Hot Shop is the latest addition to Oslo’s semi-fine dining scene, a trend started by White Guide favorite, and now sadly defunct Pjoltergeist; informal restaurants offering high quality fare in fringe locations beyond the city center. Yes, Hot Shop was very much what you think it might at one point have been; a sex shop. Same name, same place just less tawdry. Where once saucy videotapes were the titillation du jour, you now find some of Oslo’s cleanest food. Owners Siri Haslund and Jo Bøe Klakegg have succeeded in creating their personal idea of what an everyday place should be; ideal for both grand celebrations and a casual late-night bite. If Chef Jo’s previous restaurant project, Fauna, was all about tweezers and powders, Hot Shop is less futzy.
The menu is simple, five courses and maybe some bonus bites if you’re lucky. A starter of grilled green asparagus with ramson is simplicity perfected. It’s straight-forward, letting the quality of the ingredients shine. Norwegian scallops with endives and horseradish is a similarly designed, minimalistic knockout. Duck is accompanied by a sour cream flatbread with a generous shaving of finely grated duck hearts, so light and full of umami that you’ll want to eat nothing else for the rest of your life. These dishes are paired with the most crowd-pleasing of natural wines. Both the set wine menu and the house wine list provide an introduction to the new Nordic wine palate, at prices that aren’t too outrageous.
After dessert and coffee, you might want to round off your night at Dæl, the bar next door where you’ll probably find all the other Hot Shop guests, and possibly all the staff too. Keeping it local, like good neighbors should do.
Published January 2020