Once seated outside under a canopy of faux-ivy, a waiter donned in bright red and black ensemble (presumably dressed to provide guests with a “genuine European experience”) will hand you the menu. We were pleasantly surprised at the variety afforded by the menu: from a selection of starters and soups, to several different types of chicken, pastas, and a choice of seafood. The dessert menu is admittedly limited, but as a lactose-sensitive person without much of a sweet tooth, this was not too much of a problem for me.
We ordered the Trio Pasta – an affordable dish with three different types of pasta and three individual sauces (creamy white sauce, spinach sauce and tomato sauce) – and finished off with shots of espresso. While the spinach sauce could have done with some more salt and seasoning, the other two options were sufficiently appetizing.
“We have a 60 to 70 percent rotation rate”, said the manager at Bryggen. “Since this is a new restaurant, it took a few months to get ourselves off the ground, but I would say business is going very well right now.” When asked what sets the restaurant apart from others, he responded animatedly, “Well, two things. Bryggen is the first restaurant that provides genuine European cuisine; you can see that for yourself in the menu. Our selection of seafood is unparalleled; it is what our recurrent customers always choose to order. The other thing is our ambiance. We have worked tirelessly to create an unforgettable dining experience for our customers, and try to treat them with as much warmth and grace as possible.”
If I were to put my finger on a particular aspect of the overall experience that made it stand out, or that would prompt me to return to the restaurant, it would be the wonderful hospitality of the staff. They will greet you with a smile, inform you of the specials, and converse with you in a warm, friendly manner, without sounding intrusive or overly familiar. At Bryggen, they have managed to create a distinct experience that stands out from the large variety of restaurants surrounding it.
In a nutshell, while there is room for improvement in some of the food items, the setting, the hospitable nature of the waiters, and the variety offered by the menu – all within a decent price range – make the Bryggen experience highly recommendable.
Images contributed by Yumna Shaukat and taken from the ‘Bryggen’ Facebook page
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