Review: Kontrast (2015)A Fresh New Start For Mikael Svensson
Restaurant Kontrast by the Swedish chef Mikael Svensson is not new in Oslo per se. However, it recently closed down its old venue at the Carlton hotel Guldsmeden in Skillebekk and moved to Vulkan. We were actually at the old space in February this year to check out the final menu before they left. The new location is just above Mathallen, and it opened this Wednesday, the 8th of April, 2015. The new Kontrast means a fresh start for Mikael Svensson, where he can follow his dream more closely and design the place as he always wanted it to be from the ground up. The contrasts are indeed quite visible compared to the old place. Interior wise, the new venue has a more open, clean, and modern design with a lot of concrete, wood, and steel. There’s an open kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows, and designer furniture and lamps.
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A Fresh New Start For Mikael Svensson
We had a table at 6 o’clock in the evening on the first 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!
The menu looked similar to the old Kontrast – simple and short with the possibility to add a few extra dishes. We ordered the Kontraster tasting menu, but added the løyrom dish since we are suckers for that. Going for the wine pairing was 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.
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 though 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! Read the image captions for more details and our impression of each dish.
Update: Chef Mikael Svensson and Restaurant Kontrast just got one Michelin star in the 2016 guide! Congrats!
Have you been to the old or new Kontrast? Feel free to leave a comment below with your experience.