Finding reasonably-priced places to eat in Norway is a challenge as Norway is a very expensive country. But we did find some places in Oslo Norway that had food that was almost in line with the pricing
Fjord, a small seafood restaurant with a limited food menu (mainly they want you to order a 3-4 course meal) and an amazing 135 page wine list. The night of our visit, the menu consisted of an amuse bouche (cod ceviche with carrot and parsnip puree and chili flakes), three appetizer-size dishes (salmon, halibut and whale), one entrée-size dish (hake), a cheese plate and two desserts. Each of use choose one appetizer, one entrée and the cheese plate. For appetizers, we ordered wild salmon with salmon roe on cucumbers and horseradish dill sauce; and pan-fried halibut with Jerusalem artichoke and asparagus foam. The entrées were baked hake with potato compote and celeriac with chicken sauce. All, especially the halibut and the hake, were delicious. The cheese course was a mixed bag, with two Norwegian, one French and one Italian cheese. The only one of the four we enjoyed was the soft, Norwegian cow cheese: Munkebg. As for wine, after a long exploration, we chose a bottle of 2013 Les Vaillon 1er Cru Chabllis. A very nice experience at a price tag one must expect in the second most expensive city in the world. All for a mere $200. Ouch.
Tjuvnolmen Sjomagasin, located in the ultra-hip Tjuvholmen neighborhood was the favorite restaurant we have eaten at in Norway. We began with a rich, buttery fish soup with salmon, halibut, shrimp spring onions and tarragon. We then had two entrees. Rose fish (ocean red fish) which was quite good with celeriac puree, roasted cauliflower and parsley and a very flavorful chicken sauce with apple juice and tarragon. The roasted halibut with celeriac, green pea, asparagus and the same sauce was even better. The complementary sweet consisted of a chocolate truffle, peanut butter cookies and milk chocolate/pistachio caramel. Another white Burgundy for dinner, this time a 2014 Maison Roche de Bellene.
Café Elias, where we enjoyed a quick, light and inexpensive lunch (inexpensive means $50 for food only). We had two dishes from the limited, all organic lunch menu. An open-face smoked salmon and scrambled egg sandwich with green salad, along with clipfish (salted dried cod) gratin with potatoes and breadcrumbs. The sandwich was very good and the clipfish was actually better than expected. Not for a steady diet, but well worth trying.
Bar Vulkan, a bar, atop a Vulkan neighborhood building, overlooking the Mathallen food hall. In addition to the pretty view, we had two small plates—lobster taco with chili sauce and raw salmon with ponzu sauce and seaweed salad. And to wash them down, a couple glasses of Chablis. Although the lobster was chopped into such fine pieces and spiced in a way that it was hard to identify, it was pretty good. The salmon was better.
We stayed at the Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz. This is a renovated hotel right in the heart of things in Oslo. But, from what we saw, everything in Oslo is within walking distance. It is about a 15 minute walk from the central train station, which is nice given how expensive taxis are. The hotel claims to be 4 stars. Frankly, we are not sure about that. Yes, it had a bathrobe and slippers. Yes, the breakfast was Norwegian great with a good variety. And it also had a free “dinner” at night, which was actually not bad the one night we partook of it. So for the budget minded, this hotel is a bargain. But the rooms are small.—even by NY or Paris standards. We were in a handicap room which is not a favorite of ours either which probably colored our assessment of the hotel. They had a picture in the elevator showing a typical standard room and we definitely did not have a room of that caliber. The promised king size bed that we had in writing from Expedia is probably a queen size…typical of Norway. It is more like a large double. However, it had a safe, and previously mentioned bathrobe. Tea in the room. And there were nespresso machines in the open lounge that you could use at any time if you could figure them out. Joyce spent a challenging amount of time trying to get hot water from them (sometimes successful and sometimes not and never sure of what she did to get it). And it was amusing to watch people trying to get coffee from them. While the instructions were in English as well as Norwegian, somehow they still were unclear. But fortunately the bed oom also had a teakettle to make it easier. Still, we do not think this place deserves the very high ratings it receives on Tripadvisor. We suspect that people were overly enthralled with the evening food (think budget) and breakfast. It is not bad, but not as good as its press…at least our room wasn’t. However, after spending some time in other Scandinavian hotels, maybe this is a 4 star??????