Sunday, April 22, 2012

N.B. Sørensens Dampskibsexpedition, 1st floor

N.B. Sørensens Dampskibsexpedition has been in Stavanger for quite a long time but is actually a new discovery for me. Somehow, I had hardly noticed the main entrance and the back entrance is not really attractive (don't really see inside, can't tell if the restaurant is open or not, ...). And then a month or two ago, I decided it was really time to try this restaurant. My wife and I liked it and on Friday we decided to go there again.

N.B. Sørensens Dampskibsexpedition is composed of 3 parts. The "new" bar, quite fancy and only to drink, the first floor (or "første etasje" in Norwegian") which is a casual dining place (but as far as I can tell, you can also have a drink there) and the second floor ("annen etasje" or "andre etasje" in Norwegian) for gourmet experience.

We went both times on the first floor and this is the part of the restaurant I am going to review here.
First, the restaurant is pretty well decorated and got a prize for it. Taken directly from their website: "N.B. Sørensens Damskibsexpedition has been awarded The Norwegian hotel and service industry’s interior environment prize. The interior oozes of vintage maritime industry and commerce, with walls and ceilings decorated with historical images and objects."

What surprised me in this restaurant is the quality of the service, despite the fact the place was casual. I would have more expected this quality of service for gourmet places. There are many waiters and waitresses, all are nice, careful and efficient. Also the kitchen is quite beautiful, half open which gives the safe feeling that you can see what the cooks are doing.

The menu is in my opinion quite good, in the sense it offers enough variety to have some choices, but not having so many choices that you get lost, cannot decide and show that the chef could not choose what he is doing best. You can find the whole menu here (the names are in Norwegian but you have the English translation beneath them):
My only regret about this menu is the lack of a children menu.

On Friday, my wife decided to go for the burger (Burger with chipotle mayonnaise, onion rings and french fries), while I went for the veal (Veal with baked root vegetables, onion, potatoes and béarnaise).
The burger was a bit disappointing. It came in a small basket and that was both unpractical and a bit too much fast-food like design. The meat was well cooked on the outside but a bit raw inside. My wife also thought there was too much pepper in it.

My veal on the other side was really good. The meat was perfectly cooked, tender and tasteful. The sauce was also very good, yet discreet. In terms of vegetables, there were potatoes, carrots and onions. the potatoes and carrots were fitting very well with the rest of the dish and I particularly like the onions. Not bitter, a bit sweet, a tiny bit crunchy, ... The bearnaise sauce was also good, but there may have been a bit too much of it, as its strong taste may hinder the subtle taste of the sauce and the meat. I liked it but if you are a gourmet, you may want to ask the bearnaise sauce on the side so it does not interfere with the rest of the dish.

Concerning the price, here is what we pay (20/04/2012):
Veal: 289 NOK
Burger: 198 NOK
Glass of wine: 79 NOK
Total: 566 NOK

All in all, a good restaurant but a bit disappointing for the burger. You will find the menu, the opening time, the phone number, address etc... on the webpage of the restaurant: