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  • Writer's pictureGard Karlsen

Egget – a hidden gem in downtown Stavanger

A few months back a new restaurant opened in Stavanger. As I like to keep an eye on the restaurant scene in Stavanger, I sent them an e-mail and I asked about opening times and menu but I got a fairly vague response that they were open and that the menu changes on a daily basis. On a recent Friday night, before going to the movies, we finally got to check it out.

Egget is located in Steinkargata 23 in the middle of downtown Stavanger and when we got there it appeared closed. Once inside we had to go through a heavy dividing curtain and were met with quite packed room. It is a cozy space and I guess there is room for about 20-25 guests – both at the bar and at tables for 2 / 4 /6 guests. We were lucky as some acquaintances were just leaving, so we got a table. When I say the restaurant was packed I mean that it was full of guests but also full of goods. This is also a wine bar - seemingly with wine related stock being stored one side of the space. Due to this the place is a bit crowded and dark and quite informal. I guess you can tell that it is an informal place when the sommelier/host is wearing an American football top. The agreeable music and rustic décor all set the mood

We were first offered something to drink and Nikki got to taste a French wine first that she didn’t like but the next one was to her liking. After a few minutes the chef came over to us to explain the menu – and I guess now I understand why they don’t have a written menu. The chef (he seemed to be French) explained the menu fast in English and basically they had a number of fish dishes and meat dishes. We could order a big portion of one of these or have lots of the dishes as small portions and share it. We decided to go all in and went for the “tasting menu” or sharing menu. Nikki asked if there were lots of milk in any of the dishes and I think she fell in love with the place when the impassioned chef replied that they tried to stay away from both gluten and lactose.

It didn’t take that long before the dishes were served – by the chef himself. We got a new round of explanations about the various dishes but there were a lot of dishes so it was not easy to keep up with his summary. Dishes included e.g. got trout that was cured in a Japanese way; ; spring rolls on top of kimchi; kale chips; and nigiri sushi. One of the dishes seemed a bit blend when looking at it…young mango mixed with shrimp. But when tasting this dish there was an explosion of Thai flavors – almost like an excellent green curry. It was certainly a flashback to excellent fresh Thai streetfood!! In addition we had the main fish dishes: skate wings and cod with almond milk and mushroom on top. Truly a surprisingly tasty experience to start this “show”. Nikki and I both thoroughly enjoyed the taste of Asia.

We took our time and worked our way through the fish dishes. Not a morsel left in sight! The chef and sommelier checked in and when we were ready, we moved on to the meat dishes. First we got some pork belly served – it is always impressive when they manage to serve pork belly in slices with a crispy skin and sambal on the side. I like pork belly – it is the traditional Christmas meal for me and these slices were tasty! Next up was lamb tail! I have had ox tail a number of times but I don’t think I have had a lamb tail before. It was served in a simple way…it was oven baked and served with shredded radish of some sort and kale that was a bit salty. We also got a couple of bowls with a hot broth that we could dip the meat in. The succulent Voss lamb tail was excellent and easily peeled off the bone. The meat on the tail was so tender and the fat had a lot of taste. Nikki couldn’t resist and was happily crunching on the bone – as if she was dining in some night market in SE Asia.

Again the chef made sure to check on our progress and whether we wanted more. So far the meal had been so excellent so we told him to bring us more. I know this sound like gluttony but the meal had been so good so we wanted more. The next dish was leg of lamb where the meat was served in slices. The lamb was tender and rich, however I think that the best part of this dish was the root of celery that had been baked and was served with the meat. Maybe it had been salt baked.

All in all this was a fantastic meal - I can understand why they don’t have a menu – doing it this way gives them more flexibility and affords us more variety. But it would have been good to have some sort of idea about the prices before you start to eat. I don’t think that the restaurant takes reservations so make sure to get there early (or really late, apparently another dish was only going to be ready to serve later that evening). What can I say? Make sure to check it out as soon as possible before it gets too popular. I hope to go there again soon – and this time I hope to bring along some friends and have more time to enjoy the food and the wine. Hopefully the outdoor seating will be in place once the Stavanger weather starts to resemble summer. As I was driving, Nikki had a few glasses of red wine. We shall be sure to return to explore the wine selection better. Just be warned - once you sit down and start eating and drinking you might want to sit there the rest of the evening.

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