Dinner at a pop-up restaurant

It is always exciting to try out new and innovative food. Every year there is a large food festival in Stavanger, called Glad Mat (happy food), where the entire harbour area in town is filled with food stalls by producers, restaurants and other organizations within the food industry. The restaurants in the region often have special menus featured, there are concerts in town and just overall a great buzz in the entire city.

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Visiting the harbour area can be quite the wrestling match in the afternoons, but with some patience, you can get some great food experiences in town. However, the last few years, we have steered away from the main area and looked at some of the other opportunities the festival brings with it.

This year, there was a pop up type restaurant at the new Innovation Dock area, hosted by Daniel Rougé Madsen, who is a famous TV chef in Norway, and apparently also in France according to himself. He has also trained under Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn, just to name a few of his accomplishments. More can be found on his personal website. Daniel has his base and test kitchen at the waterfront side at the Innovation Dock facilities, with an amazing view of the fjord and city skyline.

The dinner was celebrating local produce and was a collaboration with the – soon to open – new food hall in Stavanger, called Mathallen, featuring several of the products that will be available there. The menu was innovative, fresh and delicious.

Appetizer with miniature vegetables from the local Brimse farm, served in a terracotta pot, to resemble a garden with soil.


Second course was scallop and salmon tartar in green tomato stock with pickled pine (yes, from the tree), green strawberries and green apples.


Third course, a cold asparagus “soufflé” with truffles and poaches egg yolk. This dish was served on a rock from one of the local beaches and accompanied with some dry ice for some theater.


Fourth course, crisp pollock with cauliflower cream, ramson and kaviar sauce.


Fifth course, braised ox cheeks and ox tongue with barley porridge, pickled mushrooms and celeriac.


Cheese course with the first cheese from the newly started Stavanger Ysteri (cheese factory) and one cheese from another local cheese factory, Voll Ysteri. Served with onion and pear chutney.


Dessert was a licorice pudding with fennel ice cream ans a North Sea salt crumble.


The meal itself was delicious and accompanied by great wine. But one element that set this aside from your normal restaurant meal was that Daniel actually came out and showed how the various dishes were made, and he shared the recipes with all the diners. So there is a chance that I may attempt to make at least one of these dishes in the future. I also used to opportunity to pick up a bottle of Daniel’s own branded olive oil. This is yet to be tested. It is not your normal cooking oil, but more for dressings and seasoning of dishes.

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I managed to rate some of the wines we had with our dinner as well, but there were a couple I didn’t get to get pictures of too. Some notes on the wines that we tried as well. The pictures are not the best as they were taken with the Vivino app, but if allows me to show you the labels at least.

2010 Muscat de Rivesaltes from Cazes, white wine from Landuedoc-Roussillon in France;
Nice and crisp. Fairly simple, but a fresh and good Summer wine.

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2008 Rioja Reserva Vina Alberdi from La Rioja Alta in Spain;
Good rioja which was smooth on the palate. Earthy and candied. Quite heavily oaked, which is to be expected from a reserva.

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Prosecco Vino Spumante Extra Dry, N.V. from Villalta in Italy;
Fine bubbles, pale color. Fairly simple, but some good fruitiness like apples and pears on the palate. Refreshing prosecco for a Summer evening and good as an aperitif.

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