Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bravissimo Nero

This summer I went to Tuscany and Florence and I enjoyed the food, wine and scenery there (check out the trip report on http://gardkarlsen.com/florence_italy_travelogue.htm ). When we got home the annual food festival had started in Stavanger and I was thrilled to see that there was a new stand called Restaurant Nero there. I asked them where they were located and the daily manager Cato Ødemark had to admit that they had not opened yet but they would soon. And finally in the beginning of October 2007 the new restaurant opened in the same place where the good restaurant Cartellet once was located.

As I’m a sucker for good food and a sucker for Italian food it didn’t take long before I got to try out this restaurant. So in the middle of October I was ready to check it out and I came there a bit early and I got a tour of the place by Cato Ødemark himself. I was the first one there and it did take long before I got a Kir Royale to start with and freshly made grissini…still warm from the oven it was delicious :-) The restaurant is not that big and I think we are only talking about 40-50 seats at the moment. Cato says that even without any advertising, people still seem to be finding the way to the restaurant so they are satisfied with the opening weeks.

I never did get to try Cartellet so I’m not sure how it looked back then but Cato explained that they had kept the original layout and the facilities looks quite stylish with a combination of brick walls, old rock foundation, red tiles on the floor, stylish art and last but not least….some funky looking furniture made in Italy of course. Inside the restaurant there is also a small cooler and the idea is to sell Italian products like pecorino, sausages etc but according to Cato they have just been to busy to prioritize this part so far.

This dinner was a company dinner and it didn’t take long before the rest of the guest arrived and we decided to go for a 4 course menu. But we all got to order aperitifs to start with and we also got a plate of snacks…grissini wrapped in parma ham, olives from Puglia, aged parmesan cheese, Italian sausages etc. When we sat down at the table we got a complimentary snack/starter and the most interesting thing on the plate was the panna cotta with mashed cauliflower and fried onion. I thought that panna cotta was only used for dessert :-) Other things on the plate were the classic mozzarella and tomato, prune in parma ham and shrimp.
We got another complimentary snack after this and it was a small soup. It was good but I’m actually not sure which kind of soup it was. It was just a little bit; just enough really as we were going through lots of food.

The first primi was salmon in two different ways served with fennel and citrus fruits. Again it was a pretty exciting combination. I don’t think I have been served salmon this way before but it was both refreshing and delicious. The next primi was the classical risotto alla Milanese…risotto with saffron. The risotto was as it should be and this is one of my favourites. On the side we got parmesan cheese and once again I have to admit that I have never had that before. It was weird to eat the cold ice cream and still taste the distinctive taste of parmesan cheese. It worked very well with the risotto and it is fun to see that Nero tried to re-invent the different classical dishes :-)

We were seated in the “chambre séparée” (I think that what it is called when you are separated from the rest of the restaurant) and as there is room for about 14 in there we had some space to ourselves and we had a direct view to the stylish blue lights in the wine “cellar”. The wine selection seemed to be a bit limited at the moment but according to Cato they are still working on installing the cooling system in the wine cellar and after that they will fill it up with good Italian wine :-)

Before we got the main meal of the evening we got a crushed ice and apple “sorbet” to freshen up the pallet. Our main dish this evening was a tenderloin I think served with fois gras and polenta. The combination of the meat and the fois gras was great and the polenta was piping hot so it was clearly fresh out of the oven. The fois gras it always interesting....it is great in smaller portions. I’m sorry to say that I can’t really give details about the wine selection this evening as we just asked the waiter to recommend new wines for each course. It is a pretty international staff at Nero: Cato is Norwegian, his partner Sebastien is from Italy, our waitress was from Poland etc. Our waitress seemed to be a bit nervous by the way and she was having a bit of trouble opening some of the wines, she seemed a bit nervous when introducing the meals etc. But all in all she did a good job.

To round of the evening we had a chocolate fondant with rosemary ice cream on the side if I’m not mistaken. The taste was great but I would have enjoyed having the muffin even softer in the middle. And together with the dessert we had a delicious sweet red wine.

We had a lovely evening at Nero this night and I certainly hope to go there again soon. The food was delicious; we got great service, the wine good etc. The restaurant is stylish and it seems to be a nice place both for a business dinner and for a romantic date.
The meal cost us about 1000 Norwegian kroner (about 185$) per person including aperitifs, a 4 course meal (with various complimentary snacks in between), wine…so actually the price was not bad compared to other fancy places in town. If you like Italian food and you want to try it with a “twist” this seems to be the place to go. If you do go there send my regards to Cato and Sebastien :-)

Check out the restaurant homepage http://www.restaurant-nero.no/ for more information. The restaurant is located in the “basement” of Victoria hotel in the middle of Stavanger so it should be easy to find.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Buffet table at Akropolis

Akropolis is the only Greek restaurant in Stavanger to my knowledge and is has been around for quite some time. Nikki and I went to visit the place on a Sunday afternoon in the beginning of August 2007. to test out their Sunday buffet table. I think you can get the buffet table until about 6 PM. We did not have a problem getting a table when we went there but it can be pretty busy at times so it might be a good idea to book a table in advance. One of the advantages with the buffet table is that you don't have to wait...it is just a matter of digging in :-) The selection in the buffet includes a very good Greek salad with feta cheese on the side so that you can get the right ratio between salad and cheese :-) Apart from that you can also get lamb chops, great sausages with lots of herbs and garlic, potatoes, rice, regular and boring hot dogs and french fries for the kids, onion rings, meat balls, proper pieces of chicken meat, moussaka, bread, olives, soup, etc. All in all I would say that the selection is pretty good.

There is not really that much more to say about the place. It will ccst you 149 kroner (about 25 USD) for the buffet and that is really cheap if you compare it with regular restaurant prices here in Norway. The only problem with the buffet is that you get tempted to take at least one portion too much and you end up leaving the place pretty stuffed :-) But if you are able to limit yourself this is a pretty good place for a Sunday dinner. You will find Akropolis at Sølvberggata not to far from the library and cinema in Stavanger. The restaurant has a homepage http://www.akropolis-stavanger.com/ but at the moment it does not really contain any useful information.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Problems with the timing at Bølgen & Moi

I have been to the restaurant Bølgen & Moi a couple of times this year and you can read about my last experience on http://eatingoutinstavanger.blogspot.com/2007/04/fine-dining-with-fine-view-at-blgen-moi.html . This time I went to Bølgen & Moi due to some family celebration and we went there on a Friday night in the end of August 2007. The last time I went there I was very happy with the food and service but I was not that happy this time and I will get back to the details in this review.

We arrived at the restaurant at 7 PM and we had booked a table in advance. We got a nice table with a great view of the harbour in Stavanger and for once this summer there was nice weather :-) But after we had sat down it took a long time before we got further follow up...we did not get any question about having a aperitif and it took about half an hour before we got the menu! The menu was only "Menu for the evening" that consisted of 5 courses. We asked if it was possible to order from the a la carte menu but we got told that this was not possible as the restaurant was full. I'm not sure that this is a good answer but we ordered from the evening menu and waited in anticipation.

To start with we got a small asparagus soup that was very good...and the focaccia bread also finally came to the table and this was served with a nice aioli. The first real dish for me was the pan fried monk fish served with carrot candy, fennel and lime beurre blanc. The fish was pretty good and the same goes for the Lois wine from Austria. Two of us had monk fish for starter and two others had saffron poached halibut ....but the halibut was not served until after we had finished the monk fish. This seemed to be a typical problem this evening...it just seemed like they had too much to do in the restaurant and they struggled with the timing the entire evening.

The main dish that night was entrecôte of veal with a puree and broccoli and asparagus and morel sauce. One of the members of the party had only ordered this main dish and dessert and normally the size of the portions varies according to how many dished you have. But here it seemed like we all got the same portion. We started eating the meat and after about 5 minutes the waiter all of a sudden brought in some potatoes. We were well into the meat and we didn't know that we would get potatoes as he didn't inform us about this...another evidence on the timing problem that I have mentioned. It turned out that the potatoes were quite dry so it didn't really matter if they were served a bit late. The veal was good but not as tender as I had hoped it would be and it would also be nice to have it a bit more fried. But the wine, a Chianti Classico from Felsina, was pretty good :-)

Two of the members of the party went for a cheese platter as well and this was served together with some dark bread and some sweet syrup. We got a brie de meaux, a blue veined cheese and another French cheese that I can't remember the name of. The cheese was very good and so was the dark bread that came with it. The wine was a Symphonie de Novembre.

The dessert of the evening was only described as Chocolate on the menu. When the waiter cleared away the cheese platter we asked if we could get some coffee to go along with the dessert and he said no problem. But it turned out to not be that easy...the coffee was served 5-10 minutes before the dessert and with no sugar and cream on the table. So we were more or less done with the coffee before the dessert was served...and before the sugar and cream was brought to the table. The dessert was excellent and was a nice combination of a really dark chocolate cake, a fruit cocktail and vanilla ice cream. I wouldn't mind having the recipe for the chocolate cake as it was pure candy. The wine for the dessert was Recioto Della Valpolicella, a sweet red wine and that was excellent to the dessert.

Conclusion: The last time I went to Bølgen & Moi I was very happy with both service and food but this time they struggled with the timing and that led to a bit of waiting. The food this time was good but not excellent but the annoyance was the waiting...not getting the starters at the same time, it took us 30 minutes to get the menu, they didn't manage to serve the coffee at the same time as dessert, we had to wait to get more wine etc. I hope that they will focus on improving this in the future.

We paid about 3900 kroner (about 660USD) for 5 people . Here are the prices of the various menus (with and without wine)
3 course : 465 kroner (80 USD) / 765 kroner (130 USD)
4 course : 525 kroner (90USD) / 925 kroner (160 USD)
5 course 595 kroner (100 USD) / 1180 kroner (200 USD)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gourmet-light at Soleado

Note that Soleado has closed down :-(

In the continuing saga of "Gard's testing out places to eat in Stavanger" we have reached the small tapas restaurant Soleado. I visited this in the middle of June and I figured that it would be worth trying after the place got a very positive review in the local newspaper a few weeks back.

Soleado is located right in the middle of town...next to the cinema and library in the place called Sølvberget. It is a pretty small place and in the past I have had the impression that there has been focus on the bar...but now it seems like they are focusing on the food. We arrived at about 8 PM and I was planning to have a Kir Royal as usual...but unfortunately they didn't have the stuff needed so I ended up having sparkling wine instead. We had an English speaking guest with us so it was disappointing to find that the menu was only in Norwegian. But I translated the menu together with the waitress so it was not a big problem. We went for the 8 course dinner that cost 469 kroner per person (about 80$). While we were waiting to get started we got a bit of snack...almonds, homemade chips, aioli, misc bread, big and excellent green olives etc. Make sure that you don't get full before the first course arrives :-)

First course was salt marinated mackerel with apple and apple foam. It was a strange combination but as I have mentioned before it is nice to get exciting combination and this worked out pretty good in a strange way. We also ordered wine to go along with the food. I was hoping to get different wines for each course but this did not seem to be possible. So we bought a bottle of white wine to start with and a red wine later on.

Back to the meal...the second dish was marinated raw shrimp with mustard flowers! I'm not that fond of raw seafood and I didn't really think this dish was that good. But there were some exciting flavors from the flowers...and you don't get flowers for dinner every day (literary speaking of course).

Next dish was crab ”cornet” with mango and avocado. When we got the dish we were a bit uncertain about the meal. We got to bowls of lentils and it were 6 little cones. It turned out that there were 2 cones each and the lentils were not to be eaten :-) The small crab cones were quite tasty and the combination of crab and mango/avocado was exciting.

We were now ready for the main meals. The first was halibut with cauliflower, capers and a lovely sauce. I also think there was some mashed potato underneath the fish. The white fish was excellent and the sauce was to die for....I don't think they used any diet margarine in this sauce :-)

The highlight of the evening for me came with the next dish...veal meat with bread and a foam of some sort. The meat was just unbelievable tender and the dark glazing on the meat was beyond excellent. We continued with more meat in the next course....chicken with ecological mashed carrot. The chicken was OK but when it was served after the highlight of the evening it didn't quite stand the test.

The next dish was just served in a tiny bottle with a straw....limonchello Soleado. I guess it was just lemon lemonade :-) The first real dessert was cardamom cream with rhubarb jam. I guess the cream was just standard egg cream with some cardamom added and it was lovely. And I was also surprised by the rhubarb jam...my childhood memory of rhubarb is that it was always very sour. We ended the evening with foam of coco with "fried" pine apple and cinnamon crumbles. The pineapple was "fried" at the table by our waitress by pouring flaming cognac over the pineapple.

Conclusion: Soleado is informal compared to some of the best restaurants in Stavanger (like NB Sørensen, Jans Mat og Vinhus etc) . But this 8 course menu was exciting and had some nice highlights :-) But it would have been even better if we had gotten different wines for the different food. So if you want a nice evening with some exciting food and combinations that you didn't know was possible, you should try Soleado...I can recommended. I guess I'll call it gourmet-light :-)
The meal ended up costing about ca 2500 kroner (about 410$) for the 3 of us. It was the two bottles of wine that drove up the price :-(

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Not totally convinced by City Bistro

It is not always easy to get a table on short notice in Stavanger. I noticed that when I tried to book a table for a Thursday evening and I started calling on Thursday afternoon. But when I called City Bistro it was not a problem getting a table. In my impression City Bistro is first of all a good choice near Christmas when they serve stuff like smalahove (see this pictures) and lutefisk (cod in lye…don’t ask). The place is located a bit outside Stavanger so it is not a place that you just run into…but it is only like 10 minutes walk outside downtown Stavanger.

We went there at about 7 pm and the place was empty when we came there. I had a Kir Royal as usual to start with and all the others joined in as most had not tried it before. The Kir Royal was very good by the way…I should have paid attention to the champagne that was being used.

We decided to go for the pre-set 4 course menu…aka “Asparagus menu”. Each year when the asparagus are on the market they make a big fuzz about this at City Bistro. I have never really had a thing for asparagus so I had really never had the urge to visit the place due to this. Before we got the first dish we got a small appetizer. We got a soup and can you take a wild guess which soup? Asparagus of course :-) The soup was good and it was great to get started as we were getting hungry. The first dish we got was scallops, creamed chevre and asparagus. Scallops are pretty standard at restaurants and to be honest I’m getting a bit tired of this as a starter. Before I continue I also have to mention that I had just come home from Thailand when I went to City Bistro and I was coming down with a cold and I was a bit jetlagged so maybe this is influencing this review. The menu that we got had 4 wine recommendations but we got another wine. The young lady that had served us Kir Royal in the bar was also the waitress and she was very quiet and she had a hard time getting the attention when presenting the wine.

The next dish was trout served with asparagus flan, vanilla and lemongrass sauce. The trout was good but I have to admit that it was a bit strange to get this flan as a side dish. But it OK and I guess it is good to get some unusual combinations from time to time. The main dish of the evening was chicken breast with white asparagus, potatoes and truffle hollandaise. The main dish was a bit larger compared to the main dish you get when you have a 7/8 course dinner. The chicken was good.

I guess the strangest dish of the evening was the dessert. This was the asparagus menu so the dessert was asparagus ice cream with liquorish syrup, strawberry and rhubarb salad. The ice cream didn’t taste that much asparagus but at least it sounded very exotic. The food was 565 Kroner (95$) per person and the wine package was 375 Kroner per person(60$).

Conclusion: I think I was influenced by my cold because this was not a very exciting meal in my opinion. Or maybe my taste buds were still in shock after having lots of good food in Thailand :-). City Bistro is not in the same league as places like Jans, Craigs, NB Sørensen etc but I will probably try it out again in the future…at least towards Christmas time when I can get smalahove.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

A lovely evening at NB Sørensen

I went to NB Sørensen 2. etage in Stavanger in the beginning of May 2007 on a work related dinner. I had to leave for South Africa the next day and then to Thailand (see http://gardkarlsen.com/thailand2007.htm ) so I’m afraid that I can’t recall in detail how all the different meals tasted. But I’ll do my best :-)

At the moment NB Sørensen is regarded to be one of the best restaurants in Stavanger (see the review from the local newspaper http://www.rogalandsavis.no/bruland/article2609317.ece(only in Norwegian)) so we knew that we were in for a treat when we went there. I would just like to say that there is a lot of difference between the NB Sørensen located on the ground floor and the NB Sørensen located on the first floor. The one of the ground floor serves “standard” restaurant food and I have had very mixed experienced there. The restaurant on the first floor on the other had is a gourmet type restaurant and it is popular so be sure to book in advance if you want to check it out.

The whole restaurant is located in an old house used in the fishing industry in the old days. I guess it is a reminder that Stavanger was once an important town for fishing and canning…just like it now is for the oil and gas industry. We started out in the rustic bar on the ground floor where I went for Kir Royale as usual. It was a bit funny when the waitress asked if I wanted to have it with champagne as she seemed a bit reluctant to open a new bottle. But as far as I know the Kir Royale is with champagne and Kir is with white wine.

At 8 PM we went upstairs to the restaurant and I was once again a bit surprised to see how tiny the place is. We were 8 in our party and were places on a table next to another party and there was just enough room for the waitresses to walk past us. We had booked in advance that we wanted to go for the 8 course menu and as one expressed “it is a good thing that I eat fish” as there was quite a lot of fish on the menu.
After we had tasted a bit of starters (e.g. homemade potato chips), we started out with our first course for the evening. It was blackened trout with ginger, avocado and oyster. The trout could have been more blackened if it was up to me but it was really interesting with the tiny oyster vinaigrette seen in the four corners of the plate. I’m not much of an oyster person but in small doses they do have a great taste.

We continued with something I have never tasted before: Kamtsjatka crab (or also known as king crab). This huge crab has been spreading down the Norwegian coast from the Russian border and it has been a bit of a pest. But it has also been discovered that it tastes pretty good and hence it is being used in nice restaurants. We got it served together with Swedish caviar and it was a good meal.
The next course was also fish…this time Monk fish with mussel cavatelli, grape fruit and mussel foam. I’m not sure what cavatelli is but monk fish is my favourite fish and this was not a let down in any way. It was easy to smell and taste that saffron had been used in this dish and I guess that also gives it its yellow colour.

We continued with more fish… cod with brandade, fried anchovies and lobster sauce. Once again a great course and the fish were just right. What is brandade by the way?

By this time we had been through many courses and with a glass of wine for each dish. So I was getting a bit tipsy and I hate to admit that I forgot to take a picture of the main meal this evening which was lamb with sausage, risotto croquette and rosemary sauce. It was nice to get some meat but what I remember best from this course was the wine. I think we had a Ch. Vieux Bonneau 2004, Montagne-Saint Émilion, Bordeaux. I like red wines that are a bit different and this was certainly different from the red wines that I’m used to :-)

After a plate of cheese we rounded of the evening with a dessert: Dark chocolate cake with oranges. The combination of dark chocolate and oranges is good and the dark chocolate cake was very tasty. At this point we were all stuffed and no one could even make room for a coffee.

Conclusion: I agree with the newspaper review recently. NB Sørensen is one of the better restaurants in town and we had a lovely evening here. It doesn’t come cheap by the way…we had to pay about 750 Norwegian kroner for the 8 course meal and I suspect that we had to pay something similar for the wine that went along with the different courses. But if you want a dining experience you should try out NB Sørensen 2. etage.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Fine dining with a fine view at Bølgen & Moi

I visited the place Bølgen & Moi in the end of April 2007 in connection with a work related event. This restaurant is located in connection with the Oil museum in Stavanger and you can see where it is located by checking out this interactive Google map that I have made: http://gardkarlsen.com/stavanger_map.htm . The name of the place is derived from the two guys Toralf Bølgen and Trond Moi who are both well known names in the Norwegian food/restaurant industry and you can also find Bølgen & Moi restaurants in some other Norwegian cities. Bølgen & Moi in Stavanger is located with a view of the harbour and the view was lovely on this nice spring afternoon. We were served aperitifs as new participants joined our party and the staff was observant when they noticed that a new face had arrived at the table. We decided to go for a 5 course meal with the wine package so we all had the same meal. The place is not a gourmet restaurant by the way...the head of the restaurant Hammersvik prefers to call it a brassiere. There is a review of the place in the local Stavanger newspaper: http://www.rogalandsavis.no/bruland/article2712552.ece (only in Norwegian).

The table was set in a funky way when we came there and we all had each our huge and colourful plate in from of us. We got a starter before we started on the main meal by the way and I think it was a rocket soup. I'm not sure what stock was used in the soup but it was very tasty :-) The same goes for the focaccia bread that was served with a lovely olive dip on the side. We got a Riesling kabinett, Dr. Loosen 2005 for this meal and we kept this when the first course was served: scallop. To serve scallop at restaurants seems to be pretty common and in this case we got two served with a purée of cauliflower and blood orange vinaigrette. It is always nice with scallops but maybe it was a bit much with two...as the evening progressed some of the guests felt there was too much food to be handled :-)

From the scallops we moved on the monkfish served on risotto with vanilla and rosemary foam. Monkfish is my favourite fish and it tasted excellent as usual. And risotto is one of my favourite dishes and it was made just the right way in this meal. This was a lovely dish that I can recommend if you decide to just order from the menu. We had a Saint Veran, Cave-Prissé 2005 along with this dish.

We continued with lamb served with lentils, sweetbread, portobello mushroom and tomato. The meat was a bit to rare for my likings but it was tasty. The potatoes were very good and I'm a bit curious on how it was made. It seemed like they were sliced and then put back again and fried. We had a Spanish Rijoa by the name of Muga for this dish. I have had this on a few other occasions and it is a great wine that goes well with lamb.

The next course was a bit of cheese with bread and something sweet. I'm not sure that the sweet bit was but it was good together with the cheese and the wine. The blue mould cheese was good and not to extreme like it was at Craigs :-) The dessert this evening was a passion fruit tart with strawberry sherbet and raspberry cream...the sherbet was lovely and fresh and the tart was sweet and delicious. We had a Riesling Beerenauslese 2005 for the dessert by the way. We ended the meal with some coffee and something extra on the side and all of a sudden we noticed that we were alone in the restaurant. Time flies when you are having fun :-)

Conclusion: check out Bølgen & Moi if you haven't been there. We got great food, great service and a lovely view of the harbour in Stavanger. The only negative comment was that some felt there was too much food in this meal :-) On the plus side I have to mention that the waiters always made sure that we had some wine and they would refill during the meal if we finished a glass. We had to pay about 1200 kroner per person for the meal (about 200 $). You can read a bit more about Bølgen & Moi on their web page http://www.bolgenogmoi.no/ .

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Simones – Italian food with a cold draft

Note that Simones has closed down :-(

We stopped by Simones to get some food before going to the movies last week. We have been to Simones 1 time before and back then we were not blown away by the food but we wanted to try it out again. Simones is located in the middle of Klubbgata close to the coffee bar Steam and it only has about 20 seats. There is a huge glass door that leads into the place and once you open the door you are in the middle of the restaurant. This is a problem in the winter time where there is a cold draft every time someone opens the door to go in or out. As a remedy they have put up heaters but it was still uncomfortable and not very cosy when we were there on a Friday night.

We came in right after a group of 8 had come in and our waiter informed us that it would take a while to get our food as there was only once chef in the kitchen and he would make the food as the orders came in. The kitchen and the restaurant is only separated by a half-wall so it was possible to see the progress in the kitchen. Due to this large group several other people chose to leave the restaurant to find a new place to eat as it would take to long to get the food. The place has brick walls so it is pretty rustic and on the one wall there was a huge 42” TV screen showing an Italian TV show and the atmosphere is pretty informal…we had three different chairs at our table to it does not look like they have a focus on the interior.

This is an Italian place and on some forum they claimed that Simones has the best pizza in town. We decided to do it the Italian way by having a starter and then a main meal. Nikki went for steamed mussels with pesto, I decided to go for a plate of tapas and my friend Olav wanted a sandwich. My tapas was not bad but pretty standard with olives, grissini, ham, chorizo, cheese etc. I asked the waiter what kind of red wine they served by the glass but there was only 1 kind by the glass…but I think they had 5-10 to choose from if you wanted a full bottle. The sandwich that Olav got was way too big as a starter in my opinion and I think they should have cut down on the portions and made them cheaper. I think I had to pay about 140 kroner (23$) for my tapas dish.

For the main meal Olav went for the spaghetti Carbonara while Nikki and I went for the pizza. There is quite a selection of different pizzas on the menu and I went for one with ham, rocket, parmesan and mushrooms. The pizzas were typically Italian style….flat and not that much topping. Normally this kind of pizza is pretty good but the ones we got at Simones was pretty…ehh…well, boring. Olav didn’t say that much about the spaghetti and I didn’t think much of it as he is normally pretty quiet. But he didn’t finish the meal and when we walked away from the place he was like “that spaghetti was not good at all”.

Conclusion: The waiter we had did a very good job…he was polite, informed us about the delay and did the job with a smile. But unfortunately this was not enough to save the day as it took a while to get the food, the food was mediocre and we sat in a cold draft every time someone opened the door. We ended up paying about 850 kroner (about 140$) for the three of us. The pizzas were about 140 kroner I think. You can read a bit more on http://www.simones.as but the menu is not published here I’m afraid. My recommendation is: if you want good Italian food go to Allegro instead.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Eating too much at Naree Thai

One afternoon my friend Olav came into my office and asked me if I was up for some Thai food. Nikki and I was a bit sceptical as our trip to Thailand is coming up soon (see http://gardkarlsen.com/thailand2007.htm ) and we don’t want to get fed up of Thai food before we get there. But Olav convinced us and this time we went to check out Naree Thai in downtown Stavanger. Naree Thai is located near the Oil museum of Stavanger and there is room for 35 to 40 in the small restaurant.

We came there pretty early (about 5 PM) and it was still possible to get the lunch menu. This means that you can get smaller dishes at a lower price…I guess it was this that lead us to go a bit overboard. We ended up getting two dishes each…plus the classical Tom Yam Goong (the spicy and sour shrimp soup) and a cold salad with clear noodles and shrimps. Apart from that we ordered chicken with ginger, chicken with hot basil, chicken in red coconut sauce, chicken in green coconut sauce, chicken with cashew nuts etc. Actually we ordered so much that I can’t remember all of it :-)

We got the tom yam goong pretty fast and we were starving so we started digging in. The soup was good but different that the ones we are used to from other places. Normally this soup is pretty “clear” but at Naree Thai it seemed to be more…creamy I guess. The rest of the dishes came one by one and I guess I should have taken a picture of the entire table in the end as the table was all filled up with food. We shared all the various dishes and the food was quite good and we were all wondering why we had never tried this restaurant before. The different dishes were not really that spicy so I guess they have been toned down to suite the Norwegian palettes :-) The chicken in red chili and chicken in green chili was surprisingly similar….actually we had trouble telling which was which when the plates were shuffled around. But they were both very tasty.

Conclusion: If you like Thai food then Narde Thai is an option when eating out in Stavanger. If you want to save a few kroner go before 6 PM and go for the lunch menu. The lunch menu has dishes where the price range from 65 kroner (11$) to 75 kroner (12,5$) and the dinner menu had dishes ranging from 130 kroner (22$) to 160 kroner (27$). Our bill was about 1000 kroner (167$) for the 4 of us. Check out the restaurant web site on http://www.nareethairestaurant.no/ and the menu on http://www.nareethairestaurant.no/Meny.doc .

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