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“Dining experience in "Hamsun" spirit.”
Review of Ylajali Restaurant - CLOSED

Ylajali Restaurant
Price range: $36 - $144
Cuisines: French, Norwegian, International
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed August 29, 2012

Me and my friend came from Stockholm to dine at the new restaurant scene in Oslo and have heard remarkeble words about Ylajali and as we followed their blog this summer we knew they had just re opened their doors with a new kitchen and improved dining room!.Restaurant Ylajali. A name taken from the mysterious "dreamlike woman" in Norwegian author Knut Hamsuns novelle "Hunger! from 1890.
The premises are warm and modern with a classic frame, and the maitre'd and waiters greeted us well and took our coats. When seated we were given a menu (Ylajali have only one menu) which found inspiration from the first edition of "Hunger" . each serving was placed in a context just like a novelle. prologue, chapters and epilogue.. very clever and a very nice tool for the rest of the evening!

The food to come was noting less then perfection! from small snacks made from barley, raw shrimps dipped in dill cream and crumbles, oysters with cucumber, fresh langoustines with tapioca and well placed champagne to go with the first servings.

After the "starters" we were served mussels and chantarelles served on a beautiful handmade tray, crispy chicken with vegetables from Korsvold Farm. Duckhearts with porcini, and a fantastic selection of cheeses from a trolley. add some perfect seasonal desserts, creative atmosphere, brilliant service and good wines! This was truly an experience!

Cant wait to get back!

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1  Thank Andrew Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (148)
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72 - 76 of 148 reviews

Reviewed August 17, 2012

Where do I start?
We made a reservation for Ylajali on Friday 17th August 2012.
I was really looking forward to this mystery dinner appointment, as I was unaware of the venue. When we arrived, the welcome was not forthcoming by the person at the entrance. The waitress then proceeded to ask if we wanted to hang our jackets. We denied as we would like to be seated first. As we sat, she requested for drinks and then told us, since they just reopened, that they did not have ice. Why ask for drinks order then? During the length of the evening, we heard the “ we’ve just re opened excuse” 3 times. If you are not ready, close the front doors. We’re not an experiment.
This is a high end restaurant with no menus. Since this was our first visit, I felt we should have been told about the journey we are to embark upon. From the concept, through the menu & then be enlightened about the wine pairings etc. But no. The first of the 23 courses was simply placed upon us.
After the third course, I requested for a piece of paper so that I could write down all the individual courses in order to remember them. It was then that we were presented a story book menu with all the relevant details of the evenings proceedings. It was then that the waitress decided it was time to tell us something about what was in store for us. In short, there were only 6 items out of the 23 on the menu that were passable. Don’t get me wrong. The presentation was carefully thought over. But hey, we’re not here to “eat” the show. Nor the marble, glass or stone that everything was served on.
I’m allergic to cherries and red fruits. One course had chicken liver stuffed into red cherries. Guess what? The chef decided that all I should have is a tiny thin stalk of carrot. Yes. One very thin stalk of carrot! When I declined the dish & made it obvious that I was not impressed, did they send a replacement or came out to enquire...no! The evening dragged on and we tried to make conversation etc with the staff. At one point I asked the French Manager, who was obviously the Manager in a black suit, if he was the “Manager”, his reply was “ I’m a nobody. Just telling the staff what to do!” Without even introducing himself! You would expect more from a restaurant of this price point. Or is he so embarrassed to work there that he cannot reveal himself?
As for the food, everything looks small and pretty. But hey...I cannot taste pretty! Flavour was lacking in all the courses and where is the “WOW” factor and the explosion of the senses?
This meal was priced at USD 680 with wine pairings.
Not everyone can be a Noma or Per Se or even Chez Panisse.
If you can’t fake it, be true to yourself. Stick to what you know and then perhaps, you will shine. Don’t try to wear a hat that's too big, it’s simply not charming.
By the way, this restaurant do not unfold your napkin when you first sit. And the waitress talks with a hand on her hips.
It must be the new way to get that Michelin Star!
And my final say...try elsewhere, unless you want to be an experiment in folly and arrogance.

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Thank PeterKualaLumpur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

I had promised my partner that I would treat him to a meal in one of Oslos top restaurants following an unexpected bonus. We went with friends who had been a few times previously and fully recommended it.

The restaurant is simply presented with white linen and elegant table setttings with staff wearing traditonal silver service attire. The staff are excellent, and I was very impresed with the Maître d' who although was formal, was not at all stiff and was very pleasant and welcoming

We opted to go for the eight course menu and accompanying wine menu, which whilst expensive was worth every penny, as with the mini sub courses and other appetisers you're probably looking at closer to 20 courses. The restaurant is going for its first Michelin star and I am surprised it is yet to earn its first, the quality and presentation of the food was amazing.

Highlights were the duck and the langoustine. But also the frozen shaved oyster was surprising and something I didn't expect. The selection of cheeses was also very good. Dessert was served by one of the chefs who froze the yogurt with liquid nitrogen at the table. That was pretty special. The wines chosen to accompany the meals were definitely unexpected, I was particularly impressed with one of the Hungarian whites, but they were spot on.

You will need to take all night for dinner, our booking was at 1930 and I think we left around midnight, however I thoroughly recommend a visit to Ylajali for those special occasions,

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1  Thank Sun_seeking_ginner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Ylajali has improved a lot since I last visited them. We had a 6-course dinner, which was both innovative and tasty. Ylajali now rank amongst my top ten restaurants in the Oslo area.

The Juniper Smoked trout with oysters, the Norway lobster and the duck was my absolute favourites during the evening.

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Thank Norwegiantraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

Very creative kitchen with wonderful food combination and great wine choices.

Thank Lars B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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