Restaurant Måltid in Kristiansand closed their doors permanently last year. A few months later they were included in the Michelin guide as the first ever restaurant from the South of Norway. Alas, it was too late, but it showed us that the Michelin inspectors had paid Kristiansand a visit at least! Running a high-end eatery is a great challenge. You need not only dedicated managers, talented chefs and a hardworking staff, but also guests who are passionate about great dining experiences. Luckily, the foodies of Kristiansand can still experience the exceptional cooking of Danish head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen. Restaurant Måltid is being kept alive, doing monthly pop-ups at the 500-year-old farm Boen Gård – a 20 minutes drive outside the city.

The main house of Boen Gård
The main house of Boen Gård

The land of Boen Gård used to be the King’s property until the 1600s, before it was sold to a nobleman. The current main building was erected in the 1800s. For many years the river that runs past was a popular spot for salmon fishing by wealthy English lords, and the manor was used by the upper class in Kristiansand as a summer estate. The main building has been restored and decorated by the current owners. The house is kept in the same style as the year it was built, 1813, while the interior represents the building’s 200-year-old history with a focus on the early 1900s. The owners wants to make the farm available to the general public – a project that has been going on since 2012. Restaurant Måltid has done weddings and other events here since then.

Head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen
Head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen

If you live in Kristiansand Boen Gård offer bus transportation back and forth to the pop-up restaurant. At the farm there’s also two apartments, which can host a total of eight people, for those who travel from afar. The concept at the Måltid pop-up is that you’re placed together with other random people, with six to eight diners around each table. Each dish is brought out from the kitchen at the same time to everyone. This is a very social way to enjoy a meal. After the maitre d’ Dagfinn Galdal virtually declared that the meaning of life is to drink Champagne, service started. From the kitchen, Ellitsgaard Pedersen and his team pushed out one eye-catching dish after another, while Galdal and the wait staff plated most of the sauces at the table.

Burnt flatbread with an emulsion of smoked haddock, with potato and chives
Burnt flatbread with an emulsion of smoked haddock, with potato and chives

The signature of restaurant Måltid should be recognizable for anyone who has visited the place, yet it seems they have adapted well to the surroundings of a centuries-old farm. Mostly local and seasonal ingredients were used, but in a highly creative manner. We got blue-colored quail eggs, malt tortillas with dried cod floss, and an upgraded and modernized cabbage roll with langoustine to name a few. Halfway into the meal we got the “surprise” dish which Galdal had advertised well: a tortilla with the Norwegian classic “smalahove” – lamb’s head. The produce and style of the new Nordic cuisine was indeed very visible with a heavy use of different seaweeds, vegetables, herbs and berries and techniques like fermentation, dehydrating and pickling.

Potato tortillas with «smalahove» lamb’s head, pickled turnip puree, onion cress and pine needle powder
Potato tortillas with «smalahove» lamb’s head, pickled turnip puree, onion cress and pine needle powder
Kid with dehydrated carrots, spinach and watercress sauce and dried seaweed with flavor of truffle
Kid with dehydrated carrots, spinach and watercress sauce and dried seaweed with flavor of truffle

An extraordinary meal in a spectacular location, that is what the pop-up by restaurant Måltid at Boen Gård truly is. Judging from the reactions of everyone around the table, the dinner was a great success. Hopefully the residents of Kristiansand will embrace it and pay the centuries-year-old farm a visit. This restaurant has the potential to become a destination for tourists and food travellers alike. Do you want to read more about Måltid and Boen Gård? Check Enestående Mat and Foodie Stories.

The interior design of Boen Gård
The interior design of Boen Gård
The bewitched trees in the garden of Boen Gård
The bewitched trees in the garden of Boen Gård
All images in this post by Anders Husa.