Hall Toll was far better than expected!

P1000030Hall Toll has been one of the most popular lounges/night scene places in Stavanger for a few years now but it also contains a restaurant. I have been there before but I always got the feeling that the restaurant bit was not a priority for the place. But in the end of 2011 they did some work to refurbish the place and in July 2012 we decided to check it out to give it a new try. I booked a table by sending them an e-mail based on the info that I found on http://www.halltoll.no/. The homepage does not have any menu for food or wine which is a bit annoying as you can’t see the selection and prices of food and wine. But they claim that they make about 20 dishes each night based on the ingredients that they get a hold of.
P1000006We decided to go there early so we got there at like 6.30 PM on a Saturday and the place was basically empty. It is located right next to Victoria hotel and if you sit outside you have a nice view to the harbor area. The waiter had a comfortable presence and took us to our table and he brought over the big stand that presented the menu. We decided to go for the 5 course tasting menu which included foie gras, sushi, halibut, pork carré and strawberries for dessert. We also asked if he could recommend a wine that would fit all of this and he suggested that we go white but when we said that we preferred red he suggested a Bourgogne which makes sense as it is quite light.P1000009 The restaurant is located in the old custom house in Stavanger and they have kept some of the wooden beams from back in the days while there is also a presence of more modern steel around. The kitchen is also open so you can see the chefs at work which is always a good thing I think. But back to the meal – when they waiter came over to the table and opened the wine he did it carefully, he took a look at the cork and smelled it and he brought a small glass for himself for tasting it. I think this is very good – it shows that they know their wine and hopefully won’t sell bad wine to the customers J
P1000013We got some bread to start with served on a large wooden plank – just like we use at home when cutting bread. But it didn’t take long before we got the foie gras served – and it was a nice size piece of foie gras served on top of a thin bread and with pieces of apple around. It is not a daring combination or groundbreaking in any way but it is a combination that works pretty well. The foie gras was excellent in my opinion. From there we went over to the sushi and sashimi that got served on a large stone platter – we were three in the group that went for sushi so as you can see on the photos we got a piece each of the different varieties. I’m not a big fan of sushi and sashimi I’m afraid so I have to trust my wife and friends when they said that it was very good.
P1000015The halibut was served with nuts and a butter sauce and was simple and tasty and as this was a 5 course meal it was just the right size. The main dish for three of us was the pork carré while the fourth person in our group had gone for the duck. To our surprise it was all served on one big wooden platter again containing both the pork and the duck. Around it there were small pots with French fries, with a good béarnaise sauce, an excellent red wine sauce and a frying pan with vegetables – a beautiful and creative presentation I think.
Dessert was pretty simple: Norwegian strawberries on a vanilla cream. Simple and delicious – Norwegian strawberries are quite good.
P1000019We were impressed by Hall Toll this time – maybe because we didn’t have that many expectations. But all in all the food was great and it was presented in a great way – we got a supply of tap water (which is very good here in Stavanger) all night without having to buy expensive bottled water. We had to chase the waiters a bit in the end and you can’t pay with American Express but apart from that it was quite the perfect evening. The bill for the four of us was 3650 kroner (600 USD) including two bottles of wine costing about 600 kroner each. You can check out more information on their homepage http://www.halltoll.no/ - why don’t you have any English version of the homepage by the way?
gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures
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