As well as being passionate about the property industry, my company is also known for their love of food. They very generously took our team for a lunchtime outing to the nostalgic Oslo Court. It is definitely a place to celebrate an “occasion”. My colleague Lucy is due to have a baby soon which was our reason to go.
The restaurant is accessed from the ground floor of a mansion apartment building situated in the upmarket St John’s Wood. Passers-by would never know this old fashioned haunt ever existed as its entire reputation is based on word of mouth ever since it opened in the 1970’s. As I unsuspectingly walked into the lobby for the first time, I was beckoned to the right hand side just past the cloakroom, which takes you through the door where the magic happens! You are transported back in time as you observe the pristine peach table cloths, matching napkins, salmon pink walls and powder blue chairs.
I immediately knew that my every need was going to be taken care of as one of the delightfully over attentive, immaculately dressed waiters, complete with dinner jacket and bow tie pulled out my chair for me to sit down.
Crudites, melba toast and garlic mayonnaise arrived before our eyes. We ordered two dozen oysters for the table served with lemon wedges, complimented by tabasco sauce and vinaigrette to taste. My first taste of raw oysters, although slightly unattractive as you pour the liquid gem down your throat, I found after I had one… I just had to have another!
For starters, aside from one portion of fried calamari, we ordered a round of lobster cocktails which was from the specials list. This generous portion of sweet plump lobster meat dressed in its 1970’s glory of marie rose sauce, served on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce, alongside thinly sliced buttered brown bread (crusts removed )was a winning choice.
When the waiter recited the specials menu, it really felt like he was saying this for the first time. It is clear to see that all the staff have true passion for what they do which makes the customers dining experience spectacular. The room is filled with "nachas"and you cannot help but soak up the glowing joyful atmosphere surrounding each table. Forget moving with the times, the unique factor of Oslo Court is that their customers simply do not want change! The reason that the business continues to thrive forty years on, is that it is irresistibly delicious and really does run like clockwork.
My main course of fillet steak served medium rare with béarnaise sauce was presented. The accompaniments for the table which just kept on coming included a selection of buttered green cabbage, creamed leaks, potato gratin, mangetout and latkes. I found you almost offended the waiter if you asked for a small helping.
Amongst the table for main courses we ordered calves liver, venison, turbot, sea bream and veal. Filled with classic dishes, there really is something for everyone on the timeless French inspired 1970’s menu. My grandma uses the phrase “pickling”. If you have something you love, such as a dress from the good old days, you can pickle it for years, bring it out again and it will be revived and good as new.... and look even better then the first time round! The collection of dishes can definitely be described as “pickled to perfection.”
If you ever speak to someone that has eaten at Oslo Court, the first thing they will tell you if that you will love the slightly eccentric and very camp, flamboyant dessert waiter. He flaunts what he has to offer for the day from his trolley in his foreign accent. We were enticed and mesmerised with his selection ranging from a “fabulous strawberry tart,” to the “to die for pavlova" and his “sensational crepe suzette”. His famous spiel which can be heard echoing round every table is something which gives the restaurant its slight oddity, yet oozes old fashioned charm
As a girl in my mid-twenties, stepping into a restaurant that opened before my time was a true eating experience. Although I just had the one glass of white I definitely overexerted myself with the food. I was still digesting my starter late into the evening, and for me to pass on a Friday night dinner definitely says something else!
Prince Albert Road, St John's Wood, London, NW8 7EN
020 7722 8795