After the permagloom of Tromso in the winter, Oslo had slightly more daylight and rather less snow in the streets. It was time to get out and about and find some fun local haunts. One hot restaurant was Sentralen.

Sentralen describes itself as a restaurant/cafeteria/bar. It’s also a cultural hub, with meeting rooms, art galleries and performance spaces, all housed in a converted bank that was built in 1901.

The restaurant offers some exciting food. We headed out in the early evening and scored the last table for two without a reservation – a sign we were definitely on to something decent.

It’s a very buzzy place. The main dining room is in an L-shape around two sides of an open kitchen, populated by a young group of chefs. While we’d found Norwegian people to be fairly reserved, the staff here were quite chatty and that added to the fun vibe.

There’s a mix of high and low tables. We were at a high table with a decent view of the chefs at work. We ordered local beers – a pilsener from the Lofoten Islands (known for their pristine waters) for Greedy Girl, while gluttonous husband had a local Hermansen IPA from the St Hallvard brewery.

The mantra at Sentralen is ‘balance’. All the wines and beers are chosen to provide a balanced counterpoint to the food. On our limited experience here, we’d have to say they’ve got things down pat.

After a long day’s travelling from Tromso, where we had a few delays waiting for the runways to be cleared of snow, we were a bit cold and tired. Our goal was a few tasty snacks that weren’t going to leave us bloated and potentially impede sleep.

And that’s exactly what we got. We chose three dishes to share from a smallish menu, got stuck into some delicious bread and very good butter and sipped our beers.

First up was the dish at the top of this post – a gratineed bone marrow with morel mushrooms and a demi glace (French brown) sauce. OMG. So rich and decadent and moreish. Yum.

Next, we took a deer tartare with horseradish, mushrooms and rye crisps. This was also a wonderfully tasty dish. All the elements worked together brilliantly.

Where to eat Oslo Sentralen

Deer tartare

Finally, we had glazed pork cheek with a lovage sauce, celery and mustard seeds. The flavour of this was quite superb. Greedy Girl isn’t the biggest fan of the softer texture but it all went down the hatch.

Where to eat Oslo Sentralen

Glazed pork cheek

While admittedly it doesn’t seem like a lot of food, it was absolutely the perfect quantity for us, having snacked throughout the day. We happily gave up our prized table and headed into the night.

This is a fun place and a bonus to find in the central area of the city. While the menu is fairly succinct, we’d definitely be happy to try more from this team. The cafe area next to the main restaurant was also buzzing but looked to concentrate on pizza, so not our preferred food.

In an expensive city, it’s a very, very good option.


Ovre Slottsgate 3, Oslo

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