MrWildy's Introduction of Mathallen, Oslo
I made two visits to the Mathallen Food Hall actually. On day 2 of my Oslo trip, I unwittingly chanced upon the food hall. I had such a good experience that we revisited it again on day 3. Mathallen is a good pit stop since it houses the following eateries and shops under one roof (I tried those underlined in red) :
Annis Pølsemakeri - specialised butcher's shop
Atelier Asian Tapas - Southeast Asian street food
Barramon - wine bar with pintxos and Spanish tapas
Bistro Budapest - a taste of Hungarian food and wine
Champagneria Bodega - hams and cheeses, a wine bar with tapas, and an outdoor serving area
Galopin - Shop with french confit, foie gras, cheese, wine and ham
Gutta på Haugen - cheese and cured meats, fruit, vegetables, chocolate and flowers
Hitchhiker - restaurant with street food and drinks from all over the world
Hongs Bao Bao - Dim Sum restaurant serves home made dumplings and won tons
Hopyard - bar with more than 200 types of beer and food inspired by American sub rolls
Kulinarisk Akademi - three kitchens used for food courses and training
Noodles - Asian fast food place with takeaway
Ost & Sånt - Norwegian cheeses, jams and cured meats
Paradis Gelateria - Italian ice cream
Pizzavino - Italian pizza and delicacies
SebastienBruno - chocolates, macaroons and other temptations
Smelt - grilled cheese, juices, smoothies and French baked goods
Smelteverket - 50x5-metre bar and restaurant in the basement
Solberg & Hansen - bar and shop with coffee and tea
Stangeriet - high-quality poultry and related farm products
The Cupcake & Pie Co. - home-made pies and cupcakes
Torget - Bar and foodcourt in the middle of Mathallen, where everyone is welcome to eat their food
Via Italia - Italian food products, many of them organic
Vulkan frukt og grønt - fruit, vegetables, spices, sauces and oils
Vulkanfisk - seafood bar and shop with fresh, cooked, dried and smoked fish
First stop: Paradis Gelateria
The Norway-in-a-nutshell guide brochure was the key reason to why we choose to eat gelato from Paradis Gelateria at Mathallen. They recommended a visit to Mathallen and also to try the gelato from Paradis. As a point of fact, you do not need to come to Mathallen to try the icy sweets from Paradis. Paradis also has an ice cream bar at the Oslo City shopping centre, and at Sørenga. When I arrived, there was a queue of about 4 to 5 persons waiting for their order. It was a sunny day at Oslo, and both locals and tourists alike were in the mood for something to keep themselves cool. The lady manning the counter was the only sole person juggling between taking orders, scooping ice cream and making coffee for the customers, which no doubt added to the waiting time. But everyone, including myself, was happy to wait. I took the team to get familiar with the various ice cream favours. There was the usual fruit sorbets, such as mango, strawberry, etc. The dark black one appealed to me, and upon closer look I realised that it was not black sesame but a branch of chocolate. I ordered that as well as pistachio (pistachio is always delicious) on a waffle. Upon ordering, I realised that it was only a small sweet Belgian waffle, unlike what we can find in Singapore.
Verdict: I found the gelato to be too thick and too sweet. Had to drink lots of water post-gelato.
Negroni and some pinchos
As explained, the gelato got us really parched, and we decided to settle down at Torget where M had his Aperol Spritz while I had my Negroni. I have fallen in love with the citrusy bitter drink since a few moons back, and would try to taste different versions of it as and when I can. A glass of cocktail would easily cost 120 NOR, which is the equivalent of SGD 18.50. Not really that cheap!
There was a nearby eatery offering pinchos, which was something not easy to find in Singapore. A typical snack of the Basque Country and Navarre, "pinchos" consist of small slices of bread upon which an ingredient or mixture of ingredients is placed and fastened with a toothpick, which gives the food its name "pincho", meaning "spike." We decided to have 2 pinchos with our drinks, and ordered from Barramon. The pinchos were delicious and we finished it before we could take any photos! It would have been nice to try the different types of pinchos if they were not too expensive. All in all, the negroni was nice, but not as good as the one I had at Mamma Pizza the day earlier. For the pinchos, they were definitely appetizing.
Duck Confit Sandwich at Galopin
The following day, we decided to return to Mathallen Food Hall, since it was enroute to the famous row of old houses at Damstredet & Telthusbakken. M read about the duck confit sandwiches and wanted to try it. It has also started to rain, hence Mathallen was a natural shelter from the elements of the weather.
We both ordered the same Duck Confit Sandwich with extra meat. I had an additional Orange Wine, which was supposedly a locally-produced wine. The sandwich was amazingly filled with duck confit, and it tasted really good, with the bitter rocket leaves balancing the saltiness of the duck confit. Worth trying it if you happen to be at Mathallen for lunch!