A Sneak Peek Inside Restaurant Sentralen The Future Plans of Even Ramsvik & Co

Ever since Even Ramsvik closed his one Michelin star restaurant Ylajali on the 19th of December last year, there has been growing speculations. What’s next for the acclaimed chef? Will Oslo witness a new Michelin star project unfold? On the final evening of Ylajali Even revealed that he had many projects planned for the future. It’s already been rumored for a while that he wants to open a new restaurant outside of the city, closer to nature, where he has space to grow his own herbs and vegetables. However, these plans are still some years ahead, if they ever get realized. In his next project Even is not on his own anymore.

Even on the last day of Ylajali
Even on the last day of Ylajali

The last couple of weeks I’ve observed Even on several separate occasions in close dialogue with Anders Braathen of Smalhans and Stian Floer of Hitchhiker. I knew they were up to something, and last week the final piece of the puzzle was revealed. Even has teamed up with Anders, Stian and Tom Victor Gausdal of Strand restaurant. Together they’ve created the company Lava and Sentralen will be their first big project. Sentralen will be a house for culture and innovation located in the majestic old building of Christiania Sparebank from the 1800s, in Øvre Slottsgate in Kvadraturen.

Anders, Stian, Even, Tom Victor and Mads Andre
Anders, Stian, Even, Tom Victor and Mads Andre
Majestic Christiania Sparebank
Majestic Christiania Sparebank

Restaurant Sentralen

The guys have leaked fragments of information about Sentralen for a year. Yesterday I had a chat with them to get the facts straight, though. Even Ramsvik explained that the main restaurant of Sentralen will serve lunch and dinner and can host more than 100 guests. A big à la carte menu will feature Nordic and continental food made with local, high-quality ingredients. Similar to the style at Smalhans this will be unpretentious food, served on big platters meant to be shared. 26-year-old Mads Andre Hansen will be the head chef. He has previously worked for Tom Victor at Strand for two years, and most recently as sous chef at restaurant Tango in Stavanger for three years.

The old Christiania Sparebank is one of the most spectacular buildings of Kvadraturen in Oslo
The old Christiania Sparebank is one of the most spectacular buildings of Kvadraturen in Oslo
The original marble pillars are preserved
The original marble pillars are preserved

Café Sentralen

Next to the restaurant, a café will serve simpler lunch dishes like sandwiches and salads, and brew coffee from the best roasteries in town. In the evening the place turns into a sourdough pizza restaurant, where you can enjoy organic, natural wine. Handwerk will provide the sourdough, of course, and I can imagine most of the wines will be supplied by Non Dos and Vin John. The organic bakery has become a central element in the restaurant group, serving all of their places with freshly made bread, buns and other bakeware.
Chandeliers from another century in the roof
Chandeliers from another century in the roof
The main room with huge marble pillars, and floor-to-ceiling windows
The main room with huge marble pillars, and floor-to-ceiling windows

The Winter Garden and Gullbaren

Anders, aka Hipstakokken, guided us through the building and showed the locations of the two bars they’ll be manning. The winter garden on the first floor will have a decent selection of beer on tap. Up the marble stairway and through a stunning old wooden door they are building a vintage bar, Gullbaren, which even the old bank director would’ve approved of. Cocktail experts from Fuglen are helping out to make this bar as spectacular as it sounds.
Details of the doors leading into the cocktail bar "Gullbaren"
Details of the doors leading into the cocktail bar “Gullbaren”

Four New Locations of Handwerk

Further plans for the quartet involves the opening of four new locations of Handwerk bakeries. One pop-up at Sagene, one in the Botanical gardens at Tøyen, and one in the Astrup Fernley museum in cooperation with Fuglen cocktail bar. The fourth location is undisclosed. However, the guys also revealed that they have landed the contract for a venue in Gamlebyen, which will be ready within two years.

Most of the art and details in the old bank has been kept
Most of the art and details in the old bank has been kept

Bringing Oslo Closer to the World

Anders, Stian and Tom Victor has been some of the most innovative restaurateurs in Oslo the last couple of years. More than anyone they’ve brought trends like food trucks, street food and natural wine to the city. They have introduced Oslo citizens to ramen, steam buns, and kimchi – to name a few dishes that was almost unheard of here a few years back.

Hipstakokken Anders Braathen is happy about the future plans. Here seen smiling.
Hipstakokken Anders Braathen is happy about the future plans. Here seen smiling.

Even, who has been busy doing pop-ups at Smalhans, Pjoltergeist and other restaurants lately, should be a great add-on to the team. The future of the Oslo restaurant scene is looking brighter with this constellation. I hope this team can help Oslo make a leap towards cities like Copenhagen and New York.

Even doing a pop-up at Smalhans
Even doing a pop-up at Smalhans

Are you looking forward to the opening of Sentralen? Please leave a comment below.

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