– Never has meat-free food ever tasted this great!
After having heard plenty of positive experiences about the vegan café and restaurant Nordvegan, Inside decided to dispatch two of its most stubborn food connoisseurs from the very opposite sides of the food spectrum to investigate- one vegetarian and one meat-lover.
– You think this is gonna be any good? I have never heard of tasty vegan food.
– I sure hope so, I’ve heard good stories about this place.
With a hint of preloaded skepticism towards vegan food, we arrive at the restaurant on a cold Monday afternoon. Located at Kristian IVs gate 15B, the restaurant’s central position is only a 5-minute walk from the fountain by Nationaltheatret or an even shorter distance from Stortinget’s metro stop.
Unlike most restaurants in Norway, Nordvegan is a vegan restaurant, which means that its dishes are prepared without the use of any animal products, such as milk, eggs, or meat.
Without any previous experience with veganism, we must admit that we had no idea what to expect going in.
– Vegan food? What´s that gonna be like? Dry and tasteless tofu with rice?
Little did we know that our associations with vegan food were soon to be changed forever.
One Meal = One Tree
As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by friendly staff and different types of pleasant aromas.
– Hi, welcome to Nordvegan. Please, have a seat and then make an order whenever you feel ready, we are informed by the counter attendant.
There is no menu by the tables, so everything the restaurant has to offer is displayed on the food counter or written on the three large blackboards hanging on the wall behind the counter.
It is a small, but cozy and casual place with low-volumed indie music playing in the background. Its modern and wooden interior design gives it a warm, relaxing atmosphere, and radiates an inviting sensation of feeling at home.
– I can imagine myself studying here, one of us say, the other nodding in agreement.
A large banner that hangs by the entrance door, as well as small tabletop signs on almost every table, state that for each meal, one tree is planted.
A brief conversation with one of the counter attendants reveals that the restaurant is cooperating with the Eden Reforestation Projects, a nonprofit organization that works to rebuild natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation.
The reason for this is to make up for the restaurant’s carbon footprint, making sure its food can be enjoyed with a clear conscience knowing it is eco-friendly and sustainable. «A definite step in the right direction» we both think.
Impressive Vegan Menu
A quick glance at the food counter, that displays some of the dishes readily available, makes our mouth water. Ordering food is done by the food counter and is as simple as picking and choosing whatever you would like from a variety of dishes and topping.
It is a common misconception that vegan and healthy food always have to be expensive or limited. Nordvegan shows this by offering delicious food at competitive and affordable prices, ranging from 45kr to 199kr for a full (/209kr for the biggest) meal.
With a daily-changing menu designed by Michelin-star experienced and award-winning chef Reuben Waller, the lifestyle restaurant offers exciting food that is jam-packed with flavors, all of which can be eaten in the restaurant or ordered as a take-away.
Whether you are on the lookout for a light lunch or a pleasant dinner, you will find something that will satisfy your hunger and cravings.
Ranging from tasty curries and flavorful Buddha Bowls to juicy burgers and lasagnas even Italian grandmothers almost certainly would approve of, Nordvegan has something for everyone’s liking.
They also have a selection of appetizing desserts, such as crème brûlée and Raw cakes, as well as a variety of patisserie- and all without the use of meat or any other animal products!
The two of us decide to go for a bowl of tofu curry with rice (168kr), a Buddha Bowl (165kr), and a portion of summer rolls (45kr) (rice paper wrappers rolled around tofu and vegetables, served with flavourful hoisin sauce), together with some refreshing pomegranate water. All for the total sum of 378kr, which we definitely consider being student friendly.
We take our food and find a comfortable spot by the entrance
Our vegetarian reviewer opted for the Buddha Bowl, which is a dish that’s prepared within minutes and is filled with delicious greens such as sprouts, pak choi, purple cabbage, pickled pineapple, nuts and seeds, and much more. It is served cold with the exception of the warm rice, or noodles if preferred, in the bottom of the bowl, and topped with a sweet hoisin sauce that really serves as the cherry on the top. The different flavors blend perfectly together into an aromatic adventure of a lifetime.
– My goodness. This Buddha bowl is incredibly tasty!
The warm tofu curry, which is served with rice, is equally positively received by our meat-lover. The dish both looks and smells like a typical meat-curry.
– I’m telling you, I am totally surprised, the meat-lover exclaims.
– This tastes better than actual meat, he continues.
Impressing our meat-lover with meat-free food is no easy achievement, but Nordvegan’s curry and summer rolls certainly have succeeded; the delightful vegan food provides a rich and memorable experience for even the greatest meat-lovers.
The portions are sizable, and leave us both feeling filled.
Food for Thought
Nordvegan offers a variety of delicious dishes made with carefully selected local ingredients that excite even the most skeptical and meat-loving taste buds.
Sprinkled and served with a green philosophy of an eco-friendly and sustainable tomorrow, Nordvegan’s courses do the seemingly impossible by proving that healthy, mouth-watering and ethical food does not have to compromise on taste.
In addition to serving great tasting food, the restaurant’s philosophy of producing green and eco-friendly vegan food on this scale is unlike anything we have seen in Norway before, and, quite honestly, we are impressed.
If you, just like us prior to visiting the restaurant, have a skeptical opinion of vegan food, Nordvegan is likely to change your views entirely and leave you with a pleasant feeling of perhaps contributing to saving the planet- one delicious meal at a time.