanda. The batakh samosas were filled with spiced confit duck and were perfectly crispy on the outside. The quail had been cooked in the tandoor, so it was beautifully smokey, and served with a fragrantly spiced almond based sauce and a salad. This is the sort of food that makes you want to lick your plate clean. The service was attentive and friendly. A starter, two mains, naan bread, rice, two desserts and sparkling water came to approx. €115.
(Quail tandoor pasanda, garlic naan, basmati rice and Veinchina mamsam.)
Not all restaurants that we visited in Oslo were as pricey or as fancy as the two above. We also had a good meal at Egon restaurant and snacks at Stockfleths. Two mains and two sparkling waters at Egon set us back approx. €32, which shows that you can have good food without having to remortgage your house or sell a kidney on the black market. Stockfleths’ kanelboller (cinnamon buns) were super delicious and really moreish; a perfect balance of cinnamon without being overly sweet. Having one is a must! And at approximately €4 each, it’s hard to stop at just one.
Whilst Bergen stole my heart, with it’s quaint buildings and phenomenal scenery, Oslo has definitely left me intrigued. It’s edgy and a little rough around the edges, but this adds to it’s food scene which is far more varied and exciting. I’ll definitely be back!
*** I am not affiliated with any of the companies listed. I have not and will not receive any financial benefit for mentioning any of them. Overall, I just think that those listed are pretty awesome.