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Norway might be the last place on earth you would consider visiting for Thai food, given its more famous for cod roe than Pad Thai. But there’s more connecting Thai and Norwegian food than divides it, from using fresh ingredients to fermenting as a means of preservation when fresh isn’t available.
It’s in this overlap that Plah Restaurant exists, as head chef Terje Ommundsen uses fresh Norwegian produce blended with Thai ingredients to create Thai flavors that are so exceptional, the restaurant has received a Thai Select Signature award.
This certification, granted by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand, guarantees that the food, service, and restaurant are all authentic and above excellent.
So how did the best Thai restaurant in Norway come to be? We’re trying Plah Restaurant:
Thai Select Signature Restaurant
Plah Restaurant’s credo is “progressive Thai,” with a tasting menu that takes you on a journey through Thailand while using seasonal, local ingredients. This is New-Nordic dining with a spicy kick.
“Thai food is all about the freshness of the ingredients, the balance between salt, sweet, sour and bitter, the people who make it, and the people who enjoy it.” Says Terje Ommundsen, the head chef at Plah, who spent time in Thailand learning how to cook authentic food after experiencing “modern Thai” for the first time.
During his time in Thailand, he worked in a kitchen in Chiang Mai where he learned how to make the basics of Thai cuisine. His instructor, an older woman who spoke no English, communicated to him through food and action alone. The result was an intuitive understanding of Thai food and recipes that called for measurements like a “Thai bowl” or a “Thai teaspoon”. Upon his return to Norway, Ommundsen immediately bought these Thai utensils so he could continue in this tradition.
The food beats with a Thai heart, but Ommundsen takes the spirit of Thai food culture and uses them as guiding principles: food should be fresh and food should be for everyone.
Instead of replicating dishes exactly, Plah makes use of Norway’s freshest ingredients, often reworking traditional dishes to include seasonal vegetables or locally caught fish. Their signature dish, for example, is a curry from Southern Thailand that’s traditionally prepared using horseshoe crab. Plah uses fresh Norwegian crayfish, choosing to grill it instead for a more intense flavor.
After 17 years in “the Thai business,” Ommundsen has developed a unique kitchen. Ancient Thai techniques and kitchen utensils are mixed with modern European ones, just as traditional Thai recipes are blended with newer. The result is a unique combination of fresh Norwegian produce and authentic Thai tastes.
The restaurant offers a tasting menu or a smaller 4-course menu, both with wine pairings selected by the restaurant’s knowledgeable sommeliers.
Gaeng kua som goong sapparoth sai – yellow curry with crayfish and pineapple powder
Wednesday – Saturday: first reservation from 6pm
Eat at Plah Restaurant