Oslo Hackney

· Monday August 11, 2014

Nestled in the depths of East London in the former Hackney Central train station, Oslo is a bar, restaurant, nightclub and live music venue, and despite all the multi-tasking, it manages to perfect all four pursuits with a certain sort of ingenious charm.

The Scandinavian-inspired space plays up to its former life as an 1870s railway station, boasting grand high ceilings, exposed original brickwork and beautifully arched Victorian windows. The interior is based on the whimsical theme of Norwegian folklore resulting in an incredibly creative and well-considered interior design. Simple, rustic materials make up the tables and chairs, towering iron wine racks offer a subtle reminder of the carefully-picked wine list, and cloth-laden hanging lamps provide a theatrical centrepiece to the warehouse-style bar.

Attention to detail is a big part of Oslo's charm - their menus are illustrated by Jon Powell and are kept satisfyingly simple. With a small selection of wine, beers and ales on the drinks menu, the food is a little more inventive. Burgers are stacked high and include pulled pork and tempura soft shell crab where the salads offer a lighter option. It is the Smörgåsbords (Scandinavian 'buffets') however that really show off the chef's Norwegian culinary flair.