Oscarsgate shut its doors for good at the end of last year, a collective sigh of disappointment could be heard from the city's food lovers. Not only had the Norwegian capital lost another of its precious few Michelin-starred restaurant, but it was also unclear as to when or where we'd see Swedish head chef Björn Svensson in a kitchen again.
The demise of the Oscarsgate was fairly abrupt. In September 2011 the restaurant announced that it was looking for new, larger premises – not a bad thing at all given the old Oscarsgate dining room was of a size that even the slickest of estate agents would euphemistically call 'cosy.' It was indeed minuscule, and you were forever being bumped by passing waiters and moving your chair to allow someone at the neighbouring table to go to the loo. But the food; oh the food! Svensson's cooking combined an eclectic mix of Norwegian produce that was reconstructed in a vibrant, modern way, clearly drawing on his experience from stints at El Bulli and Gordon Ramsay's Royal Hospital Road.
26 September 2013
18 September 2013
13 September 2013
But perhaps the thing I miss most is my tradition of Sunday dim sum; it's what Sundays were made for in my opinion. Wake up late (we're talking pre kids here), grab my favourite section of The Sunday Times, head over to Royal China on Baker Street and settle in with some green tea while contemplating the array of steamed delights on offer.
9 September 2013
Tanned and sporting a six o'clock shadow, his angular features with piercing hazel eyes give him more the look of a Hollywood matinée idol, while a fashion model/TV presenter wife completes the picture. His self-published multimedia "art-object-book," 'Sergiology,' "relates to everything that made me what I am today," and he even has his own magazine, 'Sergio,' where you can read articles about Sergio's childhood and what he likes to eat and drink during the day (a jitter-inducing eight espressos if you're interested).
1 September 2013
Another look at Maaemo, you say? I know, I've already written plenty about this, the most glittering of Oslo's Michelin-starred restaurants, so what's left to be said, right? Well, having first eaten at Maaemo just after they opened almost three years ago I've simply been amazed at how each and every meal there has moved the game forward – an interpretation of Norwegian terroir unlike anything I've seen before.
Certainly there's no sign of Maaemo resting on the laurels of the two Michelin stars they were awarded just 15 months after opening. It's full steam ahead and the pace of development in the kitchen is breathtaking. It's therefore perhaps interesting to reflect on how the trajectory of head chef and co-owner Esben Holmboe Bang's cooking has progressed since three guys got together with the idea of opening Norway's first fine-dining restaurant based solely on organic or bio-dynamic produce.