Fauna A Classic Scandinavian One Michelin Starred Restaurant (Closed Permanently)

In 2015 I set out to cover all the Michelin star restaurants in Oslo. Restaurant Fauna had been on my wish list for a long while, although I was uncertain what to expect. The place is fairly new in the Oslo restaurant scene. They opened in 2013 and got one Michelin star the following year. That is an impressive achievement! However, considering who runs this place, I don’t think it was a huge surprise to anyone.

"Fauna" refers to all of the animal life of a region
“Fauna” refers to all of the animal life of a region
The dream team! "Wine-John" and Siri
The dream team! “Wine-John” and Siri

Chef and owner Bjørn Svensson used to have a star at his old restaurant Oscarsgate before it closed down. A place I never got to visit, sadly. Co-owner Jo Bøe Klakegg has experience from top restaurants like Noma, and returned to Norway and Fauna after a trip to Asia where he gathered valuable experience. Together with Anne Heggberget, former head sommelier at Oscarsgate, they make up the Fauna team.

Champagne, Vilmart & Cie, Grande Reserve, Premier Cru
Champagne, Vilmart & Cie, Grande Reserve, Premier Cru
Hedda and André
Hedda and André

I was here with the beautiful Hedda, my friend and food writer for Godt.no, André Blomberg-Nygård, my fellow foodie friend Marius and his buddies Sindre and Simen. We had the pleasure of having a bunch of great waiters and sommeliers to cater our table. Among them some familiar faces: the always smiling Siri, who used to work at Tranen before it shut down, and John, also known as the wine importer Vin-John.

A snack to kick off the meal, and one of the best servings of the night. Barley grain biscuit, crispy chicken skin, Västerbotten cheese and cress.
A snack to kick off the meal, and one of the best servings of the night. Barley grain biscuit, crispy chicken skin, Västerbotten cheese and cress.
The second snack of smoked mackerel with "krondill" and fermented fennel, in parsley oil and buttermilk
The second snack of smoked mackerel with “krondill” and fermented fennel, in parsley oil and buttermilk

The style is Scandinavian, with a focus on fresh, Norwegian produce. There is also a few typical Swedish ingredients on the menu, like cheese from Västerbotten, råraka (hash browns) and löjrom (vendace roe). I presume because of Sweden being Bjørn Svensson’s home country. Fauna is more modern than traditional, but in terms of the Nordic kitchen, it is way more classic than other Oslo restaurants in that genre, e.g. Maaemo and Ylajali.

Marius is drooling on the wine list
Marius is drooling on the wine list
A bonus dish we chose: Swedish "råraka" with sour cream, "löjrom" and dill. Råraka is a kind of hash browns. The best dish of the night! Yum!
A bonus dish we chose: Swedish “råraka” with sour cream, “löjrom” and dill. Råraka is a kind of hash browns. The best dish of the night! Yum!

I also found restaurant Fauna less experimental than Kontrast. To me, it feels like a refined Arakataka. Refinement sometimes ends up a bit boring, though. Don’t get me wrong – we had a great night. Everything at Fauna is professional to the last details. Most of the food is cooked to perfection, but very few of the dishes got me super excited. I should mention that the rest of the guys around the table was very pleased with the meal. Maybe I just expected something more after too many Nordic restaurant visits in Copenhagen.

Tartare with kale, watercress & rye. Nice contrasts in textures, but I missed a bit more acidity
Tartare with kale, watercress & rye. Nice contrasts in textures, but I missed a bit more acidity
Festejar! Strawberry aroma, very fruity. Lightly sparkling with a "cool color" as Sindre at our table pointed out
Festejar! Strawberry aroma, very fruity. Lightly sparkling with a “cool color” as Sindre at our table pointed out

In terms of price level, Fauna is roughly on par with Kontrast, despite the fact that they have a Michelin star! In other words: they have chosen not to ask for a significant premium after receiving a star in the red guide. Something which probably would have been tempting to many. That means you won’t get ruined from an evening here. This is a safe bet if you want to enjoy an evening at a classic one Michelin star restaurant. I will definitely be returning to restaurant Fauna to see if their food can get my dopamine level rising higher next time!

Another bonus dish: Lobster, celeriac and juniper berries. This dish looked so promising, but in the end it disappointed a bit. I wanted a richer flavor.
Another bonus dish: Lobster, celeriac and juniper berries. This dish looked so promising, but in the end it disappointed a bit. I wanted a richer flavor.
Dario Princic Bianco Trebez 2009. Orange wine! Strong whiskey aroma, bitter orange flavour and a dry finish.
Dario Princic Bianco Trebez 2009. Orange wine! Strong whiskey aroma, bitter orange flavour and a dry finish.
Scallops, lovage and endives. I found this dish weird. I'd rather have the scallops in bigger pieces and less pickled and acidic garnish. It wasn't balanced enough in my opinion.
Scallops, lovage and endives. I found this dish weird. I’d rather have the scallops in bigger pieces and less pickled and acidic garnish. It wasn’t balanced enough in my opinion.
Domaine Albert Mann, Pinot Blanc-Auxerrois, 2014. Citrus aroma, quite acidic.
Domaine Albert Mann, Pinot Blanc-Auxerrois, 2014. Citrus aroma, quite acidic.
The bread serving. The bread was fresh and warm from the oven. Crispy crust, velvet soft inside. Perfect! Great butter with salted meat shavings. So tasty!
The bread serving. The bread was fresh and warm from the oven. Crispy crust, velvet soft inside. Perfect! Great butter with salted meat shavings. So tasty!
Cod, chanterelle puree and horseradish. I don't remember this dish. Not sure that is a good thing.
Cod, chanterelle puree and horseradish. I don’t remember this dish. Not sure that is a good thing.
Hedda matched the asian interior
Hedda matched the asian interior
Lamb, leek and wild ramson capers. The first serving was inedible, because the lamb meat was too tough and chewy. We got a new dish immediatly when we pointed it out, though. The second round of meat was perfect melt-in-your-mouth quality.
Lamb, leek and wild ramson capers. The first serving was inedible, because the lamb meat was too tough and chewy. We got a new dish immediatly when we pointed it out, though. The second round of meat was perfect melt-in-your-mouth quality.
This is happiness!
This is happiness!
2012 Benedicte & Stephane Tissot, Poulsard, Vieilles Vignes, Jura, France. Very easy to drink, nice acidity.
2012 Benedicte & Stephane Tissot, Poulsard, Vieilles Vignes, Jura, France. Very easy to drink, nice acidity.
White chocolate, blueberries and thyme. This was ok, but when you have tasted the chocolate and blueberry desserts at Pjoltergeist it becomes dull for the reward signals in the brain.
White chocolate, blueberries and thyme. This was ok, but when you have tasted the chocolate and blueberry desserts at Pjoltergeist it becomes dull for the reward signals in the brain.
Domaine de Souch, Jurancon 2006. Tropical fruits, light and sweet with a nice acidity. It didn't really match the dessert too well, though.
Domaine de Souch, Jurancon 2006. Tropical fruits, light and sweet with a nice acidity. It didn’t really match the dessert too well, though.
Delicious petit four! Soft, sticky, creamy chocolate with an acidic berry gel inside
Delicious petit four! Soft, sticky, creamy chocolate with an acidic berry gel inside

Have you been to restaurant Fauna? How was your experience?

Please note: This restaurant has closed permanently.

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