Olivia brought the tasty and modern Italian food to a high level in Oslo
OSLO, NORWAY: The fjords of Norway are always prepared for exploration, but you might need or want an overnight in capital Oslo. My pick to explore the locals in combination of tasty food and atmosphere is restaurant Olivia, located at Østbanehallen in Oslo, part of the main train station. There are four Olivias in Oslo, each has its own personal touch from one Italian city. Milan is the choice for Olivia Østbanehallen – the dishes here are typically from this city, even decorations are picked up in Milan.
This big unfussy restaurant serves the vibrant dishes from head chef Steffen Chapman and his staff that includes almost 40 chefs. The outdoor terrace is the place on a sunny day and the bar area for a quick meal or a drink.
Olivia is all about Italian food and wine. Specialities includes pizza, pasta, risotto, osso buco as main and Olivia´s lemon tarte or a sweet combination of strawberry and mascarpone cream as dessert. This is just a part of a huge menu that includes smaller portions of pasta and pizza for children.
Our test; Risotto is not easy
The three of us tested pizza “Four Formaggi”, made to perfection of pecorino, parmesan, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese. As a starter to share we had “Antipasto Italiana”, a mix of Parma ham, melon, artichoke, olives, finocchiona, green pesto and focaccia. The Carpaccio of thinly sliced raw fillet of beef, parmigiana, lemon, rocket, nuts and olive oil was perfect, just as my grilled entrecote served with red wine sauce and parmesan butter. My female friend was a bit disappointed of Risotto with garlic marinated scampi. Making perfect risotto is not an easy task and this one with saffron turned out to be a bit dry.
Wine. The wine list at Olivia Oslo is nothing less but impressing. Twice a year the management travel to Italy to test wine and pick the best on offer in districts such as Puglia, Piemonte, Toscana and Sicilia.
Europe´s expensive capital
Conclusion. None of us had expected such Italian authenticity in Norway. Most guests appear to be in group, with partners or friends, but I think a solo traveller or guest would be happy here, too, thanks to personal service by the staff.
More than 40 years ago legendary Chef Gino Valente introduced Italian food in Norway. Now Olivia brought the authentic and modern Milanese food to a high level. Olivia Østbanehallen turned out to be incredible elegant and the food lick-the-plate delicious. Next time I would happily wait for the next train departure.
As a matter of fact, Oslo is Europe´s expensive capital. In order not to break the bank, you should plan for a visit to this city.
Norway has plenty of nature. But you have to head north to watch the dancing light on the sky; I mean the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis.