When you are in Bergen you should go to Cornelius Seafood restaurant. To get to Cornelius Sjømatrestaurant you need to take a boat (or a helicopter). How amazing is that! I loved that dinner started with a cruise! Honestly, I don’t think I ever had that before. The boat leaves from Bryggen at the appointed time sharp. The whole trip takes about 30 minutes until you arrive at a small island.
My table was in the cabin next to the restaurant which was built right next to the rock. The atmosphere was intimate and the heater above me made for a cozy feeling. I started the evening with glass of Tattinger champagne and then moved on to Sauvingnon Blanc from France (I gave up on the wine selection of restaurants) .
The first course was an on-site smoked salmon with three kinds of melon (honey, water and cantaloupe) and cucumber, with goat cheese and tomatoes from Stavanger. Accompanied by the restaurant’s version of a gazpacho. The salmon was super soft and melted in your mouth though a bit too salty on its own. Apparently it is prepared according to an old family recipe and the restaurant had to get permission to still smoke it this way. In context with the fruits the salmon was just wonderful.
Scallops were the second course. They only get opened 20 minutes before they get served (believable since the pool with them is right outside). They were on a bed of creamy cauliflower purée with roasted cauliflower, pickled onions and almonds roasted in butter. The taste was excellent. Except for the scallops everything was cold though. Which did not really work for me. I really think that a warm purée and especially a warm nut butter would have elevated the dish.
Third course was baked pollock with spring cabbage, carrot purée, baked turnip and creamy blue mussels sauce. Lovely dish, also piping hot which was in great contrast to the course before. Again though there was a lot of salt in the dish. First I thought it was only the fish but it was also in the turnip. One of the cooks was clearly in love (or maybe they salt so much that you drink more?).
Finally the main course was mink whale with grilled parsnip and bacon vinaigrette, grilled salad hearts, and a potato with onion sauce. Whale will definitely not become my favorite. I find it stringy with a very intense taste. Also the parsnip was dry and bland. The grilled salad and the potato were good and the onion sauce worked well with it. Overall underwhelming but maybe it is really just my dislike. The people next to me polished the whale off. Mink whale btw is the smallest one, so a baby whale died.
Dessert was just dropped off on my table with the words the chef will explain later. No chef came though. It was a small dry muffin with a raspberry on top. Some raspberry cream as well as a coffee mascarpone cream. At least I think so since no one ever said anything. Very rich in taste and not sour enough for Greek yoghurt. so my guess is mascarpone. On top of the coffee cream sat a small piece of rhubarb. The coffee cream was heavenly! Really good! It made a nice ending to a memorable meal!
Throughout the meal service was really attentive and friendly. I enjoyed the idea of a boat trip to reach the restaurant, this made the whole experience very special. Another factor which enhanced the experience was the arrival of Cornelius himself. He stopped by to ask if everything was alright and to talk to guests for a bit. This show of interest really makes you forget small glitches of the kitchen. I left with the feeling of having experienced something unique. Yours, Pollybert
Cornelius Seafood Restaurant
Katlavika 14, 5177 Bjørøyhamn, Norway
Tel: +47 56 33 48 80
Mon-Tue: 18:00-22:30, Wed: 12-22:30, Thu-Sat: 12:00-15:00, 18:00-22:30