Thursday, October 25, 2012

Il Piccolo: update 21/10/2012

This restaurant has been opened for a few months now and I was curious to go there again. You will find the original review here. I went there a bit late with my wife and my son so there were not so many costumers. The menu has changed a bit and I am disappointed not to see the limoncello dessert anymore... I will miss it.

My wife went for Spaghetti Bolognese and it was kind of a surprise that we were served some sort of tagliatelle instead. At least, it was not spaghetti. Otherwise, the sauce was not bad but we would have liked it with more tomato sauce (it was a bit dry). A bit more Parmesan cheese could have been better too but again the dish wasn't bad.

"Spaghetti" Bolognese, 155 NOK

I went for a pizza vegetariana and I liked it. The dough was good, the pizza was well cooked, the vegetables (mainly sliced eggplant/aubergine and diced artichoke) were full of taste. All in all, it was a success.

Pizza Vegetariana, 155 NOK

The service was better than last time we went there. The waiter was really warm and smiling. So all in all, a good experience despite a small deception about the pasta dish.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Phad Thai Hinna: another Sunday buffet reviewed

We know how nice it is to have a nice buffet on a Sunday with the kids and this is why Stavangourmet has reviewed several Sunday buffets including Akropolis and Mikado.

This time, we went up to Hinna, next to the Viking Stadium (the new stadium) to try the Sunday buffet of Phad Thai Hinna. This restaurant is quite popular during the week and of course when there is a football match but this Sunday, it was quiet.

Sushi opening offer: 8 pieces for 120 NOK

Also, this restaurant is now starting to serve sushi and as an opening offer, the prices are quite low. For some reasons, my wife was offered to try two pieces (maybe because she is Japanese or maybe because they guessed we were reviewers) and she liked them which is a very good sign. 

Back on track here are some photos of the buffet:

The buffet costs 300 NOK per person and is free for children under 3. Coffee, tea and dessert are included.

The overall quality of the buffet was good, we particularly liked the thai soup (not on the photo but included in the buffet), which was a chicken soup with cream and Thai vegetables. It was particularly enjoyable as it was freezing outside (Stavanger weather...). The normal white rice was also better than on average in Asian restaurants in Stavanger and the spring rolls seemed home made and were nice too. The red curry was also quite good but beware it was spicy (as any good curry).

The service was good too so the only drawbacks are that this restaurant is a bit isolated (not so much to do in this area on a Sunday) and that the price is a bit high (but again, coffee/tea and desserts are included).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Great lunch at Renaa Matbaren

I have already reviewed this restaurant here and explained the difference with Renaa Xpress that I reviewed there. This is a new review, for the meal I had with a Norwegian Friend yesterday (Friday 05/10/2012).

Soup of the day (pumpkin with cream and bacon), small portion 89 NOK

My friend was not too hungry, so he went for the soup of the day. It was a pumpkin soup with cream and bacon. My friend liked it a lot and thought the pumpkin taste was quite delicate in this soup. People liking pumpkin a lot could have been a bit disappointed though that the taste was not stronger.

Dish of the day (duck confit with pumpkin puree and Brussels sprouts), 269 NOK

I went for the dish of the day which was duck confit with pumpkin puree and Brussels sprouts. The duck was tender while well cooked and the sauce was exquisite with a subtle mustard taste. I really enjoyed it and wish it was in the regular menu.

Other than that, the service was nice as usual and we had a great lunch.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Noodle noodle update

On Monday (opening day), we went to this restaurant and I wrote a review here. On Friday, we went there again as we wanted to try even more things from the place. Here is a small update.

This time, I went for Japanese noodles (called "ramen").

Japanese Ramen, 135 NOK

It was served with an egg and two pieces of pork. One piece of pork was nice but the other was too thick.You need thin pieces of pork for this dishes as they should take the flavor from the soup. The noodles and the soup were nice, though. The quantity was also good for the price.

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice), 135 NOK

My wife went for Nasi Goreng, which is Indonesian fried rice. It came with an egg, with chicken skewers and shrimps crackers. I was not convinced by the crackers but the rice and the skewers were good. The photo does not show it but the dish was actually quite big (a lot of rice).

The conclusion is not too different from last time: this place is quite nice. For a correct price, you get some original and tasty dishes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Noodle noodle: a new restaurant in Stavanger

Date: 03/09/2012

There are so many new restaurants in Stavanger that it is difficult to keep track of them. In case you missed them, Stavangourmet reviewed Gådjå and il Piccolo not so long ago. Today, it was the turn to "Noodle noodle" to open its doors.

Where is it?

It is in the shopping mall Magasinblaa, more or less in the centre of Stavanger. As I said in my review of Deja Vu, I am not a big fan of restaurants in shopping malls in general because I find them a bit noisy, having less personality and generally being of lower quality. However, I must admit it is convenient for kids (not a big deal if they are a bit noisy, they can go see the fish if they are bored, ...).

What kind of food?

I am sorry to be honest but I really don't like the name of this place. Not very creative and even a bit misleading. So, yes, "Noodle, noodle" serves noodles, but they also serve other things coming from different Asian countries (Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, ...). I am really happy about this restaurant as these cuisines are not so common in Stavanger (I was happy about Gådjå too).


The decoration is simple but nice, I think it fits with the Asian culture. About the chairs: they are really beautiful but unfortunately they are not so comfortable.

Our meal

Today, I ordered the "chicken katsu curry" (you can write "karee" or curry"), which is a Japanese curry dish with fried chicken. It does not look good in the photo but I liked it and it tasted quite authentic (I have eaten this dish several times in Japan, so I knew it from before).

Chicken Katsu Curry, 145 NOK

One small thing about the presentation though: the rice was over the chicken while it should be on the side or under it, so that the chicken is visible.

My wife went for the "gyoza" bento, with "tempura prawns". The issue is that she is a bento specialist, her father and brother working in a bento place in Japan. So, she should probably have gone for something else. Here is a photo of it:

Bento Box, Gyoza with e) tempura prawns, 160 NOK

By the way, what is a bento? It is a food box with compartments, generally enjoyed because of the varied taste of each compartment. Here, 3 pieces of sushi, 3 pieces of gyoza  (Chinese minced pork dumpling, very much appreciated in Japan) and 3 "tempura prawns".

Overall this dish was not bad, but my wife had several critics about it. She thought that the sushi did not fit very well with the prawns+rice compartment (too much rice). She would have liked pickles and a miso soup. As usual for sushi outside Japan, she found the rice too hard (sushi needs a softer, more expensive rice), and she complained that the prawns were not "tempura" prawns. Here a tempura photo from wikipedia:

The difference is that breadcrumbs are used in one case and not in the other. For her, what was served in the bento were "ebi fry" or "fried prawns" but not "tempura prawns". Well, I told you, she is a specialist.

For our son, we ordered udon with ginger and sesame. Udon is a Japanese type of noodles. A small irony about Japan fans is that they generally don't know udon but are experts of ramen, a type of noodles which are also popular in Japan but which are coming from China.

Ginger and sesame chicken udon, 130 NOK

Udon are generally served in a soup. Here, they were served slightly fried without soup (this is called "yaki udon" in Japanese). The udon themselves and the vegetables were good, the chicken was not bad but could have been cooked a little more.

One thing that could surprise non-Japanese people was the ginger. This root has a strong taste and there was plenty of it in the dish (the big pinkish things that look like leaves). It is easy to take the ginger away if you don't like it, or find the taste to be too strong for you (I personally love ginger).

The restaurant also serves Indonesian and Singaporean food but we did not try them this time. Next time, for sure ;)


I liked this place and would be happy to go there again. My wife was not particularly impressed but would like to go there again to try other dishes.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cafe 24: a Turkish place in Pedersgata

Cafe 24 has been in Stavanger for a while now. It was rennovated not so long ago, increasing the size of the front kitchen but decreasing the number of seats available in the main room. However, there is now an available room in the back of the restaurant.

Cafe 24 is the typical kebab/turkish place people have in mind in Europe with a little twist: they do offer other kind of food. The first time I went to this cafe, I was disappointed with the food but since then, my general impressions of this place have increased. This is the advantage of blogging about restaurants I know and have been to several times. I don't just judge on a one-time experience.

Yesterday (31/08/2012), we went there (my wife, my son, and me). I ordered a "kebab tallerken" ("tallerken" is the Norwegian word for "plate") which is kebab meat with rice and salad (photo above).

My wife went for lamb skewer (photo above). It came with salad, rice and potato chips. It was beautifully presented and the meat was good. Finally, we ordered the dish of the day (eggplants/aubergines, tomatoes and minced meat cooked together for a long time) for our son (photo below). It was served with rice and salad and was quite good. I may not be neutral though as I really like aubergines/eggplants.

Overall, it costs 368 NOK which is a good price for 3 dishes. The food was good and the service was not bad either. The dish of the day was served immediately, while the two other orders took longer (this is not a fast food restaurant, unless you just order the regular kebab).

All in all, I think it is a nice place, especially if you go for the grill options (skewers, grill mix, ...) or for the soup (it is really nice but we did not order it yesterday).

Sting cafe: the highest cafe in Stavanger

The place next to the cafe Sting was once said to be the highest point in Stavanger. Not sure how true this is today but it is anyway a nice place (small garden, no cars, center of Stavanger but a bit quiet), especially when the weather is warm.

(photo: tower on the place next to Sting) 

Concerning Sting itself, it is an old house which was probably not designed to be a restaurant (two separate rooms, narrow stairs, floor not even,...). But it gives the place some authenticity makes it cozy.

When it comes to food/drinks, Sting is more a cafe/bar, even organizing some concerts in its "underground floor" (Sting  being elevated, its underground floor is still above the floor...) but it does serve food. We went there on Thursday (30/08/2012) and we had a small dinner.

My wife went for the Sting special: Shrimp and chicken marinated in salsa, garlic dip, pickles, melted cheese and served with bread (photo above). Price: 169 NOK. My wife liked it but I tasted it and was not so convinced myself. Maybe too many different savor mixed which tasted a bit "messy" to me.

I went for the Creole mix: grill skewers with spicy sausages, tiger prawns with BBQ sauce, potato salad, corn and coleslaw (photo above). Price: 179 NOK. The skewers were nice, the sausages were a bit spicy but not crazy hot, the BBQ sauce was nice and in good proportion (still get the taste of the shrimps/sausages). The corn was not the grill corn you could expect, simply salad corn. The potato salad was a bit boring and the coleslaw salad was a bit too spicy (too much mustard I think) but together it was actually fine.

For our son, we went for a pizza Margarita. The pizza was actually better than expected. The dough was very thin and a bit crispy, the tomato sauce was maybe a bit too tasty but the cheese was good and overall the pizza was nice. Price: 109 NOK

Conclusion: Sting is probably not where you will get the best culinary experience but the food is not bad and the prices are not that expensive either.