Restaurant Day Autumn 2015 in Oslo

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.

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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.

”Good morning Vietnam”. Fresh spring rolls with a peanut hoisin sauce. From Påfuglen restaurant.
”Good morning Vietnam”. Fresh spring rolls with a peanut hoisin sauce. From Påfuglen restaurant.

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

Andreas and Talor made a good match in the kitchen as well.
Andreas and Talor made a good match in the kitchen as well.

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.

Affogato - Espresso and vanilla ice cream
Affogato – Espresso and vanilla ice cream

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.

Breakfast of Champions - Portobello mushroom filled with Stilton cheese, topped with poached eggs and a side of hash browns.
“Breakfast of Champions”. Portobello mushroom filled with Stilton cheese, topped with poached eggs and a side of hash browns.

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.

Smashed avo on butter fried sourdough toast from Handwerk, with poached eggs and basil. I believe I tasted some truffle oil there as well.
Smashed avo on butter fried sourdough toast from Handwerk, with poached eggs and basil. I believe I tasted some truffle oil there as well.

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.

Påfuglen Restaurant

Restaurant Påfuglen – The Peacock
Restaurant Påfuglen – The Peacock

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.

Awesome DJ and DJ stall
Awesome DJ and DJ stall

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.

The menu was painted on the spot
The menu was painted on the spot

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Grilling little gem salads for the ”Viva Las Vegans”
Grilling little gem salads for the ”Viva Las Vegans”
”Hot Latino”. Ceviché, tigermilk, chili, pomegranate and crispy nacho chips
”Hot Latino”. Ceviché, tigermilk, chili, pomegranate and crispy nacho chips
”East meets West”. Dim Sum Fusion. Traditional Asian dim sums, with Western-style sauces. We guessed that one was onion based and one carrot.
”East meets West”. Dim Sum Fusion. Traditional Asian dim sums, with Western-style sauces. We guessed that one was onion based and one carrot.
”Hello Babe”. Pulled pork, kimchi and sour cream in a sausage bread. Very tasty pulled pork, and the kimchi was just the way I like. Nice acidity.
”Hello Babe”. Pulled pork, kimchi and sour cream in a sausage bread. Very tasty pulled pork, and the kimchi was just the way I like. Nice acidity.
”Smurfs up”. Blueberries, almond milk, beet macarons and lemon verbena. We didn't try this, but it was very picturesque.
”Smurfs up”. Blueberries, almond milk, beet macarons and lemon verbena. We didn’t try this, but it was very picturesque.

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.

The backyard of Revolver
The backyard of Revolver
Queuing is fun
Queuing is fun

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.

Marinated eggs
Marinated eggs

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!

Ann Sung-an Lee of Tanpopo Ramen and Mission Taco
Ann Sung-an Lee of Tanpopo Ramen and Mission Taco
Buta Ramen. Chashu pork and marinated egg in vegan tonkotsu broth, with wheat noodles, Japanese pickles, spring onions, sesame seasoning, garlic chips and homemade soy tare.
Buta Ramen. Chashu pork and marinated egg in vegan tonkotsu broth, with wheat noodles, Japanese pickles, spring onions, sesame seasoning, garlic chips and homemade soy tare.

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.

Some of our lovely table companions this evening
Some of our lovely table companions this evening

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!

Homemade wines!
Homemade wines!
The wine servings were generous
The wine servings were generous

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.

Two lovely ladies opposite of us
Two lovely ladies opposite of us
Our neighbors in the corner
Our neighbors in the corner
I snook out into the kitchen to take some pictures of the mise en place
I snook out into the kitchen to take some pictures of the mise en place
Michele Cardarilli, a chef with experience from Maaemo, working hard in the kitchen.
Michele Cardarilli, a chef with experience from Maaemo, working hard in the kitchen.
Chef and founder of Vin & Grønt, Raph Regan, explaining the menu
Chef and founder of Vin & Grønt, Raph Regan, explaining the menu
"Linda's shots". A cucumber juice with ginger and a beets juice. A fried zucchini flower and marinated roots.
“Linda’s shots”. A cucumber juice with ginger and a beets juice. A fried zucchini flower and marinated roots.
Presenting our second dish
Presenting our second dish
"Cauliflower wants chocolate". Squash marinated in porto, cauliflower cooked in elderflower infusion, fresh raspberries, cacao bean and purple broccoli powder.
“Cauliflower wants chocolate”. Squash marinated in porto, cauliflower cooked in elderflower infusion, fresh raspberries, cacao bean and purple broccoli powder.
A beautiful presentation, but a bit too many flavors fighting for attention in my opinion.
A beautiful presentation, but a bit too many flavors fighting for attention in my opinion.
"Two Norwegian gardens are meeting". Potatoe lovage and bell peppers. Green beans marinated in orange juice with hazelnut and seaweed crumbles. Onion capers, cranberries and Greek yoghurt. Fava beans in fennel infusion, kombucha, coriander and ginger. Fennel in cranberries and vanilla vinegar.
“Two Norwegian gardens are meeting”. Potatoe lovage and bell peppers. Green beans marinated in orange juice with hazelnut and seaweed crumbles. Onion capers, cranberries and Greek yoghurt. Fava beans in fennel infusion, kombucha, coriander and ginger. Fennel in cranberries and vanilla vinegar.
"Risotto non risotto". As the sun was setting we were served the main dish. Fregola pasta cooked in dashi broth, with chickpeas and stockfish on burrata cream. Our least favorite dish of the evening. A bit tasteless and boring. Needed salt and some contrasts in flavor.
“Risotto non risotto”. As the sun was setting we were served the main dish. Fregola pasta cooked in dashi broth, with chickpeas and stockfish on burrata cream. Our least favorite dish of the evening. A bit tasteless and boring. Needed salt and some contrasts in flavor.
The dessert and the best of all the evening's servings. "A cow in the wood". Røros milk ricotta and buttermilk ice cream, with dry cranberries and meadowsweet flowers.
The dessert and the best of all the evening’s servings. “A cow in the wood”. Røros milk ricotta and buttermilk ice cream, with dry cranberries and meadowsweet flowers.

Did you attend Restaurant Day? Which places did you visit, and which was your favorite? Please leave a comment below.

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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