Rating: 8 / 10
I'm not known for my vegan food hunts, but I spent the last three summers living with a vegetarian/vegan and therefore had to completely change the way I cooked.
I even got to a stage where I did five different vegan pizza's and honestly didn't miss the cheese or meat aspect.
Having said that, I am not a full-time meat avoider and don't pretend to be, but I love seeing how the evolution of vegan food has changed it from being survival to actual enjoyment.
When it comes to Pho tho, the initial thing you think of is broths slow cooked with oxtail, brisket.. tons of marrow and fat and flesh simmering away to create a rich, addictive soup to carry the noodles and toppings. EatHappy have changed my opinion on that completely. Having eaten there twice and tried 2 different soups, I can honestly say their vegan broth tastes better than almost all the meat broths i've had in town.
The tiny shop on Fredensborgveien, run by a married couple who started their working careers in Oslo in very different fields, decided to make their vegan haven a couple years ago and haven't looked back. The menu is small and concise, but offers enough choices for everyones tastes.
First up, the Pho. Delicate, flavoursome broth with "fake" meat, mushrooms, fresh herbs, rice noodles and chillis. The balance of the broth was perfect and the fake meat would honestly be difficult to call out in a police line-up.
Second time around, the Bun Hue. It was decent but it didn't carry the delicate tones of the Pho. It still tasted great and you'd be hard pressed to close your eyes and imagine this is made only from plant products, but there was a slight lack of pronounced flavours in it that the Pho didn't suffer from.
If you're tired of eating slaughtered animal carcasses then make a point of visiting EatHappy and do take a moment to talk to the owners because they are delightful. People who set out to do food of this quality and dedicate their lives to consistently delivering it time and time again deserve admiration and praise, and your money.
On my last visit I heard rumours of a potential vegan Dim Sum spot in the pipelines.... I pleaded with the lady to start it right away, because as everyone knows, Oslo and Dim Sum do not mix... so far.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"