Review: Cosiness of Hackney Central’s Oslo evokes a Viking vibe

Oslo in Hackney Central

Oslo in Hackney Central - Credit: Archant

EMMA BARTHOLOMEW visits Oslo in Hackney Central, where the new lunch time menu is inspired by Scandinavia

Oslo in Hackney Central

Oslo in Hackney Central - Credit: Archant

As I sat munching through a Nordic-inspired lunch at Oslo, the Danish word for being cosy and together in the winter months came to mind.

‘Hygge’ is apparently hard to translate into English, but the general gist is about staving off seasonal affective disorder by creating a warm atmosphere indoors.

This is particularly relevant in Scandinavia where winters can be especially cold, bleak and in some of the northernmost regions perpetually dark.

Instead of letting it get them down, the Viking descendants light candles and enjoy the good things in life like food and wine with good people. And as I sat in Amhurst Road’s Oslo at the weekend and sensed the impending chill and darkness of winter set in, I got a ‘hygge’ type feeling.

The Fra Land starter selection at Oslo

The Fra Land starter selection at Oslo - Credit: Archant

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It’s a unique space, set in a revamped former railway station next to Hackney Central Overground.

With its high black-painted ceilings, exposed greying bricks, a long reclaimed wood bar and dimmed lighting, the Nordic aesthetic evokes cosiness.

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I’d only visited Oslo before in its night club incarnation, but a month ago they started introducing lunch and in the afternoon a more family-oriented clientele replace late-night revellers.

The Scandinavian-style menu features a Fra Land starter sharing board selection, priced at £14, which offers the chance to try out most of the starters listed like crispy squid, a juicy Norwegian sausage, homemade meatballs, salted beef, onion rings, cornichons and sour dough bread.

A burger at Oslo

A burger at Oslo - Credit: Archant

We then tucked into burgers – which come in various guises of crab, lamb, chicken, beef and a grilled goats cheese and roasted peppers veggie option.

The Moroccan style Marrakesh lamb burger was cooked to medium-rare perfection and was served with homemade tzatziki.

An Asian-inspired soft shell crab version was spiced up with wasabi and notes of coriander.

On Sundays they do roast dinners of beef or chicken with parsnips and potatoes cooked in goose fat.

Hygge is not just a strategy for getting through the winter but about embracing and enjoying it - and time spent at Oslo makes that easy to do.

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