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Eat: the Royal navy had no clue (updated 25.09.2023)

The word 'Dass' is a somewhat rude way to describe a toilet in Norwegian. And that's what hangs above the toilet door in bright letters. However, that doesn't set the tone for what awaits you here. It's in fact quite the opposite. But it does indicate that things are laid-back around here. The service is absolutely perfect, mind you, and strictly adheres to etiquette, but it's carried out by a hip dude wearing a cap, complicated sneakers, Berlin-ish retro glasses, and matching mustache. That's the kind of vibe you should have in mind.

I reckon El Brutus is, in a way, a place for discerning palates who aren't afraid of surprises. The first time (out of four) I dined at Brutus (now it's El Brutus) left an impression. They had Icelandic pancakes (blibber-blabber-kakur), whale tartare, and something with beetroots on the menu. The dishes and the combination with the chosen wines can best be described as being tickled in a way that you can't possibly sit still. And in my case, that's a huge compliment. The portions are small but they make an impact with their simplicity and bold flavors. Nothing is what it seems, as the menu describes the dishes rather vaguely. But that's what makes it awesome.

Don't expect any pretentious Barolo's or heavy-handed Bordeaux wines here, but rather obscure natural wines sourced from tiny vineyards on an island that not even Columbus, the Royal Navy, or NASA knew about. I've eaten there three more times afterwards, and I'll surely do it again. Especially since they've now changed their name from Brutus to El Brutus. I guess this is the most exiting winebar in Oslo. And then I haven't even tasted their newly presented Spanish menu. Anyway...

Habla español to me cool-looking-waiter!

*Update 25.09.2023:

We tried El Brutus, the Spanish take on what once was just Brutus. Flavours were 'ok', the wine great. But perhaps it was the potent combination of inflation, rising interest rates, and increasing wage costs that necessitated the rather hefty pricing of the dishes. A small plate of cauliflower, for instance, cost around 180 NOK. That together with a rather 'blank' and uncommitted waiter, made that things didn't really add up in my head. So, I don't really know what to say...because I would love to be as lyrical as I was the first time I had dinner at Brutus. But it didn't add up.


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