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Arakataka A Restaurant to Return to, Again and Again!

Arakataka is a restaurant that I have visited way too seldom. I have considered it one of my favorite spots in Oslo, and yet I have not eaten here a lot. I have tried to drop by many times, but they used to have a weird policy if you had not booked a table – you had to choose the three-course dinner.  I don’t mind paying for a full menu, but I enjoy my freedom of choice.

Linn was happy to start with a Silver Brut Nature Champagne from André Clouet
Linn was happy to start with a Silver Brut Nature Champagne from André Clouet

This summer, they closed for an extended time to refurbish the place. I booked a table in the opening week together with my foodie friend Linn. Talking to the head chef Ronny Kolvik I learned that they have added a new concept to the restaurant. Matbaren – the food bar – is now a drop-in-zone in the entrance area where you can sit down and order from a special bar menu. The kitchen is open until 00.30 for the bar zone, and the bar has all rights until 02.00. This is just what Arakataka needed!

Ronny Kolvik is the head chef of Arakataka
Ronny Kolvik is the head chef of Arakataka
"Matbaren" - the food bar, where you can drop by and enjoy some small plates until 00.30 and good wine until 02.00
“Matbaren” – the food bar, where you can drop by and enjoy some small plates until 00.30 and good wine until 02.00. This is exactly what I have enjoyed so much at Pjoltergeist, and missed so much at this restaurant.
Tartare with raw shrimps and nasturtium
Tartare with raw shrimps and nasturtium
Fermented bread & "løyrom"
Fermented bread & “løyrom”

Linn doesn’t call herself a foodie or food person, but rather a wine person. I disagree. She is a foodie. Sometimes she’s even got a more critical point of view on food than me. I guess her heart belongs more in the wine world, though. As such, I gave her full control of the wine choices this evening. I love wine too, but I am far from considering myself an expert in this field. I know a good wine when I taste it, but I don’t remember all the details or flavors.

Linn dreams about wine
Linn dreams about wine
The bread serving at Arakataka. A malt and fennel bread with whipped butter. This combination is lethal. So good!
The bread serving at Arakataka. A malt and fennel bread with whipped butter. This combination is lethal. So good!

The menu at Araktaka consists of a lot of small dishes, which are very fairly priced between 130 and 190 NOK. The idea is that you order 2-4 dishes depending on how hungry you are, or if you are very hungry and want 5 or more dishes you get a discounted price of 119 NOK per dish. A nice idea but also a bit confusing. What if one person orders 5 dishes, and the other person orders only 2? How will the bill look in the end?

A tart with a cep mushroom cream and sprinkled with the cheese "Høvding Sverre". A bit dull presentation, and two tarts would have been easier to share, because this was tasty!
A tart with a cep mushroom cream and sprinkled with the cheese “Høvding Sverre”. A bit dull presentation, and two tarts would have been easier to share, because this was tasty!
The interiors are really nice at Arakataka and sets the mood for a good evening
The interiors are really nice at Arakataka and sets the mood for a good evening

I also didn’t quite get whether the dishes were supposed to be shared or not. In my opinion, this kind of menu is perfect for sharing. However, a lot of the plates were not designed to be shared among several people. Personally, I love when I can share a plate and try as many flavors from the menu as possible. I hope Arakataka considers that in the future.

Jerusalem artichokes, oysters and a seaweed salad. Two fake oysters and one real. A fun dish, but easier to share with one more oyster.
Jerusalem artichokes, oysters and a seaweed salad. Two fake oysters and one real. A fun dish, but easier to share with one more oyster.
The art on the walls are still the same
The art on the walls are still the same

Most of the dishes we had were very good, with great taste and a good balance between flavors as well as textures. We did not have wine pairings, but the recommendations we got were good. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the new interior makes it a very pleasant place to enjoy an evening of good food, wine, and company. For a peek inside the restaurant before they refurbished check out the report from my foodie friend Lars.

Pepper crab. Intensely sweet and pungent chili flavor! Super tasty. A mess to eat, obviously.
Pepper crab. Intensely sweet and pungent chili flavor! Super tasty. A mess to eat, obviously.
Trout, cucumber and "krondill". This presentation was dull. Don't cover up nice ingredients with salad leaves, please.
Trout, cucumber and “krondill”. This presentation was dull. Don’t cover up nice ingredients with salad leaves, please.
A very Scandinavian interior
A very Scandinavian interior
Linn googling some wine facts
Linn googling some wine facts
Salt cod, mussels and peas. Some green unripe strawberries in there too! Very trendy.
Salt cod, mussels and peas. Some green unripe strawberries in there too! Very trendy.
Spaghetti and "løyrom". A classic from the menu before summer, which they luckily had kept. Buttery and fatty pasta with fresh, salty fish roe to balance it.
Spaghetti and “løyrom”. A classic from the menu before summer, which they luckily had kept. Buttery and fatty pasta with fresh, salty fish roe to balance it.
Linn reflecting on the Anselma Russ Vino Rosso. A 70 % Nebbiolo and 30 % Barbera blend from Barolo. As Linn described it; "It struck me with its well-balanced red cherries, well-integrated alcohol, and soft tannins. Ready to drink. A producer to return to ..."
Linn reflecting on the Anselma Russ Vino Rosso. A 70 % Nebbiolo and 30 % Barbera blend from Barolo. As Linn described it; “It struck me with its well-balanced red cherries, well-integrated alcohol, and soft tannins. Ready to drink. A producer to return to …”
Dry aged beef, turnip, spring onions and fresh garlic. A sauce of snail butter... Wow! this was extremely tasty. Perfectly cooked and tender meat, with a lot of flavor. Fatty, rich and well balanced by the slight sweetness from the turnip.
Dry aged beef, turnip, spring onions and fresh garlic. A sauce of snail butter… Wow! this was extremely tasty. Perfectly cooked and tender meat, with a lot of flavor. Fatty, rich and well balanced by the slight sweetness from the turnip.
Raspberries, chanterelles, and chervil! This combo was too tempting not to try. The chanterelles were either cured or fried in something sweet, I believe. Not sure they added much to the dish, but besides that, this was maybe the best raspberry dessert I ever ate! Raspberries and chervil worked splendidly together. Acidic and sweet. A feast for the palate.
Raspberries, chanterelles, and chervil! This combo was too tempting not to try. The chanterelles were either cured or fried in something sweet, I believe. Not sure they added much to the dish, but besides that, this was maybe the best raspberry dessert I ever ate! Raspberries and chervil worked splendidly together. Acidic and sweet. A feast for the palate.
Norwegian cheeses. Starting in the upper left corner, going clockwise; Kraftkar from Tingvoll, Høvding Sverre, Munkeby and Kubbeost from Hole.
Norwegian cheeses. Starting in the upper left corner, going clockwise; Kraftkar from Tingvoll, Høvding Sverre, Munkeby and Kubbeost from Hole.
Coffee is served! Solberg & Hansen
Coffee is served! Solberg & Hansen
A chocolate mousse with a candied black currant leaf and dried black currants
A chocolate mousse with a candied black currant leaf and dried black currants

Anders Husa

I am Anders Husa – a foodie living in Oslo. I eat at the best restaurants in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and the major food destinations in the world. I share my foodie stories here.

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