Located in the Grand Hotel, this small place has only seven 2-tops and three 4-tops, but they do have a separate small room for around 10 that serves a chef dinner.
In the dining room they serve only a tasting menu with your only choices whether you want fish or meat for the main course. They offer wine pairings but we chose to order our own wines. Although there are less courses than some tasting menus, they give you a more generous portion so you can have a better tasting opportunity. The pacing of service was excellent, giving you ample time between courses so you don’t feel rushed or stuffed.
The evening starts in the reception room where we enjoyed a glass of champagne and then were invited into the kitchen to meet the evening’s chef and to sample a few amuse bouche (above) – scallop with vegetables, kitchen, truffle pizza, fish ball – while chatting with the various kitchen personnel. It was just enough to give you a good feel for the place as well as establishing a level of intimacy for the evening. Of the kitchen snacks the truffle pizza was the standout – YUM!
Moving to the dining room, where each place has an electronic tablet with the menu and beverage list. The first course was a pumpkin and cheese custard with truffles that was excellent with great textures and a rich depth of taste. Served next was hot rye bread, smoked butter and roe spread.
Then was a one bite thing that was meant to re-create the chef’s earliest memories of hot bread and butter – a bread ball with a buttery center with hints of anise. I liked the concept but it paled after the pumpkin. Whereas the rye bread served at the table was insanely good. A nice twist was to serve a smoked butter with it.
The various raw fish that comprised the next course provided an assortment of tastes and was accompanied by a horseradish and bleak roe sauce.
The Arctic Char course, served with smoked cream, fresh garlic and barrel aged vinegar, was wonderful where the fish melted in your mouth. It was slightly smokey with amazingly crunchy vegetables that were almost sweet. The Norwegian King Crab (right) was served with fried nettles leaves, roe and bits of lemon that popped in your mouth, all in a butter sauce. Combined with the sweet, salty and buttery crab it made you want to lick this plate clean. Amazing!
The grilled veal heart was served with yellow peas, cucumber, goat yoghurt, pickled vegetables and warm yummy pita. Another winner for taste and texture.
The sour cream ice cream was a totally delicious palate cleanser decorated with crispy crumbs which was followed by the rhubarb ice cream, yoghurt cream, pickled rhubarb and crispy crumbs. Here the bowl was hollow underneath and they had wound rhubarb stalks in it to give you the visualization to reinforce the taste.
We finished with a simple traditional sponge cake and whipped cream – you can’t go wrong with that!
A winner of a dinner!