From the White Guide Nordic 2018:
Grand Café (Grand Hotel)
- Address: Karl Johans gate 31, 0159 Oslo
- Phone: 47 23 21 20 00
- Web: http://www.grandcafeoslo.no/
Grand Café is dead, long live the Grand Café
After a short period of renovation the hotel has again opened its doors. This famed Viennese-style café had its glory days in the late 1800s, when it was frequented by the likes of the Nobel Prize-winning writer, Henrik Ibsen. Over a period of nearly one hundred years the awe and well-deserved cool the writer and his friends attracted was replaced by elderly ladies dressed in furs and wearing as much musk as their skin could retain. The air no longer has the residual odor of animal skins and the interior décor is fresher, albeit the walls are now darker, in the classically modern way. The food, on the other hand, is lighter and more inviting than ever with its modern take on, well, almost every cuisine possible. Describing the origins of the courses stated in the menu is easier done with a sawed-off shotgun and a world map. It’s all over the place. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the kitchen is as fine-tuned as a German-Japanese Formula One team. This fusion fare is served in small and medium-sized courses and while it’s good, every dish seems to be hiding all the same ingredients. A dry-aged entrecote is quickly seared in a pan, thinly sliced, drenched in sesame oil and then hidden under small shrapnel of spiralized daikon. It’s fresh and mouth-filling but, sadly, the taste of the aged meat is drowned by the vinaigrette and overwhelmed by the aggressive texture of the small bush of greens. A tartare of beef with cured scallops is covered in crisps, so there is texture to match the cold meat and mature-smelling scallop emulsion, but the funky smell gets lost in the sweetness of the blend of sea and land. The celebrated caviar of the north, vendace roe, is placed on top of a Belgian waffle the size of a small mattress. The fish eggs are accompanied by sour cream, dill and vast amounts of crisps. The wine list has more to offer blue-haired ladies than the absinth-drinking writer. Grand Café is a good place to go for decennial celebrations in the autumn of life, although the wine and food will resonate better with a younger crowd...
To read the whole review go to Buy The White Guide Nordic 2018.