Sunday, June 01, 2008

Great budget food at Mesopotamia

If you are on a low budget in Oslo, you are in big trouble. The Norwegian capital is ranked as one of the most expensive capitals in the world to stay in. Still there are places you may get a good dinner for 10 Euros, and it may include even a small starter and a glass of strong Arab tea. We got all this as we visited Mesopotamia.

If there are any international area in Oslo to explore it is Torggata and its side streets from Arbeidersamfundets plass to Hausmannsgaten. Here you will find a large number of small taverns run by immigrants and Mesopotamia is one of them. Here you are served Turkish, Middle East food in abundance. This is not a place for those of you that want to dine in an elegant atmosphere, you go there for the food, and what food!!

We, i.e. me and Enjoy Food & Travel co-writer Susanne went there to dine. She had been there before and highly recommended the mixed plate at NOK 89,-. As we waited for our meal we were served the most delicious bowl of soup, a broth flavoured with mint and lemon with barley and chick peas. I never thought you could use mint in this manor, and it worked great. Something to try in my own home cooking, as I have my garden full of mint.

The mixed plate had three pieces of ground lamb meat baked in a dough (köfte), two pieces of lamb meat, one baked onion with rice, and one dolmas (wine leaves with rice). To this was served rice with vegetables, salad, and a delicious sauce with a lot of spinach. Well seasoned, delicious food in abundance served by a nice Turkish waiter. And what to drink? Mineral water or soda only, no alcohol as the custom for devout muslims. To end your meal we were served hot, strong tea in small glasses. The pricetag – 89 NOK (11 Euros) for soup, mixed plate, and tea and an additional 20 NOK (2,50 Euro) for the mineral water. Not bad for a good dinner.

Torggata 18, 0181 Oslo (Entrance Bernt Ankers gate)

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