Charles&De is a nice restaurant located in Sandnes, not too far from Stavanger. Something quite impressive about this restaurant is that the cook (Charles Tjessem) has won the Bocuse d'Or, one of the most prestigious cooking prize. My wife and I have been there several times for lunch and something that always surprises me is the simplicity of the food. You would not expect to get burgers, salads and sandwich from the best cooks in the world and yet that is what the restaurant serves for lunch. To me, it really shows the nature of Norwegian people in general: simple and not at all show-offs. I would like to try this restaurant at night time though as this is a completely different menu (and surely a complete different culinary experience).
You order at the counter, take the bread/water yourself, ... the typical norwegian style. The only difference is that here, the bread is home made and you have a quite large choice of breads. The butter is nice but salted and there is no non-salted alternative.
Also, something quite interesting about this restaurant is that the kitchen is facing the street and has big windows so that everyone can see how cooks are working.
My wife ordered pasta with shrimps and asparagus and I ordered a sandwich. The pasta was pretty good and it was big enough for one person. The sandwich was maybe a bit too simple and a bit light for one person.
Charles&De has also various desserts and we tasted their tiramisu and a chocolate cake. I am generally not too fan of chocolate cakes as I find them a bit too sweet but this one was pretty good. The tiramisu was also quite good. The only thing is that both desserts were a bit small.
Concerning the prices, I don't think this restaurant is expensive compared to local prices (Stavanger and Sandes are quite expensive cities), ie they don't "charge" you for the fact that the cook has won a prize and as they are using good products, it cannot really get cheaper than that.
All in all, if you want a simple lunch with good quality raw products, Charles&De is a good option. Also, the casual style of the restaurant (at least for lunch) makes it possible to bring small children. But for people looking for some advanced cooking or for people going to this restaurant thinking about the Bocuse d'Or, this restaurant may be a bit disappointing for lunch.
We went to Charles&De again and I wanted to share with you some new photos/comments.
The overall review from last time seemed correct this time again. Simple menu with high quality raw ingredients. I ordered a hamburger and my wife went for a shrimp sandwich. The hamburger was quite nice. I was surprised with the bread (more like sandwich bread) but it did actually fit pretty well. The meat was really nice too, so all in all I was satisfied with it.
My wife enjoyed her sandwich. A bit simple but well, traditional...
This time we also ordered the children version of the fish and chips. Tasted quite nice and was well presented.
We also ordered two desserts. A small strawberry tart that our son liked really much.
And a small chocolate mousse that my wife enjoyed even though she found it a little bit too sweet (but this can be said for desserts in general...).