Sunday, March 18, 2018

nOi - good food but a few distractions

We have been to Charles & De a few times over the years and we have enjoyed it. In the last few years chef Charles Tjessem has sold his shares and left the restaurant and in the beginning of 2018 the places re-opened as nOi. We decided to check it out on a Saturday night in March 2018 and booked a table online on . The places still seem to be popular as it was pretty much full when we got there. One of the major changes that is visible in the interior of the restaurant is the new pizza oven. 

We got the menu fast and it is a limited menu, but it includes the basics such as pasta, risotto and pizza. We decided to have bruschetta and crostini to start with and pasta/risotto as our main meals. The wine menu is pretty good but when I asked to get some more information about one of the wines the waitress admitted that she had no knowledge about the wine. But she said that she could get the sommelier to come to our table if he had time. I found this statement a bit strange, but I guess the sommelier was also the bartender. When the same waitress brought the wine bottle she announced that she had found out more about the wine and it was made with Nebbiolo grapes in the heart of Tuscany. That didn’t sound quite right and later on when we looked at the bottle there were no traces of Nebbiolo grapes in the wines. But let's get back to the food! 

The bruschetta was a bread with a generous portion of buffalo mozzarella (maybe even burrata) with a mix of tomatoes and basil. The bread could have been toasted a bit more as it got a bit soggy and some of the tomatoes were a bit tasteless – but that is a general problem with tomatoes in Norway. The crostini were good, and the favorite was probably the grilled pepper crostini and the red wine beef cheeks crostini.

The main dish was served after a short break and the same beef cheeks that I had on the crostini, was served on top of pappardelle pasta. Again, the beef cheeks had a wonderful taste and it was great the citrus flavors from the gremolata topping. I love my risotto, so I had to taste the nOi risotto of course. It was served fairly plain with just some lemon, tomatoes and parmesan. I’m not sure I would have served it on a big plate like this, but the risotto was very good even if it was a bit simple. To me that few cherry tomatoes that was in the risotto was just a distraction that didn’t fit in at all.

To round it of I had the tiramisu. I enjoy this dessert and I have had it many times in Italy and around the world. The mascarpone cream was just right and had a great taste but for some reason the savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers) were dry and hard. Usually when you make tiramisu, the savoiardi biscuits is dipped in the espresso mix so that they become soft in the tiramisu.

All in all: the food at nOi was not bad at all and there were other items on the menu that I would love to taste. There were some elements that was distracting (like tomatoes in the risotto and the hard biscuits in the tiramisu) but maybe this is just my preference. It is also a bit of a shame that the sommelier didn’t have time to help with the wine option when they actually had a pretty good wine list. Please read more about nOi on their web page

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Eg & Du–new restaurant on Eiganesveien

Matmagasinet moved out from Eiganesveien 1 this year but the place did not stay empty long. Just a few weeks back a new place opened here: Eg & Du. We checked it out for lunch on a Saturday. The place is a restaurant/café and the wooden interior is cozy. The menu included quite a few seafood options – and it seems like they are into klippfisk (stock fish) as they had several dishes based on that on the menu. We decided to have the bolinos which is Portuguese/Brazilian cod balls that are deep fried. We also went for the political incorrect grilled whale meat. We said that we would share it and when they served it they had actually divided the portions on two plates: brilliant.

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The bolinos were fresh made and had a creamy consistency. They were excellent but I would have like to have even more of a klippfisk taste. The grilled whale meat was awesome. It was grilled to perfection and was really tender! It was served with some pickled vegetables that were excellent and the mash of parsley root was tasty. All in all I was very impressed by this first try and I would love to go back to check it out again. Next time I will go for the siddisburger – a burger made with klippfisk !! I hope that many people will find their way to this new place! Check out the menu and find more information on


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New wine bar in town–Vinkontoret

Over the last few years the trend has been craft beer from local breweries. New beer bars seems to open all the time (Gulating, På Kornet, Øst etc) but there has not really been any focus on wine. Maybe we will see a change of this. As of August 2017 the bar known as Kontoret Bar has closed down and a new place has opened insted. The new place is called Vinkontoret and is hosted by Emil Heimdal and Christoffer Ingebretsen. We ran into Emil a few times when he hosted us at the great Cafe de France but now he will focus on serving good wine to the good people of Stavanger. Nikki and I stopped by one night and had a glass of wine and enjoyed some good quality snack with it. We got some excellent Italian ham and some great cheese to go along with it. If you enjoy a bit of wine make sure to stop by this new place! It is located in Skagen 16. Read more about the place on their Facebook page.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Not that impressed at Villa 22 this time

We have been to Villa 22 a couple of times and we have been pretty pleased with it. Now they have been open over a year and we went for a dinner there on a Friday night to check it out again. This time we were not that impressed.

We had a reservation at 7.30 (they have a very good online booking system) and we came there a bit early and started with a drink at the Bar Negroni which is connected to the restaurant. When we walked through to the restaurant we got a table right away and sat down. Our waitress appeared fast and asked if we were ready to order before we had even glanced at the menu so the service seemed a bit rushed to start with. Our table was partially at the window and the restaurant provides excellent views to the harbor of Stavanger.

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We decided to go à la carte instead of having the tasting menu. Nikki started with pickled mackerel that she enjoyed and I had some lovely ravioli with ricotta and spinach and the sage butter sauce was very good. Once we were done with the starter, our table was not cleared so we had a few plates on the table. After a while a waitress walked over to our neighbor tables and asked if they had ordered pasta and pork neck. It turned out that this was our mains that very ready to be served but that was not that easy as there were no space left on our table. So we had to hold the plates with the main dishes while she cleared some of the table – not very professional. Nikki’s main dish was pasta with a generous portion of mussels on top. Nikki enjoyed this dish even if it was a bit on the salty side – but it was served with fresh herbs and local produced tomatoes. The only thing missing was a small bucket to keep all the empty mussels.

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My main dish was pork neck served with onion, tomato and potato. I usually associate porn neck with very tender meat but that was not the case here. The meat was OK and it was juicy but not very tender at all. And the grilled onions on the side were lukewarm and the whole dish just seemed uninspired.

I think the best part of the meal was my dessert – a very rich chocolate ganache cake served with a very good raspberry sorbet. Highly recommended if you like chocolate but it is so rich that you can easily share it with someone as this is more pure candy than a dessert.


It took some time to get the check as all the waitresses seemed to vanish after people was done eating. When we first got the check I noticed that the wine price was not correct – when I mentioned this to the waitress she took it back and corrected this. The wine selection is not that extensive by the way and it is still sad to see that a bottle of pretty simple Chianti that cost 130 kroner (16 USD) at the local wine shop ends up being 575 kroner (72 USD) at the restaurant.

Without the wine the meal was 1075 Kroner (135 USD). The food had some highlights but the main dish was a bit of a letdown for me. And there room for improvement when it comes to the service and organizing of staff it seems like.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pasha–Turkish restaurant in Stavanger

Pasha opened this year if I’m not mistaken after quite some time of preparations. I think this is maybe the only proper Turkish restaurant in town and they focus on barbecuing the food on coal on in a proper stone oven. We went there for a quick snack on a weekday at about 5 pm and there were a few people in the restaurant already.

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We got some colorful menus with photos of all the different dishes and that is a good idea as I think many people don’t have a clue when it comes to Turkish food. We ordered Døner Lavash and a chicken kebab dish. As a complimentary starter we got a fresh baked bread with a cream dip and a vegetable dip and the bread was excellent. The food was served pretty fast and it looked just like the photos on the menu. The chicken kebab was quite a large portion for the price and there was chicken, rice, sour cream and various vegetable. The Døner Lavash was a wrap with beef. The food was good and good value for money. We will most likely go there again if we need a quick dinner. Check out the Pasha Facebook page for more infornation.

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Gard – trip reports and pictures

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Matmagasinet–new location

IMG_1999I have been to Matmagasinet a few times over the last few years and there has been some ups and downs. In May 2017 this cafe moved to a new location – from their small store in Eiganesveien to the much bigger café in Niels Jules gate 50. With this move they have moved outside the city center (even if it is just a 10 minute walk from downtown) but the advantage is a new, bigger and modern café. I stopped by for lunch today and they have pretty much kept the old concept. There is a small menu that contains sandwiches, salads, soups etc but there is also an evening menu with fish, meat, pizza etc. The new facilities looks great and they now have much more room than before. I think this place will be a great success amongst Stavanger people as the place also contains some seats outside and there is a huge lawn where kids can play while parents are enjoying some food and drinks. Check out the homepage for more photos and to take a look at their menu:




Monday, February 27, 2017

Sjøhuset Skagen is now Skagen Restaurant!

Back in 1976 the restaurant Sjøhuset Skagen opened in Stavanger and it was one of the first (if not the first) restaurants outside a hotel in Stavanger. Over the years it has been a rock in the Stavanger restaurant scene but in the end of 2016 it closed and it has now re-opened as “Skagen Restaurant”. The building that houses the restaurant dates back to 1780 so there is a lot of history here.

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We went for dinner there on a Tuesday night and I guess that people don’t know that it has re-opened yet as it was pretty quiet. The interior has been modernized a bit but they have still kept the heavy wooden structure feel to the place. We sat down and got the menu fast and decided to have a clipfish (salted and dried cod) skewer as a starter and I decided to have skrei as main meal. Skrei is arctic cod which is only in season in the beginning of the year.

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We got some bread and butter to start with which was great as I was starving and the bread seemed to be sourdough bread with a hint of caraway. But it didn’t take long before the skewer was served with aioli in a small cup, tomato salsa and oven baked potatoes. I enjoy my clipfish and I always like the salty and firm meat. This skewer was no exception – I enjoyed the clipfish pieces but the bacon pieces in between was a bit too fatty in my opinion. According to the menu there should also be chili in this dish but I did not taste any chili. The tomato salsa was very good.

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The main dish was served soon after and my skrei meal was maybe not a pretty sight. Many traditional Norwegian meals are a bit bland in colors. The skrei was served with the roe, pan-fried skrei tongue, carrots – and on the side the skrei liver and butter sauce. It is great to see that you can use so much of the same fish to create a meal. The skrei was all white and the layers that came of when putting the fork into it. I would have preferred the fish to be a bit firmer – some parts of the fish seemed a bit overdone. The roe does not have that much taste and feels firm in texture until you start to break it down. All of a sudden you can feel that it is fish eggs. The cod tongues are also good – I have tried to make this at home as well but I guess it is not that common any more.

All in all a good meal with roots in the Norwegian kitchen. But the question is if this is a place that we will keep on coming back to if we want an exciting meal. I think it will be popular amongst Stavanger visitors as the house has a history and the food is Norwegian inspired – and these days it is not easy to find a place that serves Norwegian food in Stavanger. I hope that Skagen Restaurant will succeed and that it will continue to be an “institution” of Stavanger restaurants in the years to come.

A skrei meal was 340 kroner, fish & chips 230 kroner. You can see menu and prices on the restaurant homepage.