From the White Guide Nordic 2018:
- Address: Mariboes gate 7, 0183 Oslo
- Phone: +47 23 32 83 00
- Web: arakataka.no
- Seats: 90
- Opening Hours: Restaurant: Mon-Sat 16-22, Sun 16-21 Foodbar: Wed-Sat 17-0030
A Nordic Gem
Arakataka may not be situated in one of the cosiest parts of Oslo but from the second you enter the mid-sized, elongated restaurant you feel relaxed and looked after. The bar, the open kitchen, and the professional but rather laid-back attitude of the friendly staff all contribute to the feel-good atmosphere. The interior is stylish and could be described as Nordic-woodlands-meets-Japanese simplicity, and it works well with the kitchen’s well-balanced and delicate Asian-European cuisine. After the delicious sourdough bread with malt and house-made butter we are ready for take-off. The menu offers a choice between an à la carte menu with 12–14 different options and a set menu of five dishes with wine pairings. Don’t miss out on the latter as the wine competence here is well above average. This is illustrated by a beef tartare with nasturtiums, fermented turnips and a béarnaise-like crème where the perfect-temperature meat has depth and sweetness. The somewhat surprising pairing is a crémant de Jura; the wine rinses the palate beautifully making the dish stand out and adding a touch of freshness. Bingo! The spaghetti with bleak roe is another winning dish where the precisely cooked pasta combines delicately with the salty roe, adding a Nordic vibe to an Italian classic. The menu offers a good selection of other local/Nordic ingredients, like red king crab and skrei cod. The former is combined with cilantro, lime and chilli and is as an excellent choice if you are looking for high-class comfort/finger food, but the cod is just a tiny bit overcooked and the dish lacks acidity. The barley risotto topped with raw, sliced mushrooms is not perfectly balanced either and the kernels are still a minute away from all dente, but the kitchen gets back on track with the turbot with baked and grilled celeriac and ramsons, and a finger-lickin’ good chicken from Holte with kale and yellow beets. The wine list at Arakataka is a well-curated and fairly priced selection of mostly French and Italian classics mixed with more unusual bottles like Australian natural wines and English sparkling wine. After a well-executed double espresso we are back on the windy street, but wishing we were still inside...
To read the whole review go to Buy The White Guide Nordic 2018.