Colonialen have for years been leading the culinary scene i Bergen, on Norways west coast. With two restaurants, a couple of cafés and a bakery, they are rock solid present. Their fine dining experience is legendary, but what about their more casual option; the Brasseri at Litteraturhuset..?
Colonialen Brasseri is located in Skostredet in Bergen. A small and hip area of the city. A spacious dining area, set in two rooms, with an open kitchen in the middle.
Nice lighting and cozy ambiance sets the tone for the evening.
The menu is an A'la carte experience. Pic and choose. There is also a three course alternative, with elements from the menu.
Have you ever wondered why there are so few Norwegian waiters? And so many from Sweden, for instance. And why being a waiter, by some, is seen upon as submissive?
Well, let's give it a run...
It's because Sweden have nobility and Norway don't. On top you find the king and just below there are dukes, counts, marquis and so on. Next you find the citizenship with the new money, like Ikea founder Ivar Kamprad, for instance. And these people where often
knighted, when wealthy enough. So the nobility have been big, strong and present for centuries in Sweden and still is. In Norway, on the other hand, since the mid 14th century the real king ruled from Denmark, so he had all his nobility there. When we got our own king, we got a figurehead, but without nobility. All this has lead to a class distinction, still present today. In Sweden, Denmark, France, England and most of Europe, serving others like being a waiter has been respected as an important trade. While in Norway, and only in Norway, this has been looked down upon. Because of traditions, going centuries back.
First dish in the course set menu was a patê of pork. Served on butter toasted sourdough bread, with onion marmelade, crisp bacon, raw mushrooms and pickled red onions. It's excellent! Really good flavours, with nicely combined components. To me, better than a Foie Gras. Tricky to pair with wine. We went with a red from South Africa and the excellent produser Adi Badenhorst. But our wine waiter, Jonatan, suggested a white alternative from Austria.
The bio option from producer Meinklang in Austria proved to be a far much better option. A slight sweet approach, handled the fat in the dish on a much better level.
The main course was fresh plaice, with butter, peas and nuts. Provided was also a burnt lemon to squeeze over. Absolutely outstanding.
Finishing the meal was a combination of chocolates, ganache and raspberry sorbet. Exciting textures and flavourful combinations made this a fun finale.
All in all a very pleasant dinning experience. The total package came to about 2500 NOK, with more than half going into liquid gold (wine that is;)