The Great Big Nordic Brunch Off
Written by: Sophie Taylor
You know the feeling on a Saturday morning when both sleep and food deftly obliterate your sober, well meaning, healthy-person-plans you made earlier in the week? Thoughts like, I’m going to lift weights every morning slowly die and even the slightly more feasible, I’m exclusively drinking skinny bitches this weekend announcement you make on a Friday afternoon drowns in a jug of 12% cider that evening.
Last Saturday morning, gym memberships gave way to lie-ins and sleep finally bowed down to some serious carb cravings. Finding ourselves at Oslo later that morning, it was a case of hangover meets diet, salmon vs chorizo.
If you’re not feeling too peckish, Oslo isn’t the place for you. Looking at the rather tasteful interior shots and admiring the delicate decor, we imagined flakes of salmon sprinkled on thumbnail crostini and Prosecco dribbles in skinny glass tubes. HOW WRONG WE WERE.
Ordering extra spicy Bloody Mary’s, two large hangover-procrastinators arrived laced with pepper and tabasco to slap the bloodshot out of our eyeballs. Our waiter was attentive to a fault and we felt as though we could’ve asked for three jugs of mimosas each without judgement.
Reclining beneath tall railway arches, with an airy carriage sized space between us and the next table of kilt-clad wedding brunchers, we were feeling positively roomy.
The menu reflects the Scandinavian ownership, from the salmon to the Norwegian sausage, and I for one wanted to know what a Nordic Cure entailed. Still imagining wafer thin salmon slices on mini cubes of rye bread, I ordered absentmindedly, sipping on my spirited tomato juice.
But what arrived was a serious display of Viking prowess.
A long ship of a red pepper sailed afloat a baked bean fjord, rocky with grilled halloumi glaciers and two mountainous poached eggs shaped to perfection with runny midnight suns. The waffle-y city beneath; fluffed up, sturdy and far reaching, was decked out for winter sports and reassuringly expensive.
What finished me off was the dense, ski-pole of a chorizo sausage, reclining atop a hefty portobello mushroom and basking in the polar light of a whole sliced avocado. Mumbling something about a doggy bag halfway through I was told to finish it like a character out of Mortal Kombat. So that I did.
My slightly less greedy brunch guest ordered Eggs Royale on sourdough toast, with generous slathers of smoked Norwegian salmon, beautifully poached Clarence Court eggs and tangy, creamy hollandaise sauce.
Loudly breathing a sigh of ultimate satisfaction, our waiter returned with a knowing smile. “Next time you should try ordering the spatchcock” he grinned, gesturing to suggest something rather large and impressive. “A whole chicken arrives at your table!”
We’re not surprised, checking out someone else’s plate groaning under a whole beer battered haddock and double cooked chips. Despite our full bellies, we suffered some serious food envy on our way out.
Why does Norway rank first on the World Happiness Report? Pop along to Oslo, order anything from the brunch menu and find out for yourself.
Oslo, 1A Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL
Photos c/o Oslo
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