Look for a restaurant with dogs and children, and you'll always find the place where the locals eat. The fish market area in Kristiansand, Norway, offers passing tourists an enticing choice of half a dozen restaurants clustered around the port, all of them as similar in appearance as their menus. But Pieder Ro stood out as the most Norwegian - a restaurant where the food is as authentic as its clientele - thanks to the presence of children and dogs. Also: you have to take seriously any restaurant that stocks almost a hundred different brands of Acquavite.
Once seated, the restaurant's fast wi-fi signal allowed us to access TripAdvisor and seek the advice of other contributors who had eaten here and recorded their menu choices. We can only reiterate their recommendation of the mussels, or the shrimp and smoked salmon salad. The moules were the best I have eaten since Dieppe in 1969, in a restaurant long since gone, along with my memory of its name.
We ate outside in the warm, late May sunshine but if you had to eat inside, it would be no hardship even on a sunny day. The bar at the end of the restaurant consists of a full-length sailing boat: a charming room, staffed by welcoming staff who, of course, like everyone in Norway, speak fluent English.
We had seventy minutes at Pieder Ro, before returning on time to our Fred Olsen cruise ship, the Balmoral. The bill, with wine and two delicious local Acquavites, added up to almost a pound a minute but I would happily have added another twenty minutes to the bill for the pleasure of being there.
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