We'd had a fun day exploring Tromsø. It was so different from San Diego. Polar night is fascinating and a bit disorienting as noon seems like dusk and by 2pm it looks like had fallen. We really only had time for one dinner in Tromsø since the previous evening we'd been "Chasing the Aurora". We had decided to stay close to the apartment, just kind of chill and relax, and had made dinner reservations at the highly regarded Mathallen. Locally sourced ingredients and they had something on the menu I wanted to try....and no, it's not reindeer.
We had early reservations, which really didn't matter, since it already was so dark it felt like 9pm.
The menu was really small, with only four starters and three mains.
And like almost every other restaurant we had dinner at in Norway, they had an open kitchen.
We love the bread in Scandanavia and Mathallen was no exception. Also, I had wanted to visit Mack Brewery, founded in 1877, it is the northernmost brewery in the world. But we had run out of time, so I settled for a Mack Pilsner at Mathallen. Not very distinctive in flavor; very light and easy to drink.
The Missus started with the King Crab Soup (185 NOK - about $22/US). Yes, that's right, this bowl of soup was over twenty bucks.
Not too much crab, but the soup was nice and rich and obviously made with a very good seafood stock. Loved the texture which coated the tongue quite nicely.
We just couldn't seem to get enough pickled herring, so I ordered the Christmas Herring (155 NOK - $18.50/US).
This was delici-yoso!!! Just a couple of bites, but man, the herring melted in your mouth. It wasn't fishy in the least; very savory, and I'm thinking the Aquavit really added a nice touch of sweetness.
The Missus went with the "Catch of the Day", Cod (320 NOK - about $39/US).
She enjoyed it and said it was nicely cooked.
Since we were in Norway, I really wanted to try Lutefisk, which is made by air-drying fish, usually cod. A few weeks (yes weeks) before serving it is soaked in water for a week, then in lye (!!!) for two days. At which time it's pretty much poisonous. It is then soaked in water for another ten days to make edible.
I ordered the Lutefisk (575 NOK - $70/US). Yep, about seventy bucks US.....yikes!
The process gives the fish a jelly like texture, which was a bit odd. At least you can't complain about dry fish here, eh? Apparently, during the last set of soaking, the fish becomes so hydrated that you don't need to add any liquid to "boil" the fish! It also has a fairly strong smell; but not too bad. The flavor is fairly mild, on the briny salty side. It definitely needed the lardons and mustard sauce for flavor. Those brown shavings are Brunost, a brown "cheese" that is made from milk, cream, and whey. It has a very interesting slightly sweet and yeasty flavor. The mashed peas were very bland, the potatoes, simply done were delicious.
It was an interesting meal, the service was fine, not as friendly as at other places in Scandanavia. And heck, I'm not opposed to having lutefisk again.......
Tues - Sat 1130am - 11pm
We took the short walk back to the apartment and relaxed. I just sat at the window and watched the snow flurries come in.
Our flight from Tromsø was scheduled for 1030 am. We got up, packed and walked over to the stop for the airport bus.
It was 8am in the morning......
And it looked like midnight. We watched these guys working on the roof of a building across from the stop. Man, I sure wouldn't want to be doing that during the winter.
The airport in Tromsø is fairly small.
But SAS actually has a small lounge.
Where we were able to grab breakfast.
While staring off into the snow......
I'm not sure we'll ever be back in Tromsø, but we really enjoyed our time here. It was a great experience, but we were now looking ahead.