Restaurant Day started out in Helsinki, Finland many years ago, and have since spread to Oslo and the world. Every four months, around the 14th to 18th of February, May, August, and November, anyone can make a restaurant in their own home or other location.
Everything is arranged through restaurantday.org and respective Facebook pages for each restaurant. You can see a map of your city, with all the restaurants marked out. Each place has a name, a concept, a menu, opening hours and price information. Most places you can just drop in, but some require reservation.
I teamed up with my friend Melissa who loves food as well. Melissa also loves the people and architecture of Oslo, and she is excellent in capturing pictures of it. You should check her interior design blog Ideas to Steal and her stunning Instagram photos.
Breakfast in Melbourne
First stop was Breakfast in Melbourne where my friends Talor and Andreas were busy behind the pans. Talor is from Melbourne in Australia, hence the name and concept, and she works at Tim Wendelboe coffee shop. Thus, there was a solid coffee menu to choose from.
I got myself an affogato on the recommendation from Talor. It was an espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it, which I have never had before. It was very tasty with the cold, sweet vanilla mixing together with the warm, strong espresso flavor.
Choosing which dish to get from the menu was way harder. Everything looked so tempting! The Duchess of pork with slow-cooked pork neck, fried eggs and truffle oil on sourdough bread, or simply the American pancakes. I knew I could not have more than one because this was going to be a long day of eating.
In the end, I ordered the smashed avo on sourdough bread with poached eggs. I figured it would be a small portion, but shortly after I had two huge pieces of butter fried sourdough bread in front of me, mounted with avocado and two poached eggs. Even worse, it was incredibly tasty, and there was no way I wasn’t going to finish it. Thanks, Talor! I guess it was payback for that food feast we had some months ago.
Next stop was Påfuglen restaurant. If you have ever seen the huge peacock painted on the wall in one of the alleys of Grünerløkka, you know where it is. A bike shop, an art shop and a nightclub are some of the offers you usually find here. This day they had turned their backyard into an outdoor restaurants, with a team of chefs arranged behind a long line of grills.
Behind a DJ booth made out of an old piano was a DJ playing really nice beats. People were dancing, and the food was slowly but steadily starting to fill up the tables. Melissa and I shared three plates and had a glass of white wine.
Tanpopo Ramen Pop-up
The third stop was Tanpopo Ramen pop-up in the backyard of Revolver and Mission Taco. We arrived at 15.00 when they were supposed to open, but the queue was already ridiculously long, running from the backyard and all the way through the entrance hall. We had no idea how long it was, and certainly not that we were 1,5 hours from our next serving.
Apparently, ramen is really popular in Oslo at the moment! I believe the Tanpopo Ramen pop-up, which will continue to pop-up more places this year, have a place in this city. They need to do something about their logistics, though. Most of the time it was one person taking orders, payment and plating the food.
I later learned that people started queuing 1,5 hours before they even opened and that they actually had a problem with power outage, which obviously made noodle boiling difficult. The ramen was very tasty, but I wish everyone in the queue had gotten food and much faster. Looking forward to their next event!
Vin & Grønt
Finally, in the evening, we had booked two seats at Vin & Grønt, a concept with the subtitle From the soil to the mouth. Vin & Grønt has been a part of Restaurant Day for many years. This was to be the last pop-up event from chef Raphael Regan before he moves – and could not be missed. Last time when I was here in February, it was very good food.
This particular night there was a special guest chef in the kitchen as well, with a background from two Michelin star restaurant Maaemo amongst other places. The wines we were served was actually homemade, from imported grapes. Very impressive!
A five-course dinner with four wine pairings awaited us. Sitting down at one of three tables filled with random people that we didn’t know, we finally got that proper Restaurant Day feeling. It is the same idea as they managed to achieve so well at the IKEA Ätbar pop-up. Getting to know new folks and talking about food, cooking, dining and restaurant experience with like-minded people is so much fun. The people of Oslo are lovely.
Did you attend Restaurant Day? Which places did you visit, and which was your favorite? Please leave a comment below.