Pjoltergeist is my favorite restaurant in Oslo, without comparison, and has been since the very first day they opened. Icelandic ingredients combined with Asian flavors and style of presentation in a lovely fusion, designed by star chef Atly Mar Yngvason. Former sous chef at one Michelin star restaurant Ylajali in Oslo, he now does exactly what he wants in the kitchen. The food is apparently slapped on the plate haphazardly, and yet it looks f*cking delicious. Almost every dish rolled out from this kitchen is a treat for your senses; smell, taste & looks. This is my no. 1 favorite restaurant in Oslo, and also a top choice for chef’s late night hangout.
I love Pjoltergeist because of the food, but also the people who run it. The owners Sverre and Susanne, or their trusted comrade Tore Kristian, behind the bar will always serve you excellent wines, and if you visit often enough they remember your preferences too. The atmosphere at Pjoltergeist is unique. I know of no other places like it. Originally a Hell’s Angels bar, the interior has only slightly changed. Dimmed light, dark wooden furniture, leather cushions, non-stop hip-hop playing over the speakers. I consider it my second home.
The name Pjoltergeist is a mix of the words pjolter and poltergeist. A pjolter is a weird Norwegian word for a cheap drink – originally whiskey and soda water. You’ll find a separate menu for their upgraded pjolters in the bar. Poltergeist is a noisy kind of ghost or supernatural spirit, which sort of fits the ambiance here. The reason why I keep returning to Pjoltergeist, as often as I can, is because the menu changes and the doors are always open. There are some classics on the menu, of course, but almost every day you will find something new. The kitchen, as well as the wine serving, is open until 00.30 every Tuesday to Saturday. Despite a rising popularity, and a limited amount of seats, I have yet to experience not finding a space to sit at Pjoltergeist.
If you book a table you commit to the tasting menu. It is a non-existing menu – you get what the kitchen wants to serve you. Typically it will be a 10-course meal with one or two snacks, four to five starters, one or two main dishes and a dessert. As for wine, I always ask them to serve me what they want. You’ll get to taste the wine first to see if you like it, but it’s always high quality. Alternatively, you just drop by and sit by the bar (or at an available table). That is what I usually do. Remarkably enough, there seems to always be a vacant seat.
The Bar Menu
Pjoltergeist is closed for two months during summer. Inhumane, in my opinion, and thus; once they opened again I couldn’t help myself to go here every night. Post-summer 2015 I went to Pjoltergeist four out of five days the opening week. The results are as follows.
The Tasting Menu
Booking a table means that you want the full treatment. The price tag is ridcioulously low, though, with a lousy 750 NOK per person. The amount of food you get, and the quality of each dish, makes it the best value for money tasting menu in Oslo, in my opinion. Just sit back and relax, while Atli brings out one pungent dish after the other.
Have you been to Pjoltergeist? What is your favorite restaurant in Oslo? Please leave a comment below.