Rating: 8 / 10
Despite a few canteen style spots tucked around Grønland, Indian food to the average Norwegian is a slightly above average treat, cost wise. More often than not, your meal at an Indian restaurant is going to set you back upwards of 50 Euro if you want to share a couple dishes and have a drink or two.
Despite the fact that the median prices remain consistent no matter which restaurant you choose, the quality varies greatly. Over the years local favourites such as New Anarkali, Delhi Tandoori (who finally changed their sign to spell Delhi correctly after almost a decade), Mother India and Jewel of India have all hovered to within a few Kroner of each other and each display certain strengths in some branches of the Indian plethora whilst struggling in others. Overall tho you can expect a decent, if not delicious outing when trying subcontinent nosh in Oslo.
Listen to Baljit is a fairly new addition to the Oslo cultural map. Tucked around the corner from Solli Plass, the location is convenient for anyone ambling around downtown, or heading over to Frogner or Majorstuen. The outside looks more like a take-away burger joint, but nerves are instantly set at ease upon opening the front door and being politely greeted by their excellent staff. The restaurant had been adequately covid-proofed with plenty of plastic guards between tables, appropriate distances observed and a smattering of hand gel.
The menu was concise for being an Indian restaurant (ie: Less than 100 pages long), and touched on regional cuisines, local favourites and legendary street foods. Dining with a friend, we ordered the Saag Gosht, the Goan Prawn Curry and some rice and naan. A complimentary stack of poppadums with all necessary dips were slid onto the table and water glasses filled without fuss.
One danger you face when a restaurant decides to offer various styles of a cuisine, both South and North Indian, streetfood and curries, is that you expect them to drop the ball on some and excel in others. Whilst we only ordered two dishes, and therefore are exempt from having an overall view on proceedings, those two dishes were delicious. Sure the prawn curry could have been spicier, and the lamb could have been a touch more tender, but these are nitpicking niggles on an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable meal.
The prawns were plump and large and perfectly succulent, the lamb portion was good although it was rather tough, but the curries and side dishes were all delicious. When you try to slide this into the stack of other Indian restaurants in Oslo's abundant scene, it would definitely rest in the top half.
For the prices, the location, the cleanliness and the extremely friendly but not annoyingly enthusiastic service, this is a spot I would definitely come back to to dive deeper into the menu and see if they hold the standard for more dishes.
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.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"