Piscoteket – more ceviche power to Oslo

Anticuchos

Anticuchos

Last November it was the Mexican kitchen which opened two new restaurants in Oslo – Taco Republica and Tijuana. The first being quite hyped, and the latter almost anonymous in comparison. However, Tijuana became my favorite because of the food, concept and prices, although I can still enjoy Taco Republica as well.

This November, it is the Peruvian cusine – First out was Aymara two weeks ago and yesterday Piscoteket had their opening Pisco Disco.

Pisco Sour and an aquavit cocktail

Pisco Sour and an aquavit cocktail

Both places have received equal distribution of media attention. The Peruvian kitchen is the hype more than the specific restaurants. Piscoteket has Jaime Pesaque, though – chef and owner of Peruvian restaurants all over the world. That does create some expectations.

We were here on opening night, just like Aymara. The menu was a set menu (NOK 450), with options of wine or cocktail pairing.

Canchita (Peruvian popcorn)

Canchita (Peruvian popcorn)

What we liked about it:

– The huge bar in the middle of the room, pumping out cocktails.

– The presentation of the dishes. It looked good on the plate.

– The interior design of the place, the logo, authetic bus tickets and peruvian posters. Pretty colors!

– The authentic Peruvian music playing in the background.

– The traditional Pisco Sour.

Classical ceviche

Classical ceviche

What we hope they will improve:

– The ingredients… Those shrimps we got were super tiny, and couldn’t possibly be fresh. The octopus was tough and hard to chew, I had to spit it out. Some of the entrecote pieces as well. The scallops did not have the same fresh taste or mouthfeel as the ones we got at Aymara. I could even swear some of the vegetables had a taste of being canned… We really hope this was due to opening night and improves in the weeks to come.

– The flavors of the different leche de tigre is a big part of the meal here, and they did not appeal to us as much.

Overall it was not so exciting. Soon they will have Ají de Gallina, Lomo Saltado and Causa on the menu as well, and we will probably go back to test them.

Scallops tiradito

Scallops tiradito

Warm ceviche

Warm ceviche

Quinoa con pato

Quinoa con pato

Arroz con leche

Arroz con leche

Dessert cocktail

Dessert cocktail

Have you been to Piscoteket? What do you think? Has it improved?

Take Over at Smalhans

Aji

An early Sunday morning in November the two of us along with Jose “Pepe” Talavera took the bus to neighbourhood restaurant Smalhans at St. Hanshaugen. The mission: To take over the intensive two hour daily lunch/dinner service between 4pm and 6pm.

Anders prepping

The main dish was Ají de Gallina. A creamy hot dish with shredded chicken and yellow Peruvian chili (aji). Served with rice, potatoes (much carb love), eggs and black olives. In addition we decided to decorate it somewhat untraditional with Blue Congo potatoe chips. We kindly asked our assistant chef to go to Gutta på Haugen and buy some potatoes for us. Meanwhile we started prepping. We thought we were prepared for the amount of work that lay ahead of us, but in hindsight we had no idea. Making this dish for eight people is easy, but we had to prepare for more than a hundred just in case. Anders was finely chopping 80 cloves of garlic, and Andrea was shredding almost 100 chicken filets and that took an immense amount of time.

Pepe prepping

Pepe did an amazing job peeling nearly 150 potatoes. He probably valued his experience from the time as a marine commander, sometimes cooking for his staff of several hundred people. Chef Pepe was calm.

Pepe cooking

We had been prepping all day when suddenly it was less than an hour to service started. We brought everything upstairs from the prepping kitchen into the main kitchen. The big pot of Aji de Gallina was simmering and getting ready, but with just ten minutes to go, and the first orders already ticking in, our fellow Smalhans chefs suddenly noticed that the rice had not been boiled properly in the rice cooker. Thankfully Captain Hipstakokken entered at this moment and took control over his ship. Rice was put to boil everywhere. In the steam oven. In pots. High and low rice was being cooked. Service began at 16.05.

Pepe Anders cooking

Meanwhile, downstairs in the prepping kitchen still, Andrea was facing her own race against time with the dessert. The damn dulce de leche cream just refused to thicken! However, the biggest problem was that it still had to be cooled before we could put Italian meringue on top of it. At one point it almost looked like we would have to cancel the already heavily marketed dessert. Andrea has worked as a chef before too so she kept her cool, though.

Jinx cooking

To Anders and Pepe’s surprise, desserts arrived in time for the first guest to finish their main course. Our assistant chef had given Andrea a great tip to put the Suspiros in the instant freezer. One lesson we learned this day is that chefs help each other a lot, and we would not have managed half as well without the great help of our coworkers.

Suspiro

More than 50 people ordered Suspiro a la Limeña (“the sigh of the Lima woman) this afternoon. Which turned out to be a new record! As for the main course we didn’t sell enough to break Hipstakokken’s own record of 103, but we landed a nice fourth place with 88 pax.

Record board

Cooking at Smalhans was such a great experience for us, and we know a lot of our friends that came to eat had a good time as well. Thanks to Smalhans for inviting us and giving us this opportunity. We hope to return for another take over at some point. Until then we have learned that the chef life is even harder and more stressful than we think about, and that you should eat and drink something during eight hours of work or else you get a headache.

Hannibal

To our great surprise Smalhans decided to donate 5000 kroner of the profits this day to the Movember movement in support of prostate cancer research. Thanks!

Movember

Guest chefs at Smalhans

Aji de Gallina

This Sunday me and kleinjinx will be guest chefs at Smalhans at St. Hanshaugen in Oslo. We are also flying in Jose Talavera all the way from Schwarzwald for this special occasion!

Every day between 16.00 and 18.00 Smalhans have a new disch they call “Dagens Husmannskost” – the daily special with focus on traditional dishes from all over the world. Many have been guest chefs before us, including Bent Stiansen from Statholdergaarden, Ole Martin Alfsen and jr. sous chef at Fat Duck at the time; Markus Dybwad. Several bloggers have cooked here too; amongst them chikujenta and bonjourtristesse.

The dish we are preparing is called “Ají de Gallina” and translates to “the chili of the hen”. It is a traditional Peruvian plate of shredded hen or chicken in a creamy and nutty cheese sauce made with yellow aji amarillo chili peppers. It is served with rice and potatoes, as well as boiled eggs and olives. “Dagens husmannskost” always cost NOK 160 and you can get a second serving if it wasn’t enough for you – it’s supposed to be a hearty meal!

We are also preparing a dessert called Suspiro a la Limeña, which means “the sigh of the Lima woman”. The name should be self explanatory – this sweet ending to a meal is heavenly! Dulche de leche (manjar blanco in Peru) in the base and port wine infused Italian meringue on top, sprinkled with cinnamon dust.

Book your table now at http://www.smalhans.no/ between 16.00 and 17.45 on Sunday the 16th of November. If you do not wish to book, or reservations are not possible anymore, just pop by. There is always room for more people at the neighbourhood restaurant Smalhans. The bar stools along the counter are not open for reservation and is actually an excellent place to sit. Especially for those who wish to capture the moment and share with their friends on Instagram with hashtags #smalhans #gjestespill and #threefoodiescooking. Take away is also an option!

Suspiro

Tagliolini with Creamy Truffle Sauce

 Sponset innlegg/reklameTruffle pasta

Matbazaren.no gave me a goodie bag to test some of their gourmet items. Matbazaren is an online food store focusing on high end products.

Included in the goodie bag was some Tagliolini al Pepperoncino and Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Truffle/Tartufo. We decided to make truffle pasta this Saturday night!

Ingredients

1 shallot

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Truffle/Tartufo

2 tbsp soya oil

3 dl heavy cream

Salt and white pepper

Tagliolini al Pepperoncino

1 black truffle

Kleinjinx

This is how you do it

Put water to boil in a pot and add salt and 1 tbsp of truffle oil. Add the tagliolini when the water is boiling, and let it cook for 4 minutes on medium high temperature.

Dice the shallot and press the garlic. Fry in a deep pan with the soya oil. Before the shallot gets transparent, add 1 tbsp of the truffle oil. After a minute on low temperature add half of the heavy cream. Use a stab mixer to make it smooth and foamy (you can use a whisk as well, but then it won’t get smooth). Put the pan back on the heat and raise the temperature to medium. Add salt and pepper and taste it several times, as the foam can trick your taste buds. Add the rest of the heavy cream and mix/whisk again. Back on the heat for a minute.

Add some more truffle oil to your cooked and drained pasta. Serve it on a plate with some creamy sauce over. Shave the black truffles on top and enjoy. Presto!

This is the content of the goodie bag. Look out for more recipes to come!

Matbazaren

Truffles

This is the end result of the works of me and kleinjinx

Aymara – Peruvian cuisine in Oslo

Chicharrón

Chicharrón

The Latin American restaurant boom in Oslo, as the newspaper Aftenposten called it, begins with Aymara opening it’s doors yesterday – Tuesday the 4th of November in Parkveien 64 near Solli. Piscoteket is to follow on Thursday the 20th of November. Table is booked for that too, and we are excited to compare the two places.

It’s Delicatessen’s Rodrigo Belda which now opens Oslo’s first Peruvian restaurant. Rodrigo explains that they are importing a lot of ingredients  from Peru, as well as Peruvian beer and Pisco.

You should go here for:
– the cocktails! Pisco Sour, Yuzu my Way and Manzanita.
– the tiraditos! A variation of ceviché. Acid heaven.
– the inka art on the wall from artist Chris Reddy.
– the comfy, retro, mustard colored chairs.
– the solid wood bar counter where you can sit down an enjoy a cocktail and a few dishes if you’re just dropping by.
– the chicharron! My god, the chicharron… Soft, fatty, slow cooked pork with a crusty outside.
– “Inka chocolate”. Chocolate cream, sorbet, “earth” and dehydrated mousse together with a lime curd. Textures, flavors… Yum!

Please notice:
– the prices are Oslo west…
– you have to like acidity in a meal
– if the meat is not perfect, just tell them. They will gladly replace it.

Tiradito Maracuya

Tiradito Maracuya

Ceviche Miraflores

Ceviche Miraflores

Anticuchos

Octopus Anticuchos

Papas

Papas

Inka chocolate

Inka chocolate

Canchita (Peruvian popcorn) and Huancaína sauce

Canchita (Peruvian popcorn) and Huancaína sauce

Cristal - Peruvian beer

Cristal – Peruvian beer

Inka art from Chris Reddy

Inka art from Chris Reddy

Secret box...

Secret box…

...contains the bill

…contains the bill

Kaffebox.no testet ut


Kaffebox

Kaffebox.no tilbyr kaffeabonemment eller kaffeposer sendt hjem til deg i postkassen. Hver måned kan man velge å få tilsendt mellom 250g og 1,5kg enten filter- eller espressokaffe. For filterkaffe tilbys hele bønner samt ferdigkvernet for Aeropress, V60, filter eller presskanne. Minstepris er NOK 139 per mnd.

http://www.kaffebox.no

Jeg testet abonnementet deres i tre måneder og fikk tilsendt én ny kaffepose à 250g hver måned med hele bønner. For meg var det interessant i hovedsak av tre grunner. Jeg liker de fleste typer kaffe og har ingenting imot å få tilsendt en tilfeldig kaffesort. Esken inneholder i tillegg til kaffeposen et beskrivende ark som gir mye informasjon om kaffen man kjøper. Informasjon som ikke er like lett tilgjengelig selv når man kjøper den direkte av mikrobrenneriet. Ikke minst var det kaffebrennerier utenfor Oslo representert i utvalget man kunne få tilsendt fra.

Kaffebox ark

Konseptet er antakelig spesielt interessant for de som ikke er like heldig som meg, og bor midt i Oslo i nærheten av mange av de mikrobrenneriene som er representert.

Det finnes flere liknende konsept. Prisene er nokså like, men abonnementypene varierer. En annen nettbutikk som tilbyr noe liknende er:

http://www.kaffeposen.no

Hitchhiker revisited (x7)

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Forventningene mine til Hitchhiker er i stor grad innfridd. Tilfeldighetene og cravingene vil ha det til at jeg allerede har vært her syv ganger etter preåpningen og dermed prøvd det meste på menyen. Bortsett fra lunsjmenyen som er frem til kl. 17. Den består av ramen (nudler i kraft med kjøtt etc.) eller le pinje (serbisk brød med noe kjøttfyll) for øyeblikket. Blir nok testet en dag snarlig.

Det interessante er imidlertid kveldsmenyen fra kl. 17. Menyen er delt opp i rolls/dumplings, grill/fried og garnish/sides (mye vegetar). Høydepunktene fra menyen er etter min mening:

Nr 1 – Steamed buns med bakt svinside og chilimajones.

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Nr 2 – Jianbing (kinesisk pannekake) med crispy duck og hoisin (og puffa svor fra den bakte svinesida i retten over.

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Måtte disse aldri gå av menyen! Andre gode retter er gyoza, kyllingvinger og ikke minst spanske churros i sjokoladesaus med popping candy til dessert.

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Alle rettene koster mellom 40 og 80 kroner. Man trenger ca. 2-3 retter for et lett måltid og 4+ for å bli ordentlig mett. Det gjør i mine øyne Hitchhiker til et veldig anvendelig sted. Man kan gå innom som foodie og bare teste de siste tilskuddene på menyen. En lett lunsj med et glass vin en lørdags ettermiddag, eller full bordbestilling og bordet dekket i deleretter hvor alle får prøve litt av alt.

Tiden fra bestilling til rettene kom på bordet var en del raskere ved de første besøkene. Det kan ha vært tidspunktet på dagen som avgjorde, men jeg håper ikke dette er en trend som fortsetter. Jeg la også merke til at de har begynt å reservere bordene langs bardisken med utsikt ned mot Mathallen. Jeg tror det vil være heldigere om det holdes en del plasser åpen for drop-in på en slik restaurant som dette.

Lykke til videre Jan Robin og Stian. Håper dere influerer andre i Mathallen til å tenke mer i samme retning.

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Se for øvrig: http://www.hitchhiker.no/