signalen sjøbad - oslo, norway
Rating: 8 / 10
Blå and Lagunen have been offering regular drinkers the chance to sample a revolving door of pop-up's at their ample outdoor space this summer. Having extended their serving area to stretch all the way to the small bridge by Vulkan, there is enough seating to host a mid-sized coastal town under the shade of trees and man-made repellents.
This week I had the pleasure of testing out the Signalen crew's conjurings. Leaving aside the fact that they are famous for their seafood, having spent my summers living with a vegetarian, I was craving some carcass. The menu read of a veal loin cooked on an open flame, smothered in sauce and resting above potato's, radishes, pickles and roasted chanterelles. Hard to resist those evocations.
Sitting beside the river on a sunny day, the location was already a winner. Our server was very polite and friendly, the headchef came over for a chin-wag explaining which farms they sourced their veal from and promising us it was a good choice, despite the numerous seafood temptations.
In under ten minutes the plates arrived with a complimentary box of deep fried calamari. My partner in crime had seafood aversions, so I tucked into the deliciously hot and decidedly crispy battered rings.
Turning our attention to the star of the show, the first few minutes were spent in eating silence. Turning over the meat to discover what lay beneath, trying every individual element, then caressing it all in the luxurious sauce and damn well finishing the entire plate in a flash.
A triumphant meal, the kind of sauce that you wanted to inject directly into your veins. Everything sang harmoniously with the rest, and nothing overpowered another element. If I was to offer one negative it would be that the veal had it's tender moments, but also its rebellious streaks where the knife met resistance and the mouth was forced to work overtime. However, when the flavours are this good, and the chef is not afraid to season his food aggressively, then I am all in.
p.s. The map below is their regular location since by the time this review is published they will have moved back to their natural haunts.
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.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"