Kontrast A Fresh New Start at Vulkan

Kontrast by Swedish chef Mikael Svensson is not a new restaurant in Oslo. However, it recently closed down it’s old venue at the Carlton hotel Guldsmeden in Skillebekk and moved. We were actually there in February this year to check out the final menu before they left. The new location is at Vulkan, just above Mathallen, and it opened this Wednesday, the 8th of April 2015.

Bricks against a clear blue sky. The contrasts are everywhere to be found at Kontrast
Bricks against a clear blue sky. The contrasts are everywhere to be found at Kontrast

The new Kontrast means a fresh start for Mikael Svensson, where he has been allowed to follow his dream more closely and design the place as he always wanted it to be. The contrasts are indeed quite visible compared to the old place… A more open, clean and modern design with a lot of concrete, wood and steel. An open kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows and designer furniture and lamps.

An empty restaurant met us as we entered as the first guests at the new location
An empty restaurant met us as we entered as the first guests at the new location
Head chef and owner; Mikael Svensson
Head chef and owner; Mikael Svensson

We had a table at 6 o’clock in the evening on the opening day. We arrived 20 minutes late, but the place was still empty. This gave us some time to take a look around, snap a few shots and decide on which table we wanted. The waiter was very understanding when we wanted a wooden table for better light and prettier food pictures. Nerd alert.

Kontrast restaurant Oslo VulkanThe menu was similar to the old Kontrast; simple and short. We ordered the “Kontraster” tasting meny, but added the “Løyrom” dish since we are suckers for that. Wine pairings were an easy choice as we got some pretty decent wines last time. Slowly, but steadily the place was filling up with more guests as well.

An amuse-bouche to start off the meal. Cauliflower, oyster cream and chocolate praline. The first contrast of the meal. Savory and sweet at the same time. A great combination.
An amuse-bouche to start off the meal. Cauliflower, oyster cream and chocolate praline. The first contrast of the meal. Savory and sweet at the same time. A great combination.
“Løyrom” from Kalix with a lot going on in the plate. Potato chips on the top, a horseradish ice cream, and an acidic and fresh sauce with dill. It looked spectacular, and tasted quite good, but it had too many elements in our opinion.
“Løyrom” from Kalix with a lot going on in the plate. Potato chips on the top, a horseradish ice cream, and an acidic and fresh sauce with dill. It looked spectacular, and tasted quite good, but it had too many elements in our opinion.
The new restaurant is more open and clean, big windows gives it a great natural light while the sun is up and the lamps over each table makes food bloggers happy later on.
The new restaurant is more open and clean, big windows gives it a great natural light while the sun is up and the lamps over each table makes food bloggers happy later on.

We like the new Kontrast even better than the old one. The location and design of the place is a major upgrade. The food is slightly better, even thought the style has been kept quite the same. We loved most of the wine pairing, and our waiters were excellent. We will definitely come back!

UPDATE: Chef Mikael Svensson and Restaurant Kontrast just got one Michelin star in the 2016 guide! Congrats!

Duck liver from Holte gård with meadowsweet, hidden under pickled cucumbers and crispy duck fat. Our favorite dish of the evening!
Duck liver from Holte gård with meadowsweet, hidden under pickled cucumbers and crispy duck fat. Our favorite dish of the evening!
The liver was served with a small piece of brioche bread. The wine pairing was a sparkling wine from the Loire valley.
The liver was served with a small piece of brioche bread. The wine pairing was a sparkling wine from the Loire valley.
Organic carrots & tarragon. A cream in the middle of egg yolk, anchovies and tarragon. A sauce of brown butter, carrot juice, seabuckthorn and more tarragon. The carrots underneath were baked and caramelized and the ones on top were sliced and lightly cooked. Fresh tarragon and Bishop’s weed on top.
Organic carrots & tarragon. A cream in the middle of egg yolk, anchovies and tarragon. A sauce of brown butter, carrot juice, seabuckthorn and more tarragon. The carrots underneath were baked and caramelized and the ones on top were sliced and lightly cooked. Fresh tarragon and Bishop’s weed on top.
The wine pairing for the carrot dish. A Sybille Kuntz Riesling vintage 2003 Goldkapsel. Anders’ favorite wine of the evening!
The wine pairing for the carrot dish. A Sybille Kuntz Riesling vintage 2003 Goldkapsel. Anders’ favorite wine of the evening!
The bread serving. Rye and spelt bread. Butter from Røros. Simple.
The bread serving. Rye and spelt bread. Butter from Røros. Simple.
The new restaurant has an open kitchen, similar to many modern restaurants these days.
The new restaurant has an open kitchen, similar to many modern restaurants these days.
Skate with browned cream and ceps gel, covered in thinly sliced champignon mushrooms. The skate wing was marinated in rosemary and seared on the grill. This was our least favorite dish of the evening as the consistency of the fish was too raw, jelly and slimy. According to our waiter it was meant to be like that. We’re not so convinced.
Skate with browned cream and ceps gel, covered in thinly sliced champignon mushrooms. The skate wing was marinated in rosemary and seared on the grill. This was our least favorite dish of the evening as the consistency of the fish was too raw, jelly and slimy. According to our waiter it was meant to be like that. We’re not so convinced.
The wine pairing for the Skate. Luke Lambert Chardonnay 2012
The wine pairing for the Skate. Luke Lambert Chardonnay 2012
Anders – Happy Foodie Eating
Anders – Happy Foodie Eating
Mangalitsa pork from a farm in Svartskog with cabbage and ramson. The Mangalitsa pork (wrapped in the cabbage) is a rare Hungarian breed of woolen, hairy pigs with fatty, marbled meat. It has been called the Kobe/Wagyu of pork meat. It was very flavorful meat, yet tender enough.
Mangalitsa pork from a farm in Svartskog with cabbage and ramson. The Mangalitsa pork (wrapped in the cabbage) is a rare Hungarian breed of woolen, hairy pigs with fatty, marbled meat. It has been called the Kobe/Wagyu of pork meat. It was very flavorful meat, yet tender enough.
Anders thought they could serve a little bit more wine per glass.
Anders thought they could serve a little bit more wine per glass.
Andrea thought it was just the right amount of wine for her size
Andrea thought it was just the right amount of wine for her size
Rhubarb with condensed milk and cress. Underneath were cooked rhubarbs in chunks and slices. On top a rhubarb granité and condensed milk in a powdery creamy variety. Garden cress and our favorite nasturtium sprinkled over. This dish was quite tasty if you like rhubarb (Andrea is not a big fan), but there was a lot going on in the plate and you really had to get a bit of everything together to get the full experience.
Rhubarb with condensed milk and cress. Underneath were cooked rhubarbs in chunks and slices. On top a rhubarb granité and condensed milk in a powdery creamy variety. Garden cress and our favorite nasturtium sprinkled over. This dish was quite tasty if you like rhubarb (Andrea is not a big fan), but there was a lot going on in the plate and you really had to get a bit of everything together to get the full experience.
Yet another good wine pairing; a Riesling Mosel vintage 2010.
Yet another good wine pairing; a Riesling Mosel vintage 2010.
Some familiar faces at our neighbor’s table
Some familiar faces at our neighbor’s table
Sorbet of goat’s milk yoghurt, salty caramel, organic chocolate, fresh chervil and chervil dust. The caramel was very tasty, but the sorbet was a bit bland. The chocolate didn’t really add anything to the dish. The chervil, however, was interesting. Weird, but good.
Sorbet of goat’s milk yoghurt, salty caramel, organic chocolate, fresh chervil and chervil dust. The caramel was very tasty, but the sorbet was a bit bland. The chocolate didn’t really add anything to the dish. The chervil, however, was interesting. Weird, but good.
The wine pairing for the final dessert was a Vouvray Cuveé Botrytis 2005. Very buttery and heavy, but a bit too sweet for our palates.
The wine pairing for the final dessert was a Vouvray Cuveé Botrytis 2005. Very buttery and heavy, but a bit too sweet for our palates.
The bill in a box. Design by Serax, like most of the plates of the evening. The coffee was Finca Tamana from Tim Wendelboe. Regular filter coffee, but very tasty. Unfortunately Kontrast did not offer any petits fours yet.
The bill in a box. Design by Serax, like most of the plates of the evening. The coffee was Finca Tamana from Tim Wendelboe. Regular filter coffee, but very tasty. Unfortunately Kontrast did not offer any petits fours yet.
Focused chefs!
Focused chefs!

This was originally posted on my old blog Two Foodies Eating which I had together with Andrea.

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