The Nordic cuisine has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. After being thought to be pure and unrefined, it has become a paradigm of sophistication and culinary finesse.
Nordic cuisine shows—or defines—today’s sense of modernity, with restaurants run by talented chefs who take advantage of the generous bounty of their fertile lands. The superlative reinvention of Scandinavian cuisine is intrinsically linked to nature—the source of coveted delicacies such as salmon, cod, mollusks, as well as elk, deer and reindeer meats, and wild birds. Review our curated selection of award-winning international restaurants.
The exclusive restaurants in Oslo, Norway’s capital, offer the chance to explore this new wave of Nordic cuisine. Let us introduce you to Ylajali, and the Fauna restaurants, both awarded with a Michelin star.
St. Olavs Plass 2
Even Ramsvik is the chef and co-owner of Ylajali, located in the building that housed the old Rikshospitalet apothecary from 1892 to 1982. The restaurant’s name, Ylajali, is a tribute to the female lead in Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun‘s 19th-century novel, Hunger. In 2013, Ylajali was recognized as the best restaurant in Norway, a much-deserved honor for its excellence cuisine. A prominent figure of the new wave of young Nordic talents, this master chef unleashes his boundless imagination with dishes that express his love of nature and local organic ingredients. The menu— presented as a novel, with a foreword, four chapters and an epilogue— consists of 20-25 small dishes. The Ylajali experience is unique. With a wine pairing for each chapter, diners follow the dinner’s progression with the help of a small hardback book. Good taste, an intimate atmosphere, excellent service and culinary innovation are what you’ll find in this creative space.
When the Oscarsgate restaurant— one of Oslo’s best— closed its doors a few years ago, a gastronomic desolation made a dent in the Norwegian capital. Thankfully, Chef Bjorn Svensson did not wait long to open a new restaurant, called Fauna, in association with his good friends Anne Heggberget and Jo Bøe Klakegg. Just one year after its inauguration, Fauna won a Michelin star and, since then, it has become one of the city’s most famous dining establishments. The sober and elegant dining room adheres to the usual patterns of simple Scandinavian decor, with a contemporary vibe and the possibility to observe what is going on in the kitchen from your table. The food follows the same pattern as the decor: simple and innovative. Svensson‘s outstanding technique pays particular attention to the textures and cooking process with dishes that display ’his aesthetic preferences using the best Norwegian products in each of his creations. Fauna is an original restaurant where you can eat well and drink superbly, as its wine list denotes considerable knowledge and expertise. Give in to temptation and ask for the excellent five-course tasting menu. And don’t forget to request the fantastic selection of Norwegian cheeses. ■