From the White Guide Nordic 2018:

Omakase by Alex Cabiao

Masters Level 75
Food rating:32/40Service rating:14/20
  • Address: Ruseløkkveien 3, Vikaterrassen, 0251 Oslo
  • Phone: +47 45 68 50 22
  • Web: https://www.omakaseoslo.no
  • Seats: 15
  • Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 17:15 - 20:00 Mon - Sat: 20:15 - 00:00 Sun: Time to rest

Time to succeed

Alex Cabino, the sushi master and the mastermind behind the once prestigious sushi restaurants bearing his name (Alex Sushi), has jumped ship. He is finally free from the confines of the California maki and tempura regimen that has plagued Oslo's “raw fish in the Japanese style” restaurants for the last decade. With new and exciting quality-driven places like Babylon Surøl/Sushi and Restaurant Fangst revitalizing the sushi scene, it is about time Chef Cabino upped his game. Joined by his new Padawan, Mark Jayson Subia, Alex is back in the ring, and he has the right setting to perform in, as this restaurant has a lot of theatrics. The door opens at the exact time of your booking, and the front of house staff declares that they won’t open it again until the show, sorry, the dinner is over. It does indeed feel like a pre-paid performance, with tickets bought in advance, and if you don’t pre-order (and pre-pay) for any of the suggested drink menus, you’ll get a phone call recommending that you pre-order your wine – for the sake of your experience. All this machinery aside, the food Alex and Mark prepare in front of you is magical. It is a tour de force in terms of quality, where each pearl of seafood is followed by another. We start off with Norwegian oysters, elegantly matched with a sparkling wine from Nyetimber in West Sussex, England. The first part of the meal arrives – turbot sashimi followed by shellfish soup – and then the nigiri servings start. This is Alex’s strength – preparing every little bite of nigiri with such ease and routine, just as he has trained most of Norway’s sushi chefs over the past 20 years. We sample halibut, rose fish, some amazingly tasty Norwegian scallops and mouthwatering Scottish lobster, salmon toro, tuna, raw shrimps and salmon caviar. The most delightful morsels are a piece of Kamchatka crab and a serving of smoked eel with ginger. The nigiri round concludes with raw Minke whale and slightly grilled pieces of grade A5 Wagyu beef. Some of the presentations are a bit sloppy, but the quality of each bite is worthy of praise. As Chef Alex has a rather quiet persona, the sommelier and restaurant manager Aleksander Iversen does most of the presenting. He also naturally pours the wines this evening, and even if the price of the set wine menu surpasses the price of the food, it is a generous pairing, offering very good value for money. We are treated to gems like Krug Grande Cuvée and de Montille’s Volnay 1er Cru in a 2013 Les Taillepieds, along with Norwegian-made cider from the excellent producer Ulvik Frukt & Cideri. The non-alcoholic pairings, on the other hand, lack a bit of focus. With the serving of freshly tapped birch sap as the only highlight, the package is overpriced and not fully thought out. The difference between the sister establishment, Sabi Omakase in Stavanger, is that Omakase by Alex Cabiao lacks an X factor. This restaurant feels less exciting than Alex’s previous apprenticeship, Roger Asakil Joya’s more avant-garde and highly decorated version. But while Roger rules the west coast of Norway, we can only sit back and enjoy Chef Alex’s show...

To read the whole review go to Buy The White Guide Nordic 2018.

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