Northern Norwegian Flavors at Bacchus With Bebop & Rocksteady in the Kitchen

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!

Bacchus Spiseri & Vinhus
Bacchus Spiseri & Vinhus

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.

Tommi and Jon Marius
Tommi and Jon Marius

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.

Minke whale from Lofoten, fried ginger, pomegranate, pear purée, soy and butter glace and powder of the Icelandic seaweed "søl"
Minke whale from Lofoten, fried ginger, pomegranate, pear purée, soy and butter glace and powder of the Icelandic seaweed “søl”

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.

Grilled pork neck, kimchi, browned mustard butter & potato salad
Grilled pork neck, kimchi, browned mustard butter & potato salad
Tommi Bjørnsen manning the backyard kitchen
Tommi Bjørnsen manning the backyard kitchen

Have you been to Bacchus since they changed the concept of the restaurant? Please leave a comment with your impression.

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Anders Husa

Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr are food & travel bloggers and creative content creators. From their base in Copenhagen, they operate the largest and most influential restaurant-focused travel blog in Scandinavia.

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