A taste of Mondo's universe

 I have been to Mondo in Sandnes a couple of times before (see a short lunch review here), but it has been a while since the last time. SO it was with great joy that I got to visit this restaurant again in January 2019. Since I was there the last time, head chef Christian André Pettersen has won the European Bocuse d’Or and he has been trained at  Charles & De (also in Sandnes) and head chef there (Charles Tjessem) won Bocuse d’Or in 2003. But enough with the name dropping ;-)

We came there on a Saturday night and the restaurant is located on the harbor in Sandnes. The restaurant and interior in Mondo is stylish and modern and we got to enjoy a drink in the lounge area (with a fireplace) while we were waiting for our table. I was glad to see that the restaurant was busy on a Saturday night – it is after all one of the top restaurants in Sandnes and it should be busy. We had booked the Mondo’s Univers menu which is a set menu of about 12 courses and that needs to be booked 2 days in advance. We were taken to our table and we decided to go for the wine pairing for the food this evening and we also got some water on the table. Our main waiter had a playful and informal style which is good as you don’t want the fine dining experience to be intimidating.
As the menu changes according to season, there is no set menu and hence we only got the courses presented as they were served and due to this it is not that easy to remember all of them. 

This evening we started out with a small bowl of ceviche of halibut (or kveite in Norwegian). All the food seemed to be presented in the rustic and fun tableware from Odd Standard. The ceviche was awesome – it had Asian flavors and it was served with some onion on top. A small portion but an explosion of flavors. We continued with a small portion of langoustine (sjøkreps in Norwegian) topped with a foam. I’m not sure what was in the foam but together with the juice it tasted like a great lobster bisque (without the cream). It was the kind of dish where you keep on scraping your spoon into the bowl hoping to catch the last molecule of juice.

The last time I was at Mondo and had a larger menu there was a lot of sharing and I’m not necessarily a big fan of that – and the only “sharing” dish was served next when we got two small reindeer tartar cakes. Usually meat is served later in larger menus, but this was certainly a nice twist. The tartar was maybe a bit on the salty side but still highly enjoyable. We pressed on and got a small cauliflower soup that was excellent – the way I present this makes it sound like the dishes were rolling in every minute but it was actually served in a perfect pace and we got time to enjoy the various wines.

We had gotten to the fish section now and we first got a piece of monkfish (breiflabb) – one of my favorite white fish, topped with shrimp and the next fish was cod served with a rich sauce and caviar. The cod was cooked perfectly as far as I could tell, and the layers fell apart as I started poking it with a fork. We got a small rest in the menu and we got a bit of a palate cleanser in the form of two “ice creams”. One scoop was made with sea buckthorn (or tindved in Norwegian). This is an orange berry that has an amazing taste – if you want to try it out, head to Renaa Xpress in Stavanger (and some times at SiddisCafé) to taste this! The other scoop tasted (and looked like) it was made with lots of herbs. 

We had gotten to the meat part of the menu now and we first got a veal dish and then a dish with slices of duck! To round it of we got a small piece of cheese, a small donut like ball, coffee ice cream and some chocolate petit four!

Conclusion: As mentioned, fine dining can be intimidating if it is too formal – or if you feel that you pay a lot and leave the restaurant still hungry. For this visit to Mondo I can only say “Bravo” – this was one of the best dining experiences that I have had. The menu had food that I appreciate and like, the pace was excellent, the wine pairing was good, we got food served with a playful tone and there was certainly enough food. So if you want to go out to celebrate something special - or just want to have a great evening with lots of good food, head to Mondo and have a taste of Mondo’s universe!

Homepage: https://mondo.no/
Location: Rådhusgata 3, Sandnes - see Google map https://goo.gl/maps/RzQLTtQddSN2
Price of food: 1395 Kroner (160 USD)


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