Restaurant Ylajali – Sult
Some of the most talked about of the top restaurants in the Nordics have a philosophy only to serve local produce. These restaurants proudly state that if an ingredient is not local, they will not serve it, period. The Nordic region does offer some top quality produce, for instance certain fish and shellfish, but naturally does not offer the same level of everything. Chef Patron Even Ramsvik of Ylajali has not embraced this trendy philosophy and rigid need for only local ingredients, even though the majority of the courses served at his restaurant are regional. Instead he is uncompromising in the sense that the produce he and his team work with has to be in season. You will for instance not find South-American asparagus on the menu in wintertime.
Ylajali employs both modern and classic cooking techniques, but the courses offered are fairly simple, some are even daringly simple. The tastes on the plate will be identifiable, which is good since for instance the lamb, scallops and crayfish hold an impressive standard. Chef Ramsvik has worked at Régis et Jacques Marcon and Restaurant Oscarsgate among others, and is highly creative. The most admirable aspect of his cuisine is the delicate taste of the best courses. In addition one can profit from interesting textures in some of the dishes. Naturally this refinement will not stay at such a high level all through the meal.
The restaurant’s name, Ylajali, is borrowed from a female character in Knut Hamsun's novel Sult (Hunger). In the novel she lived in the same building as the restaurant is located. After a late redecoration of the restaurant’s interior, the menu is now composed as a novel with different chapters like "Prologue", "Coast and Forest", "Poultry" and "Epilogue", each consisting of several small courses. The menu is offering something between 20 and 25 courses altogether, with a wine pairing for each chapter. The guests will initially be handled a little hardcover book to follow the progression in the meal. The menu is well composed, which makes sure that the diner will have a natural progression throughout the evening.
The restaurant's ambiance is pleasant with an elegant stucco ceiling, but with contemporary furniture and art. Ylajali's service is relaxed, yet professional and knowledgeable. The restaurant has an interesting wine list, and the wine pairing of the menu is of a surprisingly high standard. You can expect good producers from selected vineyards.
Oslo is a very expensive city indeed, but you are still left with a feeling of relatively fair value when dining at Ylajali. The restaurant has not stopped developing and now counts among the top restaurants in town. Ylajali shows great ambition and we expect it to be even better in the future.
Restaurant Ylajali scored 73 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
By Knut Harald
Saint Olav’s plass 2
Phone: +47 22 20 64 86