Genki

Genki desu ka?元気ですか?Or Genki for short is the closest thing to “How are you?” in English.  But in Japanese it literally means, “Are you fine/healthy?”

One of the newest  addition to Oslo’s restaurant scene is Genki (元気). A japanese restaurant located at Vika terasse not far from the main street of Oslo Karl Johans gate and the Royal Palace. The restaurants head chef Vladimir Pak and his team mix the long and old nippon traditions smootly with Nordic flavours, giving you a taste voyage through traditional Kaiseki setting in a new and innovative way. They strive to use only Norwegian and Japanese produce that you can enjoy in a modern and pleasant environment.

Clock wise from top left: 1. Rice cracker with lemon and pepper, from the kaiseki menu. 2. Salmon tartar and wakame. 3. Maki with tuna tartar, ox tongue tartar and king crab. 4. Ceviche miso, from the kaiseki menu

At Genki you can lower your shoulders, relax and enjoy the staffs informal interaction with you, were they make sure that you will have and enjoy a wonderful and tasty experience. In Vladimir Pak hands you will surely get a quality meal, he secured a third place in the World Sushi Championship last year.

Kaiseki is a traditional multi course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals, and is analogous to Western haute cuisine. Genki offers three different menus for dinner, a fourteen course kaiseki menu, you can enjoy all fourteen or sample two or three. If you are vegan, you too can enjoy a few dishes too and if you are vegetarian you can enjoy a few more. They also serve a set three coarse meal and maki menu with a vegetarian option.

Price wise this place is decent. The fourteen course meal cost NOK 825,-  about US$ 98,-  or Euro 88,- in today’s currency exchange. You can see two of the dishes in the second picture from the top.

You can also go and enjoy lunch at Genki. The lunch menu is shorter and not so elaborate as the dinner menu, you have the choise of four meals to choose from. The bento box in picture above is from their lunch menu, crispy tonkatsu, ceviche miso with toasted pumpkin seeds, mixed salad with sesame dressing, vegetable maki, fried maki with salmon and steamed rice. As my bento box was placed in front of me, an older petite japanese lady came in the door. I could hear her say that she had just heard about the place and wanted to try it out, she happened to order the same as me. I could not help myself and as she was paying I popped by and asked her if she enjoyed her meal and how she would compare it to a traditional japanese meal. She said it was very tasty and she enjoyed it very much and it was a lot of food, she was not used to so much for lunch.

Vegetarian maki, Genki Vika terasse, Oslo, Analiza Gonzales, Japanese
Vegetarian maki

Genki shares a kitchen with Omakase by Alex Cabiao the newly opened Oslo version of the only Michelin stared sushi restaurant i Norway, Sabi Omakase in Stavanger wich is runned by Alex’s  previous apprentice Roger Askila Joya. The Oslo based Edomae style restaurant as the name suggests will be headed by Alex Cabiao the grand master of sushi here in Norway and among the top sushi chefs in the world. He has trained every renowned sushi chef in this Nordic country.

The team of chef at Genki right to left Jonathan Romano, Alex Cabiao, Mark Subia, Vladimir Pak

A not so known member of this Sushi family is Mark Jayson Subia who also is an apprentice of Alex. He won the Global Sushi Challenge in Oslo in 2015 and represented Norway in Tokyo. Praised by both Alex and Jonathan, they predict that we will hear more from this guy in the future.

I give this place a thumbs up and if you are in Oslo, Norway, I recommend that you come and visit these places.

Scruptious sushi sliders

Instagram is a cornucopia of inspiration and a little while a ago I saw a picture of a sushi burger that looked so delicious and delicate and I thought that it would give it a try. I have used my usual sushi rice recipe and( see further down) and soon found out that small mouth full was the best to make than big burgers that falls a part after a bite or two.

These small sliders are easy to make and I used:

Sushi rice
Salmon
Scallop
Crab
Wakame
Wasabi pearls
Pickled ginger
Nori
Sesame seeds
Soy sauce
A small bowl
 .
.
Start by preparing all your ingredients.
Pack the rice into a small bowl and tip them out and place them ona tray or dish.
Add the toppings and top with a rice pillow
,
On some of the sliders I put a band of nori on to make it easier to pick them up with your fingers.
.

Drizzle some sesame seeds and chopped nori on the sliders. Serve them with pickled ginger and soy sauce. The only thing to do now is to enjoy your meal.

Sushi rice:

400 g sushi rice
750 ml water

Vinegar Mixture:

5 tbsp Rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1.5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Salt

Rinse the rice until the water is clear and let the rice drain in a fine mesh strainer for about one hour.

Boil the rice in a saucepan until the water begins to boil, reduce heat to medium and cover with the lid, let it boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat again at the lowest temperature and let the rice soak for 12-15 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, remove the lid and cover the pan with a tea towel and replace the lid and let it stand for 15 minutes.

While rice is cooking, mix vinegar mixture and boil gently until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved remove it from the heat and allow mixture to cool.

Spread rice in a non metallic tray with a wooden spoon. Run the wooden spoon through the rice to separate the grains and slowly add the vinegar mixture, the rice should me a little moist and not wet.

Fan the rice with a fan or with a piece of cardboard until the rice reaches room temperature.

Cover the rice with a clean towel until ready to use. This rice keeps a about a day.