Thursday, April 25, 2013

Friday Waffle at the Grand Cafe

The first Friday of each month takes place an event called "Friday Waffle" (or "FredagsVaffel" in Norwegian) at the Grand Palais. It is a waffle buffet where you can eat as many waffles as you want/can.

The Grand Palais is a beautiful place and generally speaking a nice restaurant. Here is one of the room.

Beautiful Room

As for the waffles, the first ones had been cooked before the start of the event (the event starts at 16:00), so that we could start eating at once without having to wait but unfortunately this also means they were lukewarm, not warm.

Some Waffles Made in Advance

A cook started to make waffles a bit after the start of the event but, probably because of the pressure of having many people queuing, the waffles were generally under-cooked. Otherwise, I would say that the dough was good but not exceptional.

Traditional Toppings: 3 Sorts of Jam, Sugar, Brown Cheese and Sour Cream

The price was good: 65 NOK for an adult and 32.5 NOK  for a child (half price). I was however disappointed with the service. We had to wait just for a waiter to show some attention (no drinks, no napkins for about 15 minutes). When we left, no "goodbye", no "thank you" and no "here is your receipt". From a place of this standing, I was expecting better.

To sum up: it is a cheap opportunity to eat a lot of waffles in a beautiful restaurant but you should not expect outstanding waffles or great service.

Tabibito: Another Chinese Restaurant near Nationaltheatret

There are many Asian restaurants near Nationaltheatret and I already reviewed Dinner here. The name Tabibito is Japanese but the restaurant serves Chinese food.

The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor, facing Brasserie 45 and I don't think it is available to wheel chairs. It is a beautiful restaurant with a great entrance and an overall nice design.

My wife went for the Dim Sum menu for 2 and shared it with our son

Dim Sum Deluxe: 199 NOK per person, min 2 p.

The Dim Sum were really nice but be careful that some of them were a bit spicy. It should not be a problem for an adult but some children may not like them (not all of them were spicy).

I went for the Foo Wok hot pot:

Foo Wok Hot Pot, 248 NOK

It was quite spicy but I like spicy food and the menu said so. Otherwise, it was quite good, especially the sauce/spices.

All in all, the prices are a bit high but the service is excellent, the restaurant is beautiful and the food is quite good.

Jensen's Bøfhus: Cheap But Not So Good

If you are living in Oslo, you probably know that meat in general is expensive, let alone steaks in restaurants. And yet, Jensen's Bøfhus proposes menus with steaks for an incredibly low price, while located in a nice area... how is it possible?

To give you an idea of the prices:

  • 69 NOK for steak lunch (steak + some potatoes)
  • 59 NOK for a salad bar if it is on the side of the steak
  • 49 NOK for the children menu

When we tried this restaurant, around Easter, the first thing we noticed is that this place is children friendly: nice children menu with some choice, a small notebook, etc... There was even an ice bar.

Children Menu, 49 NOK

My wife went for the lunch menu at 69 NOK:
Steak Lunch, 69 NOK

Unfortunately, the meat was not good at all. It smelled quite bad and my wife could not eat it. The waitress was quite nice and proposed to change it but my wife just couldn't eat meat anymore. Fortunately, she had ordered a salad from the buffet/bar which was quite nice.

Salad Bar, 59 NOK (as a side dish)

I went for something a bit superior with a steak at 99 NOK (still really cheap compared to general prices in Oslo/Norway).

Steak at 99 NOK

Unfortunately, as for my wife, the meat was not good. It also smelled quite bad and I could eat it mainly because the sauce was good and because I had it well done (my wife asked medium, so the problem was even bigger for her).

My conclusion? To be honest, I would rather NOT conclude. We went there during Easter and I hope that the quality issue was due to the meat provider being closed and Jensen's bøffhus having to serve some old steaks. But no, we were not satisfied with the quality of the meat and if we go there again, I may try something else (ribs, chicken, burger...).

I also checked on the internet for other people who would have had the same problem (poor quality meat that smells bad) but the only thing other people complained about were:
  • dishes taking a long time to be prepared/served: this was true for us too. I think the salad bar was definitively a nice idea my wife had
  • steak not cooked properly: we did not have this problem. I ordered my steak well-done and it was well-done, my wife asked it medium and it was served medium
  • the service which could be bad: we did not have this problem either and the waitresses were nice to us

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dinner: a Chinese restaurant near Nationaltheatret

I must start by saying that I don't like the name of this place. I mean, would you call a car "drive" or "go"? But other than that, Dinner is a nice Chinese restaurant next to Nationaltheatret. It is really easy to go there

The restaurant is beautiful but as we were there during busy hours (for lunch on a Saturday), it was quite full and we felt a bit cramped. Other than that, the service was good.

As a starter, my wife had spring rolls.

Spring rolls, 59 NOK

By the taste, you could say that these were handmade with an original taste. We liked them.

Szechuan Soup with Chicken (a bit spicy) 79 NOK

I started a Szechuan soup which reminded me a bit of the sweet-sour Peking soup. Quite nice. A bit spicy but this is the way I like this soup.

Lunch Platter, 157 NOK

My wife went directly for the Lunch Platter. A nice combination of several things. A bit of fish, a bit of chicken, etc... This dish changes depending on the fresh ingredients they have so you may get something else if you order it.

Fried Noodles, 135 NOK

I ordered fried noodles after that. They were nice and the dish was actually quite big.

On the side, we ordered some Chinese bread and some Chinese tea. Both were really good.

Our conclusion: Dinner is a good restaurant and the food here is really good. The restaurant can get full quickly and the tables are quite close to each other, so it is better to avoid busy hours.

Casa del Maggiore: an Underrated Italian Restaurant in Majorstuen

*** Update July 2013: this restaurant has unfortunately closed. A new place will open 1st August ***

Some restaurants deserve more customers and Casa Del Maggiore is one of them. A good Italian place with an Italian chef and a very sweet waitress but very few customers.

Casa Del Maggiore has maybe the disadvantage of being on the quiet side of Majorstuen (Sørkedalsveien 3) where people are not used to go for dinner.

Costolette d'Agnello: lamb ribs with vegetables 267 NOK

When we went there, we were the only customers so I cannot say how efficient the service is but the waitress was really warm and welcoming.

Calzone Paradiso: closed pizza with ham and mushrooms 149 NOK

My lamb ribs were really good and the pizza of my wife (calzone) was also pretty good. It was nice to hear some Italian in the background (when the chef was speaking with the waitress for example).

Tiramisu, 89 NOK

I ordered a Tiramisu for dessert and it was quite nice but I found it a bit expensive.

All in all, as said in the introduction, Casa del Maggiore deserves more customers as the food is good the service is nice and the prices are correct (just the dessert may be a bit expensive). 

Trivia: do you know what Casa del Maggiore means? Actually, it is quite funny because literally it could be translated by "House of the Major" which is also the meaning of Majorstuen. A kind of Italian Majorstuen at Majorstuen.

Nodee: Nice Dining Place in Majorstuen

For many, Asian food is the equivalent of cheap take away. I am therefore happy when a restaurant takes it to the next level and proposes a real dining experience and this is what Nodee does.

"Tempura", starter: tempura shrimp vegetables and scallop 148 NOK

Located in the Colosseum area in Majorstuen (exact address: Middelthuns gate 25), this restaurant offers refined Asian cuisine, combining Japanese, Chinese and Thai elements.

Kam Kon Pot: hot pot with beef, king prawn, ... (a bit spicy) 235 NOK

We have been there several times with my wife and my son and we have never been disappointed.

Benton Box (bento or bentō in Japanese): lunch box 178 NOK

A small note about the Benton box: the content vary with time as it is made with available fresh products. It is a good choice for people who like to taste different things. The tofu dish was especially good when we ordered it.

Lunch of Champions: a nice steak with lemon-grass taste 155 NOK

Both the service and the food are very good and the restaurant is beautiful. Prices are high but understandable for the quality and the restaurant offers a lunch menu with moderate prices.

Have a look at their website: