Nestled under the arches of the Hackney Central Overground station is the buzzing bar and live music venue of Oslo, a haunt I am familiar with as an East Londoner, but what I didn’t know was that it is also a foodie haven. We went along to sample their new summer menu recently and didn’t regret it.
A sunny day in Hackney is a beautiful thing. The diverse mix of crowds, people wearing the least amount of clothes due to the crazy heat, good times! Oslo is situated right next door to Hackney Central, so very central indeed. If you’re driving, go on a Sunday and you might get a spot in the car park next door, we did – result!
When we arrived at noon on the Sunday, the restaurant was on the quiet side, but that’s just how I like it as it usually means prompt service. We were led to a corner table by the friendly manager and handed our menus. We quickly ordered drinks, opting for their soft-drink brand of choice, Lemonaid, a fair trade company. I ordered the passion fruit with a splash of lime and mango. It was refreshing.
Still on the drinks, my eye caught the cocktail list and I went for Cyclone, one of their signature cocktails (£8.50). It had a thirst-quenching taste and I detected a hint of spices. The ingredients are: Havana Anejo Rum, Kumqaut Liquor, Blood Orange Purée, mango juice, passion fruit kumquat and cardomon syrup, and fresh lime juice. Very nice indeed and the alcohol was not overpowering at all.
Calling all avocado lovers! Now, I am a self-confessed avocado lover, but I had never had anything like this. You simply must try the Avocado Tempura (£7)! The combination of flavours is spot on. There is a sweet hint of fire in the tempura tempered by the creamy smooth texture of the avocado. Easily one of the best starters I’ve had in a while. Be warned, for a starter it is a decent-sized portion.
Hubby opted for the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (£7). Again, these were hefty sizes. You get four of the largest chicken wings I’ve seen in a while along with a pretty looking coleslaw. The glazed chicken was delightful and went well with the unusual crunch of the peanuts that were sprinkled on it. Be ready to use your hands for this one.
For my main I ordered the Portobello Burger (£10), not realizing that the filling came with mushroom instead of beef. I asked if I could swap to beef and was assured that it was not a problem. I thought it was very nice of them to accommodate the change and was customary of the great service we had throughout our meal. The very tasty burger came with smoked Scarza (bacon), pickled cabbage and onion and tomato. It was served with the most delicious hand cut chips. Extremely moreish.
While totally Instagrammable, how does one actually eat these tall tower burgers? I went for the lady-like option and used a knife and fork, but there really is no delicate way of eating it. You just have to get in there!
My tip: there is no need for a starter if you opt for this meal as it is very filling!
Hubby decided to have the New Orleans Burger (£12.50), buttermilk fried chicken with baby gem lettuce and a spicy slaw served with hand cut chips. He reported that it was lovely.
We enjoyed our meal at Oslo. The service was excellent and the venue itself, even on a hot day was light and airy. I’d recommend this as a great place to hang out with friends or even a casual first date.
If you visit, share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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