Boen Gård Restaurant Måltid Was Not Dead!

Press invitation / In cooperation with Tesla

Restaurant Måltid was regarded as one of the best restaurants in Norway, but last Christmas they closed their doors permanently. Running a high-end eatery is always a challenge, but even more so in the smaller cities outside of Oslo. Måltid, which simply means “meal”,  was located in Kristiansand, which is Norway’s 5th largest city and inhabits only 90.000 people. That’s a tough run for any restaurant, but especially for a fine dining concept on an international level. Luckily, you can still experience the exceptional cooking of Danish head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen. Restaurant Måltid is being kept alive, doing monthly pop-ups at the 500-year-old farm Boen Gård – a 20 minutes drive outside the city.

The main building of Boen Gård as it appears when you arrive
The main building of Boen Gård as it appears when you arrive

After our visit to Engø Gård in Tjøme, we drove directly to Boen Gård the next day. If you live in Kristiansand they offer bus transportation back and forth to the pop-up restaurant. At the farm, there are only two apartments, which can host a total of eight people, so we were fortunate to get one of the rooms since we had a long way back.

Boen Gård

Driving down the gravel road leading up to Boen Gård we quickly realized that this was more than just a farm. It’s like a manor in the countryside. For anyone who reads up a bit on the history of Boen Gård, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The land used to be the King’s property until the 1600s before it was sold to a nobleman. The current main building was erected in the 1800s. For many years, the river that runs past the farm was a popular spot for salmon fishing by wealthy English lords, and the manor was used by the upper class in Kristiansand as a summer estate.

Welcome to Boen Gård outside Kristiansand
Welcome to Boen Gård outside Kristiansand
Magnificent surroundings
Magnificent surroundings

It was raining when we arrived, still driving the Tesla Model S that brought us to Engø Gård the previous day. The electrical car was at that point badly in need of power since we had managed to miss the only Supercharger spot on the way. One of the owners of the farm today, Johan Olsen, welcomed us and helped us find and outlet to charge overnight. Problem solved! He guided us into the apartment where we were going to spend the night. “This is the old servant’s house,” Olsen explained.

The ambience at Boen Gård
The ambience at Boen Gård
Bewitched trees
Bewitched trees
The families who own the farm have decorated the house themselves
The families who own the farm have decorated the house themselves

Later on, we got a guided tour of the main building, which Olsen and his family have restored and decorated themselves. The house is kept in the same style as the year it was built, 1813, while the interior represents the building’s 200-year-old history with a focus on the early 1900s. Johan Olsen is the grandson of shipbroker Johan G. Olsen, who purchased the farm in 1939. For the first time in history, the family now wants to make the farm available to the general public – a project that has been going on since 2012. Restaurant Måltid has done weddings and other events here since then.

You could find one of these spectacular masonry heaters in almost every room
You could find one of these spectacular masonry heaters in almost every room

Restaurant Måltid Pop-up

After a long drive, we were exhausted and needed a nap before dinner. Half an hour before the meal we woke up by a knock on the door. One of the waiters was outside with a bottle of a delicious Riesling. The game was on, and the “Måltid” experience could commence.

Enjoying a glass of wine in our apartment before dinner
Enjoying a glass of wine in our apartment before dinner
Maitre d' Dagfinn Galdal
Maitre d’ Dagfinn Galdal

Inside the main building, the other guests had already arrived and we joined them with a glass of happy bubbles. Shortly after we were shown to our seats. The concept at the Måltid pop-up is that you’re placed together with other random people, with six to eight diners around each table. Each dish is brought out from the kitchen at the same time to everyone. This is a very social way to enjoy a meal. The maitre d’, Dagfinn Galdal, announced that “Life is very simple: it’s wonderful to drink Champagne.” Service started and the first plate arrived. An eye-catcher of a dish with blue-colored quail eggs!

Danish "Sol æg". Quail egg, cooked and pickled in red cabbage juice, served with mustard cream, mustard spices and powder of dried red cabbage
Danish “Sol æg”. Quail egg, cooked and pickled in red cabbage juice, served with mustard cream, mustard spices and powder of dried red cabbage
Burnt flatbread with an emulsion of smoked haddock, with potato and chives
Burnt flatbread with an emulsion of smoked haddock, with potato and chives
Dried cod floss with Holtefjell cheese & vinegar. Mini malt tortillas and lemon balm
Dried cod floss with Holtefjell cheese & vinegar. Mini malt tortillas and lemon balm

Once again I was amazed by the creativity and skills of a Danish chef in Norway. Each of the plates had a unique presentation – like the malt tortillas with dried cod floss or the upgraded and modernized cabbage rolls with langoustine. Ingredients were mostly local and seasonal. The style and produce of the new Nordic cuisine were very visible with a heavy use of different seaweeds, vegetables, herbs and berries and techniques like fermentation, dehydrating and pickling.

Wrap it up like a tortilla!
Wrap it up like a tortilla!
Herb butter!
Herb butter!
Raw scallops with "søl" gel, pickled sea plantain and fried fermented crambe cabbage
Raw scallops with “søl” gel, pickled sea plantain and fried fermented crambe cabbage

The pickled sea plantain almost looked like the “Neptune’s necklace” I got at Noma Australia. A first time experience for me, at least I can’t recall ever seeing it in a restaurant before. The dehydrated carrot brought me straight back to restaurant Amass in Copenhagen and one of the best dishes I ate this year, but a meal that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet. Dagfinn had announced that there was going to be a surprise dish during the course of the meal, and it was a sheep’s head taco! I’ve never had the Norwegian classic “smalahove” in its original presentation, so eating it as a taco the first time was a soft introduction.

Fried turbot with leek, winged kelp, fermented gooseberries and butter sauce with «løyrom»
Fried turbot with leek, winged kelp, fermented gooseberries and butter sauce with «løyrom»
Cabbage rolls with oyster emulsion, sea lettuce, fried langoustine and rose hip powder
Cabbage rolls with oyster emulsion, sea lettuce, fried langoustine and rose hip powder
A modern twist on the classic cabbage roll, almost like a summer roll or taco salad
A modern twist on the classic cabbage roll, almost like a summer roll or taco salad

Judging from the reactions of our table companions the pop-up was a great success for everyone. We had a good mix of regular people and more dedicated foodies seated next to us, but the food seemed to satisfy them all regardless of interest level. I only wish more of them could have experienced the full treatment we got by spending the night at the farm. If Boen Gård could somehow manage to increase the number of beds, they would be on the path to making a Norwegian edition of Fäviken Magasinet in my opinion!

Tyler. Delicious pinot noir!
Tyler. Delicious pinot noir!
«Fenalår» dried, salted lamb’s leg, ramson from this and last year & cheese sauce
«Fenalår» dried, salted lamb’s leg, ramson from this and last year & cheese sauce
Kid (9 weeks) with dehydrated carrots, spinach and watercress sauce and dried seaweed with flavor of truffle
Kid (9 weeks) with dehydrated carrots, spinach and watercress sauce and dried seaweed with flavor of truffle
Incredibly tender, and if you're thiking that it's horrible to eat such a young animal, you should know that these animals are often discarded because there's no market for them. That's the real waste
Incredibly tender, and if you’re thiking that it’s horrible to eat such a young animal, you should know that these animals are often discarded because there’s no market for them. That’s the real waste
Potato tortillas with «smalahove» lamb’s head, pickled turnip puree, onion cress and pine needle powder
Potato tortillas with «smalahove» lamb’s head, pickled turnip puree, onion cress and pine needle powder
"Smalahove" is a traditional Norwegian dish of whole sheep's head. It looks more delicate when it's presented as a taco
“Smalahove” is a traditional Norwegian dish of whole sheep’s head. It looks more delicate when it’s presented as a taco
Valhalla Mjød, as drunken by real Vikings
Valhalla Mjød, as drunken by real Vikings
Braised pig tails with raw and pickled beets, chokeberry cream and chives oil
Braised pig tails with raw and pickled beets, chokeberry cream and chives oil
Chamomile cream with pickled plums, elderberry capers and sorrel juice
Chamomile cream with pickled plums, elderberry capers and sorrel juice
The coffee and petit fours were enjoyed in a seperate room
The coffee and petit fours were enjoyed in a seperate room
Pineappleweed caramels
Pineappleweed caramels
Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats with søl
Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats with søl
Head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen
Head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen

Breakfast the Next morning

When we woke up the next morning the sun was shining on Boen Gård. Everyone else had departed with the bus the night before, so we had the whole farm and surrounding area to explore on our own. The fridge in our apartment was filled with simple Norwegian breakfast ingredients and we made ourselves a hearty and typical cabin-style breakfast. We brewed coffee and drank apple juice made from apples grown on the farm. After a run along the beautiful old river we were ready to depart in our Tesla again. This time we didn’t miss the Supercharger on the way back home!

A farm with a long history dating back to the 1500s
A farm with a long history dating back to the 1500s
The river runs past the farm
The river runs past the farm
Rays of sun lights up the beautiful living room of Boen Gård
Rays of sun lights up the beautiful living room of Boen Gård

Do you want to read more about Boen Gård and Måltid? Check out the visit from Enestående Mat and WeWantBib.

Breakfast the next morning
Breakfast the next morning
The old kitchen in the apartment with vintage lamps
The old kitchen in the apartment with vintage lamps
Boen Gård filippa apple juice. Made on apples from the farm
Boen Gård filippa apple juice. Made on apples from the farm
Our car for the occassion: Tesla Model S
Our car for the occassion: Tesla Model S
A path of trees leading up the farm
A path of trees leading up the farm
Supercharging our Tesla Model S
Supercharging our Tesla Model S

Did you ever visit restaurant Måltid before they closed? Please share in a comment below.

Disclaimer

This was a press invitation from Boen Gård. The car was borrowed from Tesla. As always, the feature reflects my sincere opinion and is my personal recommendation.

4 comments

  • Hi Anders. I stumbled upon your blog today and think that it may be a great resource for a new arrival to Oslo.
    To enable comparison of this restaurant with Fäviken, what did it cost for each of food degustation, wine package and accommodation?

    • Hi Adam. I’ll do my best to answer your questions. First of all, this particular restaurant (Boen Gård) is not in Oslo. It’s a 4-5 hours drive from Oslo. Curently they only do pop-ups, so you have to check with them when the next event is. I believe prices vary from event to event. It will surely cost you probably half of Fäviken, though.

      Let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with. I can tell you were to go in Oslo for sure 🙂

  • Hi! Loving the blog, i have been watching on matkanalen. Lovely blend of beautiful food and calm music. Can you please tell me what song was used in this vid? Is it Kings of Convience? Very nice tune, but cant find it anywhere… Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks a lot 🙂 The song is Kings Of Convenience – 24-25 (Subtact Edit) and you can download it for free on Soundcloud.

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