I recently had the pleasure to visit Lofotstua with friends. They had a reduced menu since they had just returned from the holidays. That said, we had many options and an amazing meal. The restaurant offers many fish options with several preparations to choose from.
As we were all reviewing the menu, the server offered to do a platter for the table of 6 which included a starter, a 3 fish entree, potatoes and side salad to share. He was also incredibly well informed about everything that they offered. Want to know where the fish were caught? He knows. Want to know about the last boat to fish for seal? He knows. It’s all very impressive and inspires confidence in the restaurant’s capabilities.
After conferring, we decided the platter would be excellent choice. For starters, the kitchen prepared us an appetizer with whale and seal in a light, savory brown sauce. For our main dish, we ordered the artic char, Norwegian wolffish, and coalfish.
Dinner was so pleasant. It was like eating in your grandmother’s house – passing dishes and sharing stories. We started with the whale and seal appetizer. Our server indicated that the seal was blue back from Greenland and it’s no longer being fished. Therefore, once their current supply of seal is gone, it will not be served again. Seal has an interesting flavor – a bit of a mix between whale and gamey meat. I’ve never been a gamey meat fan but it was worth a try. Very unique. Whale is an interesting meat as well – it’s a hybrid between meat and fish. A bit hard to describe but not nearly as gamey as seal with a fishier after taste.
The fish platter was divine. The three fish are fried in palm oil and butter to give it a lovely buttery flavor and crispness (due to the oil). I really enjoyed all three as well as their distinctive flavors. The wolffish has a meaty consistency without a strong fishy flavor similar to halibut. It was really nice. The artic char is similar to salmon and had the fishiest flavor of the three. The filet was flakey and full of flavor. Finally, the coalfish was my favorite – a delicate fish which is part of the cod family. It had nice clean flavors and pairs well with lemon.
At the end of our meal, my visitors really wanted to have their first taste of akevitt (aquavit/akvavit). The selection was really impressive and again, the server was well-informed. I envy this first experience, to be honest. I first tried akevitt in a hotel bar and only recall the feeling of burning. Since then, I’ve come to enjoy some of the akevitt. My visitors had a unique akevitt with a strong caraway flavor. I didn’t want them to drink alone (of course) so the server recommended to me the Gammel Opland akevitt which I thoroughly enjoyed.
As you may have imagined, this was not my first time to Lofotstua. My husband and I visited the restaurant during our first visit to Oslo. I had the pan-fried cod “gourmet-style” during that visit. Really delicious.
I highly recommend a visit to Lofotstua – particularly, if you’re looking for delicious Norwegian fish preparations. Though rustic and perhaps not as flashy as some other fish restaurants in the city, you will instantly feel at home (which is my preference). Lofotstua is both casual and classy. A great place to take your visitors to Oslo as they will get a really lovely (and not pretentious) dining experience.