8 Kirkegata, Tromsø, Norway
Visited 3rd August 2010
Norway is spectacular, but Norway is expensive. Camping, nights sleeping on ferries and trains and a diet of fruit and sandwiches (though sandwiches packed with reindeer salami I might add) all helped to make my trip that little bit more financially feasible. During my two weeks in Norway I only ate at three restaurants, basically because that’s all the budget could handle. Anyway the previous day I’d celebrated my birthday with a couple of pints and a sleep on a sofa of the Hurtigruten coastal ferry. Back on dry land and in the Northern city of Tromsø I decided it was time to treat myself to dinner and splurged at Emmas Drømmekjøkken or 'Emma's Dream Kitchen' as it translates. The cute little restaurant is located opposite Tromsø's unique wooden Cathedral.
The influence of local, fresh produce is obvious across Norway (well at least during the summer) and the menu at Emmas Drømmekjøkken featured plenty of it. I started with a lamb and feta salad. Lettuce, asparagus and vodka poached tomatoes were topped with crumbly feta and locally cured lamb. The freshness of the greens nicely complimented the gamy lamb, however my only grip was that he vodka poached tomatoes were flavourless and kind of weird. The previous week on the Lofotens I'd caught a fair few Char so couldn’t resist indulging in a dish of this Arctic salmonoid. Poached until tender the fillet of fish was accompanied by a creamy basil sauce, asparagus and new potatoes. Simple and honest; the reason I loved this dish was the quality of the delicious Char. To drink they matched a couple of glasses of wine to my meal; the first was an OK Italian white, but the Loire Chenin Blanc that was poured with the Char was fantastic. It was a perfect match; delicious and with just a touch of sweetness to complement the richness of the fish.
Maybe I just needed a bit of civilization, but I walked away from dinner at Emmas Drømmekjøkken a satisfied man. The food was excellent – well prepared and made with what were obviously quality ingredients. The staff were knowledge, friendly and more than happy for a chat whether it was about fishing or wine. Value is a matter of perception and while I honestly can’t remember what my meal cost (maybe I’m just blocking it out), whatever it was it was worth it. If you're ever lucky enough to be visiting Tromsø definitely pop into Emmas Drømmekjøkken for a feed. Visit restaurant website.