Restaurant Admiral: Experience Bergen's Culinary Traditions with a Twist
Clarion Hotel® Admiral's restaurant is keeping well-known local dishes alive, all while offering the finest view of the historic Bryggen across the harbour.
Persetorsk, prinsefisk, both cod dishes, and Bergen-style fish soup - there's no shortage of classics from the Bergen kitchen. You can find many signature dishes like these in the west coast capital, and sampling local cuisine is a must for visitors.
One restaurant that loves to offer food built on long, local traditions and excellent Norwegian ingredients is Restaurant Admiral at Clarion Hotel® Admiral.
"We have a small, focused menu where we concentrate on local favourites that we know guests will enjoy. More and more guests are interested in authentic, local food," head chef Yvonne Monssen tells Strawberry.
"Our goal is to showcase what Bergen and Western Norway have to offer, not only to hotel guests but to everyone who dines with us. That's why we've focused a lot on local ingredients, especially seafood, in recent years."
"All the herbs we use are grown in Os, just half an hour south of Bergen," she adds.
Fish soup and other culinary traditions
The head chef explains that having a short menu provides the kitchen with flexibility to frequently change dishes and take advantage of excellent ingredients that suddenly become available and are in season. In this way, guests rarely tire of the food, and the chefs can exercise creativity and experiment.
It's definitely a win-win situation.
"The Dish of the Day is often where our chefs have the most fun. One day we might have local mussels, while the next we make pasta from scratch with some local seafood. These are dishes we are continually trying to innovate," says Yvonne.
A Fresh Twist on Familiar Bergen Classics
Yvonne shares that they always strive to give classics a new twist – with caution.
"We start with traditional dishes but often give them a twist. For example, we have a creamy fish soup that's very delicious and popular among guests, but it's not a traditional Bergen-style fish soup."
"It's important that you emphasise that, otherwise we'll have problems," the head chef says with a laugh.
There are many things one doesn't joke about in Bergen. Bergen-style fish soup is one of them. There are laws and rules down to the smallest detail – from the type of fish to the garnish used in the dish.
"But our soup is made exclusively from local ingredients. The broth is cooked with halibut from Glitne, a producer based by the Sognefjord."
"Plukkfisk is often on the menu, which is very popular, especially among foreign tourists. It's made from locally caught cod or haddock," the chef explains proudly.
Bergen-style Fish Soup and Culinary Traditions
Playfulness and innovation aside, local culinary traditions are an important thread running through everything Yvonne and her team do.
"They're extremely important to us. Yes, we are a hotel and in the tourism industry, but at the same time, we are a restaurant with a certain responsibility to carry on the culinary history of Bergen and its surrounding areas. To use the local ingredients and traditions we have. There's no doubt that it can be more challenging in a hotel restaurant than a regular restaurant, as there are different guidelines and frameworks. But we do our best," says Yvonne.
Among other things, Clarion Hotel® Admiral's chefs are involved in Smak av kysten ('A Taste of the Coast') - a network that showcases sustainable and local food from producers along the Norwegian coast. The network also organises competitions in which Restaurant Admiral usually participates.
"We participated in the World Championship in Persetorsk in 2022. In February 2023, there was the World Championship in Plukkfisk. So, you do have these exciting events that maintain both traditions and knowledge," explains the head chef.
Persetorsk is one of the most iconic dishes from Bergen. It is a sugar-salted cod fillet that has been pressed in the refrigerator for several days. The cod fillets are then steamed in the oven and served with potatoes, pea purée, and a sauce.
The combination of sugar and salt gives the fish a unique, rounded flavour.
"A Hidden Gem in Bergen"
Clarion Hotel® Admiral is located on Strandgaten, by the harbour on the popular and historic Nordnes peninsula, very close to the city centre. Restaurant Admiral itself is situated by the waterfront on the hotel's ground floor. The head chef says that the restaurant is open to everyone, and you don't need to be a hotel guest to enjoy the food there. In 2023, they are set to launch a new concept from Clarion called The Social.
Additionally, she has an extra incentive for those who haven't tried the food yet.
"We have the best terrace in Bergen. You sit right by the water's edge, in the sunshine, and with a fantastic view of Bryggen and the harbour. It's always packed at Bryggen, while our guests can enjoy peace and quiet. The outdoor seating we have is a hidden gem in Bergen," believes Yvonne.