Last night my friend and I checked out 66 North, a Norwegian restaurant. Who knew you could have a taste of Norway in the Chinese capital?
It's located in an office building on the second floor. When we got out, we saw some weird posters of an airplane advertising for the restaurant which gave us a strange impression of the place.
But once we got in, we saw the decor of light wood walls, deer antlers shaped into chandeliers and a fake fire going in the fireplace.
While it's a nice looking restaurant, it totally lacked ambiance, save for the constant projection of an on-going documentary promoting Norway. When we were dining there, we learned about the royal family, and famous Norwegians, like Alfred Nobel, the artist Edvard Munch and composer Edvard Grieg -- who I didn't know was Norwegian.
It was strange listening to this man's voice from the 1960s giving all these weird and wonderful facts about Norway -- kind of like propaganda. Perhaps it was the different kind of propaganda we weren't quite used to.
I later found out the restaurant has a partnership with the Norwegian embassy, allowing it to have fresh shipments of Norwegian ingredients every two days. That also explained why we were learning all these things about Norway...
The menu looks good, but the best deal was the dinner set meal for 88RMB ($12.80).
For starters I had Norwegian shrimp, actually four prawns that were poached and the served chilled with a creamy sauce, with cucumbers in a raspberry sauce. It also came with fresh greens and a shot glass of yogurt that we were told to use as salad dressing. The yogurt was so good that I just ate it straight.
Meanwhile my friend ordered the smoked Norwegian salmon that was fantastic. The wild salmon had a light pink colour and tasted so fresh and full of flavour.
Then soon afterwards (the restaurant wasn't busy) came our soups. Mine was carrot and orange that tasted more orangey and gave me my vitamin C quota for the day, while my friend had cream of Norwegian leek.
Our main was baked salmon with lemon sauce. The thick slice was deboned, and again a beautiful shade of light pink. It was probably baked under foil as it was hardly dry and very moist. The dish was accompanied with two small scoops of mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes and yams.
And if that wasn't enough, our dessert included in the set meal was apple pie. It was in fact two small pieces, but they were definitely just the right portion after eating so many courses. The dessert wasn't too sweet and was presented with icing sugar and the silhouette of two forks.
If the ambience wasn't so dry we'd enjoy staying at the restaurant longer. But it's definitely the place for excellent salmon Norwegian style.
Room 202, 2/F, China Times
B-2 East Road, Worker's Stadium