I visited the Rorbua with a couple of Chinese friends because I wanted them to taste local Norwegian food and drink, and to feel the atmosphere of a proper Norwegian local diner/restaurant. Rorbua does not offer the fancy food of many of their neighboring restaurants in the upmarket neighborhood and shopping district Aker Brygge - and that is a good thing and a nice contrast! Rorbua is closer to what you could find in any small city in Norway, where the dining experience is key and not to see-and-be-seen.
The menu consists of local Northern Norwegian delicacies and traditional, seasonal foods. They offer moose, reindeer, beef, whale, different kinds of seafood and seasonal specialities. We were there in the middle of the cod season, which was clear from the menu - which offered three traditional varieties of cod as a main course.
The food was excellent, and there was plenty of it. The only drawback is that they did not have half of the beers that were listed on the menu. Instead of the Northern Norway brew Mack, we had to settle for the Bergen beer Hansa. If you don't have it, don't list it on the menu, would be my advice.
Rorbua offers a Norwegian atmosphere with wooden tables and benches, fishing nets in the ceilig and photos from the olden days on the walls, etc. For us Norwegians, it's almost to the point where it's too Norway themed (like the Irish pubs that cater to foreigners, and do not reflect what real pubs in Ireland look like). However, the place is cosy and nice, the service good (although our waiter problably was in training, because he made som rookie mistakes).
Prices are relatively high, as with all restaurants in the Aker Brygge area. A main course cost between 200-300 NOK.
I would recommend this place to foreigners who visit Oslo and who wish to samle something that is close to authentic in food and atmosphere. This place is a real Norway-fix; a fun place for those who only visit Norway for a short time and wish to get the most out of their experience here. Many Norwegians who aren't too impressed with fishing nets and moose casserole will problably choose to eat elsewhere :-)
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