Sentralen First Look at the Menu of the New Lava Restaurant

Yesterday evening we attended at test night at Oslo’s brand-new restaurant Sentralen. This eatery can seat more than 100 people and is located in Kvadraturen in the heart of Oslo. The official opening is Tuesday the 8th of March, but head chef Mads Andre Hansen is doing test dinners now to prepare the team of cooks and waiters and tune each of the dishes. In case you missed my sneak peek inside Sentralen restaurant, I’ll recap: This is the latest project of Even Ramsvik and the Lava restaurant group. Together with Tom Victor Gausdal from restaurant Strand, Anders Braathen from Smalhans and Stian Floer from Hitchhiker they are running a restaurant, a bakery and pizzeria, and two bars in this huge, newly-refurbished community center.

Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in Norway’s capital? Check out our city map of Oslo!

Even Ramsvik back in action
Even Ramsvik back in action

Most of the restaurant was filled with restaurateurs, wine importers and the like. Just to be clear: this was not a free meal. We paid for our food and drinks, although the prices were reduced to compensate for the fact that it was a test night. Afterall, both the food and service needed some tweaking. Nothing really big though, and I imagine it should be sorted during these test dinners with the feedback from us and others.

Bone marrow, parsley and grilled sourdough bread.
Bone marrow, parsley and grilled sourdough bread.
2013 Pierre Frick, Cremant d'Alsace, Brut, France from NonDos
2013 Pierre Frick, Cremant d’Alsace, Brut, France from NonDos

The menu is not clearly divided into starters, mains, and desserts. Instead, it’s a long list of dishes, and each has been marked with an indication of how filling it is. You’ll still find the smaller savory dishes at the start, bigger savory dishes in the middle and cheese & sweet desserts at the end. About six starters (NOK 75 -130), six main dishes (NOK 110-135), two cheese platters (NOK 85-95) and four desserts (NOK 65-95) along with three different bread servings (NOK 35-75) make out the complete menu.

The style is, as Even Ramsvik described it, a continental brasserie using high quality, mostly local and seasonal ingredients. One of the first things I noticed and knew I had to order was the svele. This Norwegian pancake was a classic dessert serving from Ramsvik at his now-closed restaurant Ylajali. At Sentralen restaurant it’s a savory starter instead, filled with lumpfish roe, sour cream, dill, and onion. Very delicate and tasty.

"Svele". Norwegian pancake with lumpfish roe, sour cream, dill and onion.
“Svele”. Norwegian pancake with lumpfish roe, sour cream, dill and onion.

As you can see the style is very casual at Sentralen restaurant. The food comes out from the kitchen on big plates or wooden boards and is meant to be shared. The presentations are rustic with a contemporary touch and should be recognizable if you have dined at Smalhans in particular or at Hitchhiker.

I think the only point of improvement we gave as feedback was about the grilled sourdough bread. It was supposed to be crunchy to the bite, but with a soft core. The pieces we got were a bit too hard to bite, especially at the edges. Also, the bone marrow could have needed some more time in the oven or a higher temperature. Apart from that, we had some lovely dishes, and I only wished I could have tested more from the menu. I might just have to return to Sentralen restaurant …

Grilled sourdough bread with chicken liver paté and pickled vegetables.
Grilled sourdough bread with chicken liver paté and pickled vegetables.
2013 Remi Poujol, Le Temps Fait Tout, Languedoc, France.
2013 Remi Poujol, Le Temps Fait Tout, Languedoc, France.
Skate wing, parsley, capers and Røros butter.
Skate wing, parsley, capers and Røros butter.
Terje Wiese is the restaurant manager.
Terje Wiese is the restaurant manager.
Veal sweetbreads, thinly sliced mushrooms, caramelized Jerusalem artichoke and chicken broth.
Veal sweetbreads, thinly sliced mushrooms, caramelized Jerusalem artichoke and chicken broth.
Tom Victor Gausdal.
Tom Victor Gausdal.
Cabbage, morel & pistachio. Way more tasty than the ingredients suggest.
Cabbage, morel & pistachio. Way more tasty than the ingredients suggest.
Kalvedans neon sign.
Kalvedans neon sign.
Crispy & glazed pig, soy sauce, acidic carrot, onion and miso.
Crispy & glazed pig, soy sauce, acidic carrot, onion and miso.
2013 Contadino, Frank Cornelissen.
2013 Contadino, Frank Cornelissen.
Lemon cream, meringue, laurel oil and yogurt soft ice cream.
Lemon cream, meringue, laurel oil and yogurt soft ice cream.
Stian Floer.
Stian Floer.
Soft ice cream and winter apples with croquant.
Soft ice cream and winter apples with croquant.
A complimentary cocktail in the winter garden after the meal.
A complimentary cocktail in the winter garden after the meal.
The Winter Garden.
The Winter Garden.

Are you excited to check out the new Sentralen? Please leave a comment below with your first impressions.

Follow Us on Social Media

YouTube
Anders Husa & Kaitlin Orr

Instagram
@andershusa
@carnivorr

Facebook
Foodie Stories by Anders Husa
Carnivorr

3 comments

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.