Maaemo may be the most innovative, creative and exciting restaurant in Oslo and Norway today. The view and the design are also breathtaking, and together with a fantastic service, a visit to this restaurant is more than just a great meal. It is an awesome experience and a great performance.
The experience begins when you enter the steps that lead you up to the restaurant. You can see both of the new bridges in downtown Oslo from here, and the new ” skyline” which is growing every day. Enter when the sun sets, and the colors and light are breathtaking.
Maaemo is much more than just a restaurant. Before you reach the door, the staff has already spotted you and will open it and welcome you. They take your coat, no tags necessary. The restaurant have less than ten tables, and if you have been there before, they know when, and sometimes they even remember you! The design is clean and Scandinavian. The tables are round, and there is no excessive stash anywhere. Except from in the bathrooms. Here you find great smelling soap and lotion, perfume if you like, or any other female stuff you may need. All in great, organic brands. And the extra rolls of toilet paper is even wrapped in silk paper, to keep up with the style! Loving it!
The most important factors for me when visiting a restaurant, are the atmosphere and design, the service and of course the food and wine. This place has it all.
Pontus, which is the sommelier and one of the owners at Maaemo, knows exactly how to please his customers. In his perfect, black suit, which he compliments by wearing bright red socks, and his perfectly balanced politeness, funniness and smartness, he shares his knowledge without being too much didactic. And he will answer all your questions fast and smart. He may very well be one of the best in his field, and I am not just talking about in Oslo or Norway.
And the food rules too! Before even starting on the nine-course meal, with it´s nine glasses of well complimenting wine, beer and cider, you get five tastes of heaven! Small bites that pleases your pallets and eyes at the same time. The food isn´t just creative, great tasting and good looking, it is also biodynamic, ecological and often short travelled. So you can even feel good about the meal you are enjoying. And another great thing about this meal is that when you have finished, even with the additional optional dessert, you don´t feel too stuffed! Which is amazing. Even me, with a stomach which I think is way too small (in the context of great food), managed to finish every single thing on my plate and I was still smiling when I was done. This is an acquired skill. If your guests have finished your dish and still lusts for more, the chef has done a great job, and it makes you want to come back!
The menu at Maaemo is fun and different, because it only describes certain elements of the dishes. One is called “Wheat” and is freshly baked sour-dough bread served with the most fantastic beer from Bøgedal in Demark. Other dishes are ” Cabbage stems and heart”, “Aquavit and burned unions”, Frozen cream and buckthorn”, and “Last years Pine and crayfish”.
My favorite wines of the evening were the Riesling Kabinett from Schätzel and the Muscato mixed with ice wine from Regina di Felicità.
If I have to point out anything negative about Maaemo, it has to be that the price for a full menu with wine is quite high. Especially if you add the optional dessert and the glass of champagne that we started our meal with. But compared to other places and what you get here in comparison, it is still acceptable. So I guess my only complaint is that the goodie bag on departure could have been bigger;)