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.
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.
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.
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.