Perfect pairing of food and music at Piknik i Parken

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This year marks ten years since Piknik i Parken (PiP) opened to music-loving, sweaty and summer-ready festival audiences for the very first time. It will be celebrated with a heavy music programme, including international big names such as Massive Attack, L’Impératrice and Stormzy and local Subjekt favorites such as Metteson, HILLARI and Ari Bajgora. Last but not least – lots of great food! Restaurant and food mogul Mathias Steinbru provides the best of the summer pairing of music and food.

– A music festival is not complete without really good festival food, says Steinbru between mouthfuls of kumage, fuqi feipian, at Szechuan Chengdu. The Chinese restaurant favorite is a stone’s throw from the park, which will soon be filled with music, food and festive people.

– Take it easy, I’m not going to scare festival-goers away with offal on the menu, that is. Not this time, at least, promises Steinbru.

The former food reviewer helped start PiP together with festival manager Peer Osmundsvaag back in 2014. At the time, Steinbru insisted on serving food as you would at a picnic. It was a buffet. And it was a disaster.

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– A bad idea. Never again.

Steinbru keeps his word. This year (as in previous years) the buffet has been replaced by food stalls. Fair enough, there is nothing revolutionary about it, but after all it is the inside that counts. The stalls will be filled with hand-picked favorites from Steinbru themselves, and the selection is short-distance – from Sofienbergparken to Torshov and Tøyen. The selection consists of well-known and beloved places, but also those many of us have forgotten to take time for in the myriad of tips for trendy places on social media.

Mathias Steinbru has a background in the culture and nightlife industry, but is best known as a restaurant reviewer and food columnist for, among others, VG/Godt.no and Dagens Næringsliv/D2. (Photo: Mathias Steinbru.)

Pairing at Picnic in the Park

It’s easy to get lost in the jungle of options. That is why we often turn to the experts. What goes best with what? Here comes this year’s recommendation pairing on PiP which ensures the best overall experience:

Cold curry was the favorite dish when Subjekt’s restaurant reviewer checked out Betong in Oslobukta. (Photo: Johanna Holt Kleive.)

1 Massive Attack: “Cold curry straight in the beak”

The guys from Bristol apparently come to Oslo and PiP by train. So the trio are not only legendary, but also green. In that sense, we save ourselves the temptation to pair Massive Attack with bangers and mash and a cider (the latter is Bristol’s specialty). Maybe not a meat puck either, we owe it to them to keep their footprint down. Should you get a seat in the middle the pit, go for a cold curry. You can swallow it in no time without getting third-degree burns on your palate. Great atmosphere. Then all that remains is a tray of pints, before you can sneak into the crowd and feel the nostalgia rush through your body.

Where: Lille Betong (little sister of Betong) and Kafeteria August at Picnic in the Park 13.–15. June.

Döner Bros is known for Oslo’s best kebabs, and has won taste tests in Dagbladet, Aftenposten and “Kebab of the year” at Wolt. (Photo: Helge Meisal/PiP.)

2 Stormzy: “Pre-show shawarma”

If you want to keep up with Stormzy’s lung capacity, you can follow his exercise and food regime – he shares it on Tiktok. It is otherwise sad stuff, perhaps not what one would most like from festival fodder, but the regime has borne fruit, there is no doubt about that. Stormzy started in the underground scene, and is now a headliner at festivals all over the world. You can perhaps thank willpower for that, not the green smoothie. The energy and endurance probably comes from heavy lifting and good routines. Stormzy is a bit like a shawarma: good at any time of the day, strong and big, but also soft on the inside. Well-balanced type, a favorite at festivals.

Where: Döner Bros at Picnic in the Park 13.–15. June.

The oyster bar Eff Eff at Fredensborg has among others Lars Vaular and the founders of the legendary restaurant Bass on the ownership side, including Torstein Voksø Eek, who launched the “Torstein’s trattoria” concept during the pandemic. (Photo: Eff Eff.)

3 L’Impératrice: “Huîtres au naturel”

That’s right, it will be an oyster bar, or rather: a pasta and oyster bar. Torstein’s trattoria (check him out on Instagram, he appears when you least expect it and makes gorgeous, delicious things) and Eff Eff have teamed up. The result is oyster paste.

What could be better than slurping down a couple of shells with home-made pasta, while the six-headed disco monster L’Impératrice gets ready for battle? Not only are oysters an aphrodisiac, they also contain a good amount of protein and vitamin D, which strengthens the skeleton. And you need that, because you’re going to dance here. In the crowd, not while sitting on the grass. This we know: weed is for nerds and those who are afraid of girls and wish they were boys (Peur des filles). Come onget your ass in gear, dance!

Where: Torstein’s trattoria and Eff Eff at Piknik i Parken 13.–15. June.

Erik Solbakken, Morten Ramm, Pia Nordskaug, Lars Berrum, Jan Robin Ektvedt and Eivind Vallesverd are behind Dumpling AS in Thorvald Meyers gate. (Photo: Dumpling AS.)

4 Ari Bajgora: “4 dumplings in one whip”

“Shit, I’ve lifted up my neighborhood,” raps Ari Bajgora in the fairly recent song “Situation”. Eight years after Jenny Skavlan mocked the rapper in Sofienbergparken, Thorvald Meyer’s son is back at home. Perhaps he should also take credit for the promise to Dumpling AS at the top of Thorvald Meyers gate, the new IT site that has always been full of swag, and lots of fat comedians on the owner’s side?

Dumpling AS is so trendy that Subjekts reviews the dumpling with the label caricatured trendy. It should also be said that the same reviewer rolled a two on the dice, and went for the headline: “Here I was served some of the worst I have ever tasted”. Ouch. Stupid dumpling, then.

Dumpling AS apparently uses a machine from Taiwan to be able to mass produce dumplings in a short time. While Subjekt’s reviewer wails for real craftsmanship, perhaps Bajgora would just call them solution-oriented. On Spotify, by the way, it only says this about the artist: “There’s no point in playing it up!” Ari Bajgora + Dumplings AS can’t actually be wrong, they both prepare Grünerløkka, and deliver on an assembly line.

Where: Dumpling AS at Piknik i Parken 13.–15. June.

Doug’s Hamburger was started by Anette Bjelland and Nud Dudhia, known from Breddos Tacos and Løkka Deli. The city’s juiciest smashburgers can be found in Mathallen at Vulkan, at Aker Brygge and from 13.-15. June also at Picnic in the Park! (Photo: Doug’s Hamburger.)

5 Mari Boine: “Burger & Boine”

Nothing beats a well-made burger. And nothing beats the mesmerizingly good Mari Boine. Here we are to be taken to higher powers, and in order to witness a real display of power, we must be fed with proper power food. A burger in the fist and Boine on stage can’t get any better. It’s bold, magical – and in all its simplicity perfect.

Where: Doug’s Hamburgers at Picnic in the Park 13.–15. June.

After all, not much is needed. It is as Steinbru himself puts it:

– We just want people to hang out and eat. Together. Nothing is better than that.

Picnic in the Park is organized in Sofienbergparken in Oslo from 13 to 15 June. Check out the entire program at pipfest.no and buy tickets before it’s too late!


The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Perfect pairing food music Piknik Parken

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