Story and photography by Manos Angelakis
Storgata 21 – 23 Folketeaterpassasjen
22 83 56 00
The new harborfront area, where the shipyards used to be, is the heart of 21st century Oslo.
It is a mixed-use development, where offices, shops and boutiques, galleries, cafés, Michelin-starred restaurants, bistros, brasseries and bars can be found in this newly developed multicultural center that represents modern Norway in Oslo.
Ḡrilleriet is one of the restaurants we tried and were astounded by the quality of the food. There is a 6-course tasting menu (also available as a-la-carte dishes), prepared in a centrally located open kitchen with a large charcoal grill; the menu can be had with or without paired wines. In addition to regular table service, one can also have a drink and a snack at the bar, or sit at the periphery of the kitchen (similar to sushi bar seating) and watch the cooks working.
There were mouth-watering starters like Roasted Foie Gras, Grilled Mussels with Harissa – a spicy North African condiment popular in Tunisia and Morocco – and Kebab a la Ḡrilleriet made with suckling pig; 7 starters altogether.
The main courses had other excellent dishes like Halibut with braised saffron, fennel, artichokes, marinated apricot and beurre noisette, or Grilled Red Deer and Spicy Sausage with creamed savoy cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke, dried fruits and raspberry jus, or Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Cheek, with rutabaga confit, cavalo nero, cauliflower chutney and sherry sauce. And, of course the ever present Grilled Cod, with barley risotto, beetroot, smoked almonds and Riesling vinaigrette.
The three desserts were also unique for a Scandinavian eatery, like Grilled Pineapple with roasted coconut ice cream, banana sorbet and a chili and caramel sauce. There was also an extremely rich Chocolate Fudge, with Yuzu and yoghurt sorbet and citrus snow as well as Ḡrilleriet’s signature Apple Sorbet with white chocolate cream, and apple and basil jelly.
The wine list for the tasting menu pairings is short, but with very well selected wines that include three Champagnes, a cava, and four different Proseccos; six high quality Chablis; a couple White Burgundies, as well as very nice red selections from the Rhone Valley, Spain, Piemonte, 5 Chianti Classicos, one Brunello and a Vino Nobile de Montepulciano from Tuscany. Also a few interesting choices from the Veneto, Portugal and a smattering of New World bottles.
Our waiter was outstanding. He had good knowledge of the ingredients that the kitchen uses in the dishes and the reasons for pairing a particular wine with a particular dish. When Barbara said that she did not like her very dry white wine with the dish it was paired, he insisted on changing the wine with another slightly sweeter, more in concert with her taste.
We had dinners and lunches in other restaurants in Oslo, including the restaurant of Oslo’s new Opera House. But I think that Ḡrilleriet was the top contender for food excellence.
© July 2012 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.