Northern Norway has taken over restaurant Bacchus in Oslo – and the result is a great new spot for rustic Nordic cooking with a touch of international inspiration. Jon Marius Sletten and Tommi Bjørnsen both used to work in the kitchen of restaurant Smalhans on St. Hanshaugen. That’s before they decided to go rogue and do their own thing. Now, the chef duo runs the kitchen as co-owners of Bacchus Spiseri & Vinhus, which is located in the courtyard behind Oslo Cathedral.
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in Norway’s capital? Check out our city map of Oslo!
The Northern Norwegian Roots
Tommi is originally from Sørvågen in Lofoten and Jon Marius from Dyrøya in Troms. They love their respective birthplaces, and all the wonderful produce that comes from Nothern Norway. Tommi even has “Tørrfesk” tattooed on his knuckles. That’s Norwegian for dried stockfish – a typical ingredient from his area. Norway used to be a poor country with little natural resources in some parts of the year due to the harsh weather conditions. The now revitalized techniques of drying, fermenting and pickling food was very common back then, and has inspired Tommi and Jon Marius in their cooking style.
Great Flavors and Interesting Textures
Tommi and Jon Marius love to play with flavors, textures and different combinations. The first starter we got was a great example of that. Pieces of slightly grilled minke whale was nicely presented on a white plate with colorful garnish. Crunchy fried ginger and pomegranate gave the dish an interesting texture. A semi-sweet pear purée and a salty soy and butter glace perfectly complemented eachother. You want to make sure you get a bit of everything in each bite, and in the end scoop the rest up with a piece of bread.
The Old Café Bacchus Revolutionized
I love what Tommi and Jon Marius has done to Bacchus. It used to be a dull café in the city centre with all the classic dishes you’d expect from a “tourist trap” in a great spot. Now, it’s a really good option for either lunch or dinner – and they’re even open on Mondays! The flavors are precise, the ingredients shine and the plates are big. That should satisfy most people. When chefs have fun in the kitchen and demonstrates the kind of passion like this team does, I’m sold. We went home way too full, and almost regretted the desserts we ate – had they not been so tasty.
Have you been to Bacchus since they changed the concept of the restaurant? Please leave a comment with your impression.