Sushi and techno are not
traditionally associated with one another, but at Oslo -- in the heart of downtown Detroit --
they have been complementing each other for some time now.
January 26 of this year, Oslo -- a sushi bar and restaurant on the main floor and a dance club downstairs -- has
been open at the helm of three owners:Katalina Lemos, a former employee at Oslo, her husband Roberto Lemos and his mother
Lumpai Rossbach.Rossbach, who used to
own the Royal Thai Café in Ferndale for more than 20
years, now serves authentic Thai cuisine at Oslo.
The Thai menu is large, and spans
into other areas of Asian cuisine with dishes like mandarin and almond chicken.Curry lovers will be delighted to know that
there are seven different curries on the menu: red, green, yellow, coconut,
panang, masaman and peanut.Be sure to
check out the nice assortment of soups.The Tom Kaa, a rich chicken broth with lemon grass, coconut
milk, mushroom, tomatoes and cilantro, was a sensation.Definitely a soup packed with flavor.
Noodle dishes like Pad Thai are made
with fresh rice noodles that possess a nice sticky firmness.Speaking of Pad Thai, Oslo has more of a reddish color and
pronounced flavor than the usual Pad Thai,
side of Oslo’s
culinary pursuits is the sushi bar, run by head sushi chef, John Riney.The new owners moved the sushi bar next to
the window where Riney’s talents could be displayed from onlookers on Woodward.
Riney describes himself as a traditionalist of
Japanese cuisine who likes to play around with fusion and improvisational
techniques.While sitting at Oslo one evening at about I visited with a few regular
customers who disregarded the menu and just ordered whatever Riney wanted them
I tried a few of his latest creations, like the Summer Refresh, a rice-less roll
of spicy tuna, sweet egg, avocado and crab wrapped in a cucumber ribbon.The name fit the dish, as the spiciness of
the tuna was nicely balanced by the sweet egg and then the cucumber wrapping
left my palate totally refreshed.
ordered up was the Cherry Blossom, a roll of raw tuna and salmon topped with a slice
of lemon with the rind still attached and flying fish roe.This dish was subtle and
delicate, using the acidity from the lemon to showcase the salty, fat flavor of
the tuna, salmon and flying fish roe.
bar, Katalina reigns supreme, coming up with exotic drink combinations that do
not confine her to just the usual bar ingredients.Like the Stumbelina, in which Thai sweet
basil and cucumber are muddled together then shaken with Grey Goose, Midori and
pineapple juice.Or the bloody mary made
with wasabi instead of horseradish.She
also keeps a stock of good beer around like Hitachino White and Bell’s from Kalamazoo.
Oslo’s success as a restaurant
is a combination of culinary passion and sheer staff presence.What I mean by that is that anytime I’ve been
to Oslo I see the owners there as well as chef Riney, which gives me an
assurance of quality.