Iraqi food is probably something that most Norwegians have neither tried nor craved, and yet in the heart of Oslo lies the rather popular Mardin restaurant selling huge plates of rice and meat for under a 150 Kr. I opted for the lamb, beans and rice and sat waiting as a long line of people popped in for take-away.
Let's not complain about the value aspect here, for the price of a baguette at Gardermoen, you are served a huge plate of rice, 2 different vegetarian options, yogurt dip, a skinny yet sizeable lamb shank and a freshly made pita bread. I have friends who value restaurants more by how full they get, so i'll be sure to recommend Mardin to that small diaspora of unfortunates. However, for me personally this was a letdown. Nothing really tasted of anything. The best dish was probably the beans, but the lamb was completely void of any redeeming spice or seasoning that would lure in new followers to the cult of Iraqi nosh.
For those adventure seekers who revel in the unlocking of new keys to new kingdoms, perhaps it's worth your time to pass through here on the road to culinary understanding, but if you're more concerned with pleasing your insides, then i'd recommend a hard pass.
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 by the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"