If you find yourself in the Norwegian capital of Oslo hungry hankering for a spot of fine dining and romance, head over to Klosteret restaurant – a short hop, skip and gallop away from the trendy Grünerløkka district.
Nestled in an old waffle factory building hailing from the 1880s, visiting Klosteret restaurant feels like travelling back in time. The cellar-based restaurant was established 25 years ago, even though it feels much more historic. It has the aura of an old establishment whilst adhering to the allure of modernity.
A seductive atmosphere is created by the presence of hundreds of lit candles throughout, softly reflecting on the elegant wine glasses. The gentle sounds of 17th century Gregorian medieval monk music emanates hauntingly in the background.
The restaurant is located on the hill next to a plethora of churches, hence the inspiration for the name Klosteret – Norwegian for monastery.
In addition to the enhancing surroundings, there is the mind blowing food and an extremely well stocked wine cellar. The restaurant serves a daily changing chef´s set menu of 3, 5 and 6-courses, as well as the a la carte menu – following the seasons and local produce available.
With Norway being a country surrounded by the ocean, they boast an abundant selection of exquisite seafood – perfect for a pescetarian like myself.
Each course of the 5-course meal was paired with relevant wines, selected by one of three in-house sommeliers. A ancient wine cellar is also available to hire privately for those seeking to host an atmospheric event for small groups.
My starter of pillowy ravioli filled with mussels and mascarpone was matched with a glass of crisp Riesling. The hearty main of organic salmon, served with asparagus, trout roe and dill foam arrived at the table along side a glass of chilled Sancerre – a more full-bodied version of Sauvignon Blanc.
Pan seared hake with grilled carrot and poached spring onion mussel foam was cleverly paired with a glass of Michelot Bourgogne Chardonnay. Although the portions are moderate, the diversity of flavours made me want to slow down to thoroughly enjoy every culinary gem offered, in particular a slice of Simmenthaler cheese on moist fruit bread with plump figs and smoked almonds. This came together with the French version of Port – the sweet Chateau de Pena Rivesaltes Tuile, aged in oak barrels.
This decadant meal was finished off with a pleasing pudding perfect for avid lovers of mangos. This sugary masterpiece consisted of a light mango mousse with a salted almond and coconut financier topped with lashings of mango sorbet. The tart sweetness was subtly enhanced by a glass of the superb Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Auslese.
This ludicrously romantic restaurant is especially popular with food-loving couples on first dates or lovebirds celebrating precious anniversaries.
So, whether you have a great love for your partner or simply for a slab of the finest Norwegian cheese, I urge you to visit Klosteret – just remember to wear an outfit with a loose waistband.
Klosteret, Fredensborgveien 13, 0177 Oslo, Norway