Eating guide to North Oslo / Entertainment / The Foreigner

Eating guide to North Oslo. Anyone with more than a passing moment in Norway will be fully aware of the expense this country demands. Recently Oslo was rated the most expensive city in the world in 2006, ending a 14 year reign by Tokyo, and according to the Swiss bank UBS, still holds that distinction. Welcome to Schuyler's eating on the cheap in Oslo, an ongoing series. Today, we look at a few very different places in Bislett, just north of the Sentrum. Bislett Kebab House:Ads for this establishment are not shy about their designation as best kebab in the city, and they recently concluded a promotion offering a kebab for one krone each year they've been there (15). With four locations around the city, it's difficult not to run into one eventually. A friend and I went to the location on Hegdehaugsveien, and ordered a single large chicken kebab in pita bread. The actual kebab, called a Döner kebab and of Turkish origin, is pita bread spread open and filled with lettuce, meat of your choice, cucumber, tomato, corn, jalapeno, onion, and two types of sauce: one is spicy, the other creamy. The meat is sliced off of a rotating vertical spit with a knife bigger than I would be comfortable using, and piled in layers in the bread, served in a cone of paper, which can be a portable snack or meal.

bislett, kebab, shanghai, thai, oslo, eating, food, review, cheap, inexpensive, dalbergstien, pilestredet



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Eating guide to North Oslo

Published on Saturday, 25th September, 2010 at 16:49 under the entertainment category, by Schuyler Lystad.

Anyone with more than a passing moment in Norway will be fully aware of the expense this country demands. Recently Oslo was rated the most expensive city in the world in 2006, ending a 14 year reign by Tokyo, and according to the Swiss bank UBS, still holds that distinction. Welcome to Schuyler's eating on the cheap in Oslo, an ongoing series. Today, we look at a few very different places in Bislett, just north of the Sentrum.

Table for one?
Table for one?
Photo: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr


Bislett Kebab House:
Ads for this establishment are not shy about their designation as best kebab in the city, and they recently concluded a promotion offering a kebab for one krone each year they've been there (15). With four locations around the city, it's difficult not to run into one eventually. A friend and I went to the location on Hegdehaugsveien, and ordered a single large chicken kebab in pita bread.

The actual kebab, called a Döner kebab and of Turkish origin, is pita bread spread open and filled with lettuce, meat of your choice, cucumber, tomato, corn, jalapeno, onion, and two types of sauce: one is spicy, the other creamy. The meat is sliced off of a rotating vertical spit with a knife bigger than I would be comfortable using, and piled in layers in the bread, served in a cone of paper, which can be a portable snack or meal.

Admittedly, the sauce was actually quite spicy, and I regret not being able to get some water. It filters nicely through the dish and saturates almost all the way down to the tip of the paper cone. Admittedly, the quality of the meat seems questionable, certainly not what one would expect from a table-and-chair establishment. The veggies seem fresh, and though there are large bins of each which the staff pull from, nothing has come across as questionable to my tongue. The saturation of the sauces helps this along, as well.

But comparing this to other kebab houses in Oslo is a bit of an exercise in futility. The name of the game is a lot of food fast, and here is where Bislett Kebab succeeds. The size of the dish itself dwarfs other establishments. With two forks, we were barely able to attack the beast, and had to leave a bit behind when all was said and done.

With its opening hours until midnight in two locations, and four in the morning in the others, and a price point of 40kr for a small, it's become a cult favorite amongst those looking for a meal after a night out at the bars. If you go late or at meal times, expect a line of college-aged students and night-shift workers. I might reach for something of a little higher quality during the day, but for a meal after dinner (and a few drinks), it really can't be beat.

Bislett Kebab House hours and locations can be found here (in Norwegian).

Shanghai House
One trikk stop north, Dalsbergstein, will put you near Shanghai House with its quite reasonable menu; no dishes run higher than 145kr, with most entrees going for 130kr or so. The staff was eager to serve us as we were the only patrons, and very quickly brought out glasses of water in half liter glasses. Once drained, however, the glass remained that way throughout the meal.

Our food soon followed, my companion's still sizzling. Mine was the Cashew Chicken (Kylling med cashewnøtter) and though it lacked the spice of authentic chinese cuisine (even when asked for hot), it passed my test of taste. More importantly, it passed my dinner mate's, who has actually lived in China, studying at a university there.

The water chestnuts provided a nice crunchy counterpoint to the moist and tender chicken. There was only a sprinkling of cashews on top, more as a garnish, but the sauce was mild enough to let them come through. The zucchini was a bit stiff for my tastes, but the accompanying carrots were cooked to fit in with the dish perfectly. The sauce was more satisfying and complementary than show-stealing, but that's not a bad thing. I would definitely order this again.

One small, consistent, yet easily avoidable problem is the amount of rice served. Though it was a large bowl, between the two of us, we were soon out. Our appetites followed not long after, as we dug into each others' meals, but I'm firmly of the opinion that the amount of rice should always eclipse the amount of food made to go with it.

Regardless, there was food left over when our plates were retrieved, and the damage was only 280kr for two, making it the most expensive on this list, but just over the price for one dish a few doors down. Give it a look if you want some good chinese food. It's located on Pilestredet, between Oscars Gate and Homansbakken, in Bislett, equidistant from the Dalsbergstein and Bislett trikk stops on lines 17 and 18.

Tasty Thai
Just north of these two, north of the roundabout outside the Bislett trikk stop, is Tasty Thai, a small place that seems always at least half full, and commonly with a few waiting patrons outside. Frankly, it not being slightly larger to accomodate more people turned out to be just about my only problem with the place.

We were actually quite quickly seated, being only two, and had to wait a proportional amount of time for our food, given the throng of diners. The rice we got even came in shapes for us; mine was a heart, my dinner-mate's a sun.

I had a strong suspicion of what I was going to order without even seeing a menu; yellow curry chicken has long been my yardstick for Thai restaurants. Here, it was fantastic. With creamy sauce, juicy chicken, and soft but solid carrots and potatoes, with crunchy onions, it far exceeded my expectations. The rice wasn't very salty, but that's merely a personal preference. This actually rivals some of the Thai cuisine I've sampled on the Pacific Rim made by Thai people.

Though the spicy options didn't seem to me to be very hot, it was otherwise just good food made well. The portions were well sized for the average customer, and the price makes this fall under a budget meal for me: Yellow curry with chicken is 105kr, with different meats increasing the price up to 20kr more. This is my new favorite restaurant. I've recommended this place to friends and already have plans to return.

Each of the main dishes has a vegetarian option along with several meats. They also do take-out. Tasty Thai is located just off of Thereses Gate, on Pilestredet, right on the Bislett trikk stop. Go there tonight.



Published on Saturday, 25th September, 2010 at 16:49 under the entertainment category, by Schuyler Lystad.

This post has the following tags: bislett, kebab, shanghai, thai, oslo, eating, food, review, cheap, inexpensive, dalbergstien, pilestredet.





  
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