Oscarsgate, Oslo

Never before have I been so under dressed for dinner. Then again, I did go straight from the airport after my Arctic adventure and I wasn’t made to feel out of place by the very gregarious staff that looked after me at Restaurant Oscarsgate in Oslo. Well, I wasn’t actually planning on eating anywhere is Oslo – rather just check in to my hotel and bask in the afterglow of the Northern Lights. It was only on my last day in Svalbard that I met a friendly girl from Oslo who questioned why I wasn’t trying out the fine dining there and that I should definitely try this restaurant as she’d worked there many years ago and they served exceptional food. As luck had it, even though they were fully booked, there was a last minute cancellation which I happily scooped up. In a restaurant of 20 covers, this is a big thing!

There is only one choice of menu. Chefs tasting menu. Here’s how it all pans out…

Canape
Canape
Char and Yuzu

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You’re told to only eat the olive, tomato and mozzarella toast, and leave the crumble in the jar for later. In hot pursuit of the toast is the cod fritter with truffle. Then comes Arctic char, yuzu and soy foam which you dunk into the jar of crumble. Great contrasts of flavours and textures.

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Salmon and tuna
Toast and butter
Beef tartare

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Smoked Norwegian salmon on rye crisp, tuna tartare, seaweed and sesame – just as they should be, lovevly!

A gimmicky bit of rye wafers  and foie gras butter (that came in a tube!) didn’t quite to it for me – the butter being too liquid and not overly exciting.

The Beef tartare, on the other hand, glowed! Coming with rye ‘dust’ , pickles, deep fried onion, tarragon puree; a melody in every bite!

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Oyster
Salmon
Halibut

Oyster, apple and cucumber foam, mint and coriander puree, pepper relish had an almost flavourless foam, yet the herb puree added an earthy balance to the oyster.

Salmon, avocado, coconut, lime, radishes edged slightly over the line of being too busy, with only the flavour of coconut and lime (in foam and ice cream) coming through, which, nonetheless, are a brilliant match for salmon.

Next was a Halibut and parsley. All sorts of parsley preparations from puree, to fried (with stalk n all), fresh, oil, foam…definitely a highlight of the meal.

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Monkfish
Corn
Cod

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Open ravioli of Monkfish, truffle and sea urchin. More foam, a ton of truffle, meaty monkfish and chicken sauce. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

A well and truly corny dish (sorry for the terrible pun) Popcorn, cornflakes, corn puree, sweetcorn, truffle. More truffle, clever idea, but not as corny as one expects it to be.

Cod, celery, celeriac . Playful but not very exciting.

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Cleanser
Reindeer
Cheese

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Sea buckthorn soup, herb sorbet – a punchy, well combined dish. Could also have made a fantastic pre-dessert.

Roast reindeer, foie gras, onions Great bit of meat, not so keen on the foie gras, but the onion variations did a good bit of justice.

Cheese! Epoisses pickled grapes, walnuts, blini. Melted epoisses at that!

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Apple and custard
Chocolate
Petit-fours

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All I can remember about the Apple and Custard dish is that it had apples, a sheet of vanilla custard, more foam, chocolate and rye ‘dust’. Very creamy. Not very exciting.

The Chocolate bowl that resemble a landslide was a full onslaught of everything chocolate: cream, puree, crumble, deep fried, sauce, cookie, sponge…intense. very very sweet.

The first line of petit-fours involved blackcurrant jelly, lemon wafer, liquorice meringue. The liquorice meringue was a cloyingly sweet rock of dried meringue – not nice!

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Cigar
More chocolates

And more chocolate. Quite liked the Chocolate cigar that came in cigar box filled with cigar smoke. Very pleasant with a brandy in hand! The cigars themselves were filled with a chocolate-whisky cream.

Didn’t get around to trying the truffles. Chocolate overload!

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Overall, I’d say it was quite an ambitious meal. Too many foams, too many dishes looking like each other, a few great combinations, quite a few overstretched imaginations of flavour attempts and very protein intensive.

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Overall experience: 8
Food: 7
Recommend you go:  7
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