Other restaurants may be credited with the inception of the much-lauded Neo-Nordic cuisine, yet rarely is it as pure and as uncompromising as at the capable hands of Chef Esben Holmboe Bang. The chefs start their workdays foraging for herbs in local parks and nearby forests. And as a matter of choice all ingredients are ecological and sourced within a 60-mile radius, very few food miles, indeed.
Located within the sprawling rejuvenation of Oslo’s east end and encased in glass walls on three sides Maaemo offers panoramic views of Oslo’s emerging skyline, all while retaining a sense of intimacy. This is not only a result of the delicate yet simple Nordic design elements, but also a product of the wait-staff’s enthusiastic and welcoming demeanor. High above the dining room in yet another glass-enclosed cube highly visible chefs meticulously at work form part of the spectacle.
Tender ingredients are treated with refinement and care. Never afraid of letting simpler items shine. You may occasionally encounter local delicacies such as oysters and langoustines. However, Maaemo’s cuisine is best defined by their ability to create new flavor profiles by promoting local produce. Highlights include frozen discs of tart and creamy cheese with tantalizing bleak roe. The vibrant color of the roe offset by the pale white cheese. Not forgetting the defining dessert of silky smooth butter ice cream served with sweet crumble and clarified butter poured table-side.
Maaemo is a glorious restaurant where dining is an experience, much more than a meal. Frequently courses are created to evoke an emotion rater than simply satisfying hunger. However, it’s Neo-Nordic at its very core and religiously local. Always showcasing humble ingredients with meticulous technique and obsessive attention to detail. Although, an evening at Maaemo requires both time and planning it’s well worth the effort.