Kontrast, by Swedish chef Mikael Svensson, is not a new restaurant in Oslo. However, it recently closed down it's old venue at the Carlton hotel Guldsmeden in Skillebekk. We were actually there in February this year to check out the final menu before they moved (we might post it later). The new location is at Vulkan, just above Mathallen, and it opened this Wednesday the 8th of April.
A fresh start for Mikael Svensson, where he has been allowed to follow his dream more closely and design the place as he always wanted it to be. The contrast is indeed quite visible compared to the old place... More open, clean and modern design with a lot of concrete, wood and steel. An open kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows and designer furniture and lamps.
We had a table at 6 o'clock in the evening on opening day. We arrived at bit later, around 18.20, but the place was still empty. This gave us some time to take a look around, snap a few shots and decide on which table we wanted. The waiter was very understanding when we wanted a wooden table for better light and prettier food pictures. Nerd alert.
The menu was similar to the old Kontrast; simple and short. We ordered the "Kontraster" tasting meny, but added the "Løyrom" dish since we are suckers for that. Wine pairings were an easy choice as we got some pretty decent wines last time. Slowly, but steadily the place was filling up with more guests as well.
Organic carrots & tarragon. A cream in the middle of egg yolk, anchovies and tarragon. A sauce of brown butter, carrot juice, seabuckthorn and more tarragon. The carrots underneath were baked and caramelized and the ones on top were sliced and lightly cooked. Fresh tarragon and Bishop's weed on top.
Skate with browned cream and ceps gel, covered in thinly sliced champignon mushrooms. The skate wing was marinated in rosemary and seared on the grill. This was our least favorite dish of the evening as the consistency of the fish was too raw, jelly and slimy. According to our waiter it was meant to be like that. We're not so convinced.
Rhubarb with condensed milk and cress. Underneath were cooked rhubarbs in chunks and slices. On top a rhubarb granité and condensed milk in a powdery creamy variety. Garden cress and our favorite nasturtium sprinkled over. This dish was quite tasty if you like rhubarb (Andrea is not a big fan), but there was a lot going on in the plate and you really had to get a bit of everything together to get the full experience.
We like the new Kontrast even better than the old one. The location and design of the place is a major upgrade. The food is slightly better, even thought the style has been kept quite the same. We loved most of the wine pairing, and our waiters were excellent. We will definitely come back!
You find Restaurant Kontrast at Maridalsveien 15 A, in the Vulkan area, just up the stairs from Mathallen.
Here you can find all the restaurants I visit and frequent. From Berlin to Helsinki and from Oslo to Lima.