I loved the soup but it was the salad that really grabbed me. The fresh salad, made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, and feta cheese, captivated my attention; the salad was so simple yet delicious! The staff served it at the restaurant within the mall of Mathallen in Norway. They would do it again tomorrow and I couldn’t wait until then.
While Denmark started the Nordic food movement several years ago with locally foraged foods at iconic restaurants Noma and Fäviken, Sweden quickly followed with Fävikan – whose phone number my pregnant wife called every day at 3 am NY time to try and reserve a table while she could still fly – Norway was the last to pop, but now has it exploded. Some of the current popular Norwegian food trends are all about exploring and expanding new frontier of culinary frontiers that go far beyond salmon and traditional cheese.
The basics first, then what happened next.
This slim country surrounded by the Norwegian seaside has long been home to some of the finest fish. It includes some of the best salmon – ideally with plenty of mustard – that I’ve ever tasted. It also comprises the most delectable herrings imaginable. Don’t neglect that tasty brownish cheeses, eaten alone and used in stews called the Ski Queen or Brunaost.
After having eaten so many large slabs of fish at Mathallen, I was even more excited about the ramens. On the top level of this mall, there’s a tiny Japanese restaurant where they serve a line-up of some of my favorite soupy dishes, with a Japanese chef who hails from the northernmost island of Japan to cook them.
Did I mention the popular Mexican snack? That’s right, we’re talking about Taco Friday! In Norway, people love to eat tacos because they’re cheap, quick, and easy to make. They also happen to be delicious. And if you’re wondering why Mexicans would be obsessed with tacos, just remember that tacos were invented in Mexico, and the rest is history. So whether you’re in Oslo or wherever else, get ready for taco madness!
Himkok has an unmarked door.
It’s a new restaurant called B&B Ristorante di Brugata Landhandlero, on what once was an unsavory street, belonging to the Himokko Group, which is attempting to rebrand food and beverage culture in Norway.
The company has been named one of the 50 best restaurants in the world by Drinks International, and features Ski Queen cheese-based drinks, as well as incredible cocktails on tap, a kebab pop-up shop, and a cocktail lounge where they serve up some of the most delicious cocktails in Oslo.
We had a delicious Portuguese steak and cheese sandwich. It was a little hard to find, but worth finding. And yes, we also had the porridgy. It wasn’t the same kind of porridge that I had hoped for at the sourdough bakery, nor did I expect to get home to Norway in time for my afternoon meeting. However, it was the best porridge that I’ve ever tasted.
It was topped with crispy seeds and sprinkles of cinnamon, and each mouthful was just as good as the last. It’s a taste experience that I’ll remember for awhile, and a surprisingly tasty take on Norwegian cuisine.