(Vogts gate 38, 0474 Oslo)
After the death of the best Phô place in Oslo by a landslide (Hai Cafe), my noodle inclined friends struggled to find a comparable venue in which to enjoy this Vietnamese staple. Having lived in Torshov for the past 4 years, and walked past this establishment numerous times, I held it in complete disregard and never ventured in. One day, some close friends actually braved the divide and wrote back about “best Phô in Oslo since Hai” and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only for the fact that I craved a good bowl since there is no good ramen in town (that i've tried), and secondly because on a cold autumn night there are few things more comforting than a hearty bowl of Vietnamese Phô.
The service was good. The prices were acceptable. The bowl was piping hot. The accompaniments were legit. We tucked in, and the broth, although seemingly thin and watery at first glance, delivered on flavour and left us convinced that there was at least ONE PLACE in Oslo that could deliver an authentic meal in this jaded, "watered-down taste" of a town.
If the scores were out of 5 it would have been a 4, but due to the amount of epic meals I have had in Vietnam this has to be taken into consideration.
(Korsgata 25, Oslo)
Norway has not been universally respected for its culinary attempts until perhaps of late. They are a nation of meat and potatoes who think black pepper is a miracle and their local kebab sauce is actually "spicy". Kamai are trying to do "Modern Japanese food" and one fair day they announced they were adding a ramen bowl to their tasting menu. Well, we had to try it.
It wasn't successful. It tasted like beef stock with some oxtail in it, some random cabbage and other edibles and a poached egg. The noodles were so forgettable i didn't remember there were any.
This is where Ramen goes to die.
It is the culmination of a nations ignorance, and a proprietor who is trying to cash in on a trend.
An egg beaten to within an inch of it's life, peeled with bear claws, stuck in a fridge with no marinade and served ICE COLD in a bowl of the most lifeless, insipid, dishwater like broth. Zero taste. Zero umami. Zero care. The pork looks like a kitten abortion. The grey life-less meat dangling above the mushy noodles and thick menma. This was truly the work of someone who doesn't give a shit about what they do. Typical Japanese person who knows nothing about food trying to pull the wool over the "gullible" Norwegians when Ramen became a trend. Well, I used to serve a very decent bowl of Vegan Ramen at a pop up called Tanpopo a few years ago, and we had lines of Japanese, Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese waiting for us to open. I used to peel every egg with care. This is just sad.. it makes me depressed...