Oslo Court 22

Prince Albert Road (corner of Charlbert Street) , London, NW8 7EN

Oslo Court London restaurant French traditional

SquareMeal Review of Oslo Court

“If this was a cruise ship it would be the old P&O Victoria, rather than a modern Cunard liner”, mused one reader after visiting this slice of vintage 1970s nostalgia. Oslo Court is certainly one of a kind – it’s like “time travelling backwards”, but in a good way, with charmingly retro salmon-pink decor, heavily starched linen and tuxedo-clad waiters wheeling around dessert trolleys. Likewise, the menu lists the kind of fare found in five-star hotels of a bygone era, with warm buttered rolls presented alongside coquilles St Jacques or garlicky mushrooms in puff pastry. Generosity is a given when it comes to mains, perhaps a whopping Dover sole meunière or roast duckling with a choice of orange, cherry or apple sauce, while puds of the crêpe Suzette and strawberry flan ilk aren’t exactly featherweight either. It’s all rather hypnotising, and the clientele of local, moneyed retirees would be lost without it.

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6.5

Food & Drink: 6.3

Service: 6.8

Atmosphere: 6.7

Value: 6.4

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Joe N. 22 June 2015

Entering the restaurant was like travelling back in time to the 1970s. The decor and ambiance is a little past its sell by date, but is obviously well liked by its clientele who are obviously regular and well fed. Several large tables were hosting birthday parties for older members, and I have no doubt, for this kind of event, this place is ideal. London has moved on a lot since then, however, and food presentation and levels of discreet service have skipped by unnoticed. Portions are substantial, served piping hot and either very well cooked or in the case of my starter and the general assorted vegetables, were too well cooked for my liking. If you have dentures, however, they could have been ideal and possibly this was the intention. You will not go home wondering what special ingredient made that wonderful dish, or wanting to recreate anything for a dinner party... the chances are, you have cooked it before ( if dietary laws permit ). Tables are pushed very close together, there is almost no room for a pre-dinner drink at the bar while waiting for your late table to be prepared. The Maitre-d' and staff try hard to please, but there is a lack of finesse that more than likely goes unnoticed by the clientele of older regulars. Music is played just loud enough to not hear conversation at adjacent tables yet soft enough to be able to talk to table mates. If this was a cruise ship it would be the old P&O Victoria than a modern Cunard liner. Clientele are more Marbella than St Tropez. Presentation is more Lexus than Aston Martin. Conclusion: Like my old School reports used to say... Oslo Court tries hard, but could do better with a little more imagination and a little less effort.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Paul G. 26 January 2013

With all due respect I have to disagree with parts of Marks review, I always find it to have a fantastic chatty atmosphere, at lunch or supper time, with high quality service , and overall just a delight when compared to the more modern restaurants which in my experience often have uppity staff and comparatively lower standards than Oslo Ct with ref to customer service, yes they're often more up to date with ref to their pretty little dishes, but if you are looking for a plentiful plate, instead of pretty and minuscule modern dishes then this wont be the place for you, I personally feel that it is great to be in such a friendly family run establishment with old fashioned values etiquette and style, rather than a chic poseurs establishment, where half the clients are celeb spotters, and lots more are on someone else's expenses list, it'll be a great shame should the proprietor decide to retire without handing it down to his family to keep this hidden gem going so as to remind people what it was like before brash with cash came to town.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

David M. 05 November 2012

I’ve read and heard so much about Oslo Court. “It’s the best restaurant in the country”, “probably the best in the world”. “London’s best kept secret”. I had to go. Suffice to say the decor was as described elsewhere. The food was not. On arrival we were presented with a plate of “crudities” – chunks of cucumber, carrots and cauliflower, alongside Melba toast and fresh out of the fridge firm butter. We were offered garlic bread – think along the lines of supermarket soft rolls with garlic filling. Shortly afterwards our au d'oeuvres arrived. Onion soup was inoffensive albeit lacking any intensity, a lobster cocktail came with an optional “Marie Rose sauce”; that’s Thousand Island dressing to you. Mains – Dover Sole, cooked flawlessly, Beef Wellington which tasted as good as I remember, sauté potatoes, slightly soggy, as though they’d been standing for a while, perfectly creamy mashed potatoes, and over-cooked beans and carrots. The deserts come off a trolley served by the enthusiastic Neil who promised the best profiteroles I’d ever tasted (they were)”gorgeous lemon meringue pie” (it was – light, fluffy and dreamy) and “a selection of fresh berries” (the strawberries were just on the turn). The “petit fours” consisted of mass produced chocolates and marzipan shapes. Unless you’ve been living in a cave or are completely delusional you won’t consider Oslo Court to be the best restaurant in the world. Or in London. Or in St John’s Wood. It’s basic food, in parts cooked very well and in parts cooked like, well, how they used to cook in the bad old days. The staff are efficient and the maître d’charming. But Le Gavroche it’s not. It’s a place that a certain type of person frequents in order to eat familiar food, with similar, like-minded people. Nothing more.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

GH platinum reviewer 25 June 2011

Overlook the dated salmon pink look in a flat block and you will receive a warm welcome inside. the portions are huge (starters are as big as mains), staff (specially the camp dessert expert) are friendly. it seemed very popular with people celebrating birthdays.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

May H. 21 April 2011

Have been here before but things have gone downhill. The vegetables were overcooked and there is a heavy reliance on mayonnaise based sauces. The worst thing was the service – our dessert was a long time coming but as we had time to wait we said nothing – even though the table next door was served ahead of us in spite of them finishing their main course a long time after us. The staff then seemed to decide they wanted our table in a hurry (although the restaurant was half empty) – a young waiter tried to clear the table around one of our guests who was still eating. I asked him to wait – which he did. An older waiter stormed straight over and cleared all the plates, leaving one guest still eating dessert. This is not the way to treat people in a restaurant – the older waiter should be ashamed of himself.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Ross Y. bronze reviewer 16 November 2010

Good restaurant for good quality food, good service and reasonable prices – it is like stepping back in to a restaurant from the 70's with decor and menu – but where can you get fresh whole globe artichokes for a starter nowadays. Steak au povre is good and the wine list is cheap by London standards – loads of regulars – mainly elderly thou so not a place for a lively young couple but ideaal for taking the parents for a quiet decent meal.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Ilana V. 20 October 2010

The most amazing restaurant in the world without a doubt. I went the other day for a family meal, and it reminded me (not that I needed reminding) why this is my favourite restaurant and why nowhere else even comes close. All the “fancy” restaurants nowadays have ludicrously tiny portions – nouvelle cuisine. Whoever thinks that nouvelle cuisine is ‘fine dining’ needs serious help (maybe they are anorexics?). Oslo Court give you massive portions – which one should expect when going to a classy restaurant, which is wonderful, usually I leave restaurants starving because I have been fed nouvelle cuisine, i.e. there is practically nothing on the plate, but at Oslo Court not only do you get huge portions, but the food is utterly delicious. The whole experience is amazing. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, the food is more than value for money – you get cruidites, dips and crisp bread, followed by a roll, then your starter, then main course with vegetables aplenty and then your desert, served by the fabulous Neil who if you want it, is more than happy to give you a normal sized portion of every desert on the trolley! Please note, I do not say ‘a bit of everything’, because it is not a bit of everything – you literally if you want can get one of every desert on the trolley at normal portion size. The food is so tasty I leave wondering how I'll ever eat any other food again. As for the decor that so many unlightened people mention in the reviews above, who cares?!! Yes it's old fashioned but it's nice old fashioned, it's not like it's shabby. And yes, a lot of the clientele are older, though there are also younger people out on family dinners, but I am 25 and just don't care how old the people are! (I'd be happy to come with a whole load of 25 year olds too!) I think people have forgotten thanks to the onset of modern decorated restaurants with no food (oops sorry ‘nouvelle cusine’), what real restaurants are like. You go for the food to a restaurant, not the decor or the people dining there. And if you get that upset by the other people dining there, you probably shouldn't be out with whoever you came with if they are not interesting enough to keep your attention to save you looking at the other diners. The people who gave this good reviews you clearly have good taste in restaurants and enjoy good food. The others, who gave it bad reviews, you clearly have no idea what good food is, and are miserable, bitter anorexic people.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Raffi M. 26 March 2010

I'm surprised at all the good reviews here. I'm also surprised at Squaremeals own review – has anybody from here been there recently? Went for the first time after hearing 2 friends rave about the food there, and must say that it was one of the worst meals I have had to date. Food is very obviously frozen, that's why everything we ordered was so chewy and bland tasting. And that's why the menu is so long. Sauces are disgusting and nasty, my dog would not go near them. Desserts are average at best. We were 4 people, we all hated every single dish, and when the bill came, we felt like idiots. Venue and colour scheme verge on the ridiculous. Great place for old people and their old dogs. But once they're in a better place, who will go there? Crazy.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

F Toro 17 December 2009

I was amazed at the previous low grades shown for the Oslo Court. I have been going to the Olso Court for close to ten years and I must admit in all of that time – be it with friends, family, clients I have never had a bad experience. It is true that the restaurant is focused on traditional french cooking and the clients might be of an older age group (40+) however the atmosphere is always excellent as can be seen by the long standby lists for tables. The front of house is probably the best I have experienced and I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and eat at some of the finest locations… the food is traditional, fresh (I stress fresh) and plenty of it. plus it has a fantastic wine list…It is a great place to celebrate a birthday or special event…and the desserts are to die for… Anyway… I would stress the other members who did not have a good meal to come with me for a meal so that they can explain what they mean as I for one believe they must have gone to another restaurant in error…

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Gene B. 19 November 2009

Did anybody know that after the age of 60, people lose about 75% of their tastebuds? My wifes' parents came from Florida to visit and insisted we'd go to Oslo Court. I had never even heard of it and now I know why. The location, a pink flat with frilly pink curtains on the ground floor of a grey 30s block, and everything inside the restaurant including the diners, the menu and the produce, might have been original from when the building was actually erected. I though I was dining within a movie scene of Cocoon and waited for Steve Guttenberg to appear. But that wasn't even the bad part – the truly bad part was the inedible food they serve you. A huge wave of nauseating, unpalatable slop was unleashed on us as if there is no fresh produce available on earth. Service was mediocre, nothing to rave about, and dessert…well let's just say there's a trolley and a trolley operator who seems to have failed several West End auditions. Needless to say that my In-laws are banned from chosing any restaurants in the future. My wife agrees with my verdict: Ridiculously revolting.

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