The Pride of NorwayEveryone Should Visit Maaemo Once in Their Life
After my sixth visit to Maaemo in Oslo – Norway’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant – all I could think was:
– Damn it, how could it be even better than my previous meals here?
I always tell people they have to go to Maaemo at least once in their life. Yes, it’s expensive, but most people can afford the experience if they really want to. I promise you – it’s worth every buck. Skip that weekend in London, or postpone purchasing some expensive commodity you don’t really need. Hell, just save up money from two or three other mediocre restaurant meals you would have instead.
This time, I won’t bore you with a long essay on how fantastic the meal at Maaemo was. I’ll mainly let the pictures speak for themselves. If you want to read more details about the restaurant, you can check my spring visit to Maaemo in 2015, my winter lunch in 2016 (just before they got the third star), and my autumn dinner the same year. This was my first summertime visit to Maaemo. That’s not even supposed to be a good season for seafood and a lot of other Norwegian produce. Yet, it was mind-blowingly amazing once again. What I love about Maaemo, is that you always get the classics – the dishes you crave – like the oyster, the sour cream porridge, and the brown butter ice cream. But you’re always surprised by the latest creations: a crispy duck foot, a perfected chicken breast, or a pure delight of a strawberry dessert. Did I mention the dry-aged beef fat waffles?
Maaemo is the pride of Norway. Esben has received his maximum number of Michelin stars, and, as far as I am concerned, they are not going anywhere anytime soon. In one way, you could say that Maaemo has reached the pinnacle of the culinary world. Yet, the quality on the plate keeps developing and improving year after year. Climbing on the World’s 50th Best Restaurants-list is one of the few ways ahead in terms of international accolade. Such an achievement would require visits from chefs and foodies from all over the world. Maaemo is definitely on the right path. Judging from how many of my fellow foodies who have been here lately, I would say Maaemo should expect an advancement next year. In order to really get a boost, though, more people need to understand that Oslo is a culinary destination worth visiting not only for Maaemo, but also for Kontrast, Bokbacka, Pjoltergeist, Omakase by Alex Cabiao, and À L’aise.
The most beautiful new dish of the summer menu.
Champagne Vincent Coucher, Extra Brut, Elégance. Organic and biodynamic.
Savory tart made from caramelized onions, with aged goat cheese & lemon thyme
Cornet with smoked lumpfish roe
Raw razor clam from Nordskot, green strawberries and woodruff
The fermented trout-dish at Maaemo keeps getting better and better.
Fresh cheese made 1 hour ago from raw milk of Maaemo’s very own cow (Isrosa), wood sorrel, and summer cucumber
Signature dish: Emulsion of raw Norwegian oysters from Bømlo, warm sauce made from mussels and dill
Maaemo makes all their juices in-house
Co-founder and owner Esben Holmboe-Bang
Scallop from Nordskot, glazed with elderflower mead broth of dried scallops and kelp
Esben does a lot of the tableside serving himself
Preview of the king crab before cooking
Grilled king crab from Finnmark, buckwheat miso and spruce
Beer for the bread
Restaurant manager Benjamin Ausland
The bread serving
Esben serving one of the very few dishes Maaemo has made with chicken
Mother Rock White, South Africa
Another classic coming up
“Rømmegrøt” – sour cream porridge with smoked reindeer heart, and salted butter with plum vinegar
Quail egg gently cooked in roasted bone marrow, cured mutton and charred onions
Duck hearts cooked with salted cherries and cherry blossoms, cream sauce made with innards and fermented cherry wood
Raw milk ice cream from a single cow (Isrosa) …
… with rhubarb elderflower, and fragrant rhubarb root.
Strawberries with sweet vernal grass and roses
Benjamin pouring some homemade strawberry juice
My favorite new dessert at Maaemo!
You can’t leave Maaemo without this classic!
Have you not been to Maaemo yet? I’d like to hear whether or not you are considering going, and why. Drop me a line in the comments below.