Food blogger Anders Husa reviews the food on board Hurtigruten
Food blogger, restaurant critic and author Anders Husa is on MS Nordkapp to test Hurtigruten's menu along the Norwegian coast.
Food blogger’s delight
Norway's Coastal Kitchen vs. Anders Husa. The food enthusiast has just boarded the ship at Ålesund and is ready to sail north to Tromsø. He has already tasted some of Norway’s finest farm-to-table dining on his first day at sea. Local supplier Ole Christian Skaugen, from Dybvik, delivers fresh klippfisk (dried and cured cod) to be served as part of the evening meal. Husa´s description of the dinner is mouth-watering.
‘A three-course menu with carpaccio of Gran Reserva klippfisk from Dybvik, brushed with olive oil and parsley, followed by fantastic tenderised leg of lamb from Hellesylt, in Møre and Romsdal, and ending with “veiled peasant girls”, made with apples from Hardanger.’
A gourmet meal is best enjoyed paired with some equally fine wines, so Husa selected the recommended wine package to accompany his food.
‘A glass of Hurtigruten’s own-label white wine – “José Maria da Fonseca” from Portugal has a lot of taste for the money! There´s a bouquet of fresh lime, and good acidic balance. A more robust red wine works well with the lamb, and a Tokay at the end of the meal is a perfectly sweet preface to dessert,’ was Husa’s verdict.
This is just the beginning of our voyage through one of world’s most abundant larders. Between Bergen and Kirkenes, you can taste lamb from Geiranger, king crab from the Barents Sea, cheese and cod from Lofoten, reindeer from Finnmark and apples from Hardanger. Nature’s pantry is filled to the brim with delicacies.
Famous Norwegian chef Anders Husa gives Hurtigruten's menu a go!
The culinary journey continues
When the ship arrives in Trondheim the next day, Husa dines at Kysten, our on-board, á la carte restaurant, where he enjoys an entrée, main course and dessert, plus a couple bottles of Arctic craft beer, Mack and Lofotpils.
‘The entrées were superb. Perfectly cooked pan-fried scallops from Frøya, velvety smooth inside with a delightful crunchy outer crust, served with cauliflower purée and small chunks of chorizo from Stranda. The other entrée option, slices of duck breast from Gårdsand farm in Vestfold, might have even been better, laid atop sweet potato purée and accompanied by pickled shallots. It is the artful combination of tastes and contrasting textures that make these dishes so delicious and exciting. Also, when you know that the animals had good lives, the food tastes even better!’
On board our ships you can choose between three-course dinners or bountiful buffets - all based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. While you’re relaxing on board or enjoying excursions, local fishermen are out securing the day’s catch, such as Arctic char from the deep, cold waters of Sigerfjord in Vesterålen. Husa doesn’t opt for the Arctic char for his last dinner on board, but almost turns blue from excitement when describing his delight over what he did pick.
A royal send off
Instead, Husa picks a live king crab from the fish tank. The chefs prepare the dish so well that Husa is moved to superlatives.
‘What fantastically fresh seafood this is! The long legs are packed with meat and lots of it. The kitchen chose a very simple presentation, highlighting the sweet and delicate taste of crabmeat. We also got good freshly baked bread, with mayonnaise, aïoli and soy sauce, and a simple salad with thinly sliced, pickled vegetables. Together with the juice of a grilled lemon, it’s all you need to let the king crab play a leading role in his own culinary performance.’
After a meal fit for a king, the ship sails to Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands. Husa ventures out on deck. The evening turns magical as the ship enters Trollfjorden.
The following day, Husa disembarks at Tromsø, where ice blue seas and snowy white mountains greet the ship’s arrival. Husa’s Hurtigruten voyage is over but Chef Eirik’s day is just starting as he prepares tasty culinary creations for other food enthusiasts on board.
Read more about the food on board: