Last week was Sten's birthday. We planned to seek out a nice restaurant somewhere near the water in Oslo for dinner in the evening; however, I wondered if anyone at his office would know it was his birthday and mention it to him. When I met him on his walk home from the office, he told me that he had indeed been celebrated by his colleagues at lunch time with cake for everyone, a Norwegian traditional birthday song, and a flowering plant. They had sent home a piece of the cake for me to enjoy too. It was on the lines of our traditional blotkake, but made with hazelnuts in the cake. The photo doesn't do it justice, but it was delicious.
We decided to take the boat to the city center rather than the bus. Because we know that because of winter it won't be running past October, we like to use it occasionally while it's still operating. We just missed one ferry, but didn't mind because it was such a beautiful evening and there's lots to look at from the pier.
After a few minutes, our ferry arrived and we were off to the city center pier.
We took our time strolling the walkways along the Oslo harbor, checking restaurant menus and venues to find the perfect place for our dinner.
I love the tiny cars that can always find a parking place anywhere.
We settled on a Japanese tapas restaurant with lots of outdoor seating along one of the canals connecting to the harbor. Since neither of us have a lot of experience with Japanese food, we let our waiter put together our meal of vegetarian options (within a preset price range) . Here's the delicious meal he came up with. First the appetizer of edamame. I know they don't look like much, but they were wonderful -- salted, and fun to eat by hand, pulling them between your teeth to get the beans out of the pods. (In case you're wondering, I'm holding up one of the blankets that are on each chair. A little chill in the air doesn't stop any Norwegian from eating outside on a beautiful night.) Next were a variety of beautifully presented maki; and finally, tofu steaks with rice.
Sten felt well-celebrated, and we went home very satisfied with our meal choice. Incidentally, notice the heating elements behind us hanging from the ceiling. People closer to the restaurant had those instead of blankets. Very cozy to sit under.