From the White Guide Nordic 2018:
- Address: Kong Oscars gate 44, 5017 Bergen
- Phone: +47 55 90 16 00
- Web: www.colonialen.no
- Seats: 100
- Opening Hours: Tue-Sat from 18 Sat lunch 13-16
A walk on the safe side
One of the first things that you see inside the restaurant is the kitchen team, standing almost at attention, ready to carry you safely through one of Bergen’s most detailed and advanced menus. We eat our way through the fjords and mountains, while listening to anecdotes that paint pictures of both the producers and production methods. The service is so accurate that one of the restaurant’s biggest challenges is to loosen up the mood – it’s dangerously close to being stiff and impersonal. The sommelier does his best to break up the vibe with a joke now and then. It’s liberating to hear his laughter as he explains food science phenomena, and the role of amino acids and antioxidants in flavour. The service is hugely knowledgeable and the experience will undoubtedly teach you something new about food and wine. The tasting menu consists of nine dishes, but also gives you the opportunity to choose a shorter way through, with only six stops. À la carte is a third option. Whichever way you choose, the meal opens with three small morsels that summarize the restaurant’s style in a nutshell. A piece of traditional Norwegian flatbread is served with beef tartare, tarragon mayonnaise and nori powder. It is followed by a bowl of fermented tomato juice with fermented celery pieces. Then the small caravan of appetisers ends with a tiny creation of rutabaga in several forms. At Colonialen the kitchen loves to play with fermentation and happily flirts with molecular gastronomy. All of the dishes on the menu are characterized by a huge attention to detail. The menu’s first and last creations are the most memorable on our journey. The mountain trout from Hardanger is served as a tartare with oyster emulsion, cured cucumber, cucumber ketchup, kale powder and watercress. It is a fresh dish, a true Norwegian ceviche, complemented by a wine from Domaine de La Pépière whose proximity to the Atlantic Ocean adds a fresh and delicate, salty hint. It picks up where the oyster leave off. The menu ends perfectly with an egg of hazelnut resting in a nest composed of caramel and chocolate. The middle section of the menu lacks cohesion – like the dish of beets, carrot and rye, as some of these ingredients are swallowed up by other components, leaving a fragmented assortment of flavours. Colonialen is Bergen’s most classic and reliable dining experience, and the service is impeccable. Even the smallest details are thought through – from breadsticks with beef butter to the chair you’re sitting on. You will not be disappointed, even though this is Bergen’s most expensive meal...
To read the whole review go to Buy The White Guide Nordic 2018.