1A Amhurst Rd, London E8 1LL www.oslohackney.com
Oslo is an all-day eating and drinking establishment in Hackney, built in the arches of a former railway station. Its wooden interior give it the hint of a Nordic-theme without it being too in-your-face while the low-hanging lights, covered with tie-die material, create a cool vibe that is relaxing over dinner and perfect for continuing late in to the night.
As Oslo has developed a new cocktail menu, designed to take you from day to night, so we thought it only fitting to pop down and try a few drinks.
The first round of cocktails was kept fairly simple Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a margarita and a Boston sour. The margarita was nice, but could have done with a bit more tang, and a bit more of a tequila kick. Again the Boston sour was okay, but it was a tad watery and needed to be a bit sourer to live up to its name. A fairly average start to the night.
Luckily for us, from this point on the cocktails improved. Next came two salted caramel martinis. Wow. A rich, caramel flavour gave way to a smooth but potent martini which you couldn’t help but mmn at. It was quite large so, as we began to get towards the bottom, it was becoming a tad sickly sweet for me Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but then I always have preferred something a bit dryer when it comes to my drinks. Would I order again thoughÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ definitely.
We briefly took a break from the liquid dinner to try some of the food that Oslo offers. Everything on the menu looked very tempting, so the Fra Land sharing board seemed the best way to go. This comprised of crispy squid, Norwegian sausage, homemade meatballs, salted beef, onion rings, cornichons and toasted sour dough, with an extra portion of sweet potato fries.
The crispy squid really was crispy, light and very moreish Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a hit. The Norwegian sausage had a great amount of smoke, but not so much that it overpowered all the other flavours, and the salted beef was tender. The meatballs were also good, if a touch salty. The only downside Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the onion rings, which were a bit greasy.
The only other problem was the quantity Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I will never understand why when offering a sharing board, people insist on putting an odd number of items, such as the three meatballs we were presented with which can lead to an awkward Ã¢â‚¬Å“no, you have itÃ¢â‚¬Â moment.
We finished the evening with one more cocktail each. My dining partner ended the night with an old fashioned Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a classic cocktail made by mixing sugars with bitters, and adding whiskey. A great way to finish a good evening. Although, not as theatrical as my flaming mai tai which arrived with the sugar cube very much alight. Impressive. Once blown out, it left a very drinkable mai tai indeed.
My verdict? Oslo is a great place to go for a catch up with friends that, with a regular and exciting live music program, can easily take you from day to night. I’d happily spend another evening or two there.