For more than 30 years the brothers Gjelseth have collected antiques and rarities from all over Norway. These kick-knacks are all showcased in the brothers’ quite extensive collection at Cafe Sorgenfri on the Aker Brygge in Oslo. Musical instruments, full mannequins, a Donald Duck, and even a wash basin all hang from the ceiling in this museum of days-gone-by. Even a piano is available for all to entertain other patrons with a tune. It created a warm atmosphere of nostalgia as we dined on the delectable food!
We had met a couple from Oslo in Venice, Italy just a few weeks before and invited them to join us for dinner. As we walked through the Aker Brygge, it turned out that our new Norwegian friend, Akers, worked just across from Cafe Sorgenfri but had never dined there!
Our first meal in Norway did not disappoint! We all started off with an amuse-bouche of cod topped with a rye crisp and aquavit sauce. Polina and I both chose to have the chef’s special tasting menu. Our first course was a potato soup topped with salmon and roe caviar. The potato soup was rich and creamy, nicely complimented by the salmon and caviar. Tim and Akers both tried the Juniper cured venison, which was a carpaccio served with cauliflower puree and cranberries. We were all supremely happy with our first courses!
Our main courses arrived a little while later. The pork tenderloin was perfectly paired with an apple-pear chutney, cauliflower puree and topped with bright orange edible flowers. Polina and I were both quite pleased with how succulent the tenderloin was! Tim had the braised lamb shank in red wine sauce and Akers tried the pan fried cod.
I highly recommend trying the milk chocolate Crème brûlée with raspberry and licorice sorbets for dessert! The milk chocolate is a bit on the sweet side but nicely complimented by the sorbets.
Cafe Sogenfri boasts 101 different types of Aquavit, a Norwegian spirit produced from caraway or dill and containing 40% alcohol by volume. Tim was the only one brave enough to try the Aquavit and Anders helped him chose a traditional type. Polina captured the moments as Tim sniffed, then tossed the Aquavit back in one shot, and we all had a good laugh at his expression after! I tried just a tiny sip that remained in the glass and that was enough for me!
We had a wonderful night with good food, a warm and welcoming atmosphere and great new friends!
Cafe Sorgenfri Open Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 00:30, Sunday 13:00 – 22:00, ~$100 per person for 3 courses and wine/beer
About The Author
Jennifer Dombrowski is a training specialist and social media strategist in the field of higher education. Based in Italy with her husband, Tim, they have a passion for travel and love discovering the world. Follow her on twitter @jdomb or on Facebook.