Since we were in Stockholm to attend a TBEX conference, several of our meals were either provided or we got our fill for dinner at a party. However, we given that we were in town for a week, we managed to check out some Stockholm restaurants.
Matbaren is a casual, a la carte-style one-Michelin star offshoot to Swedish star chef Mathias Dahlgren’s two-star Masbaren restaurant. We had four dishes (with a bottle of Red Burgundy) between the two of us. Two of these dishes were delicious: butter-fried chanterelles with truffle, 63-degree C soft-boiled egg and spring onion; and seared Swedish pig with creamy corn, almonds and coriander. Two other dishes were less satisfying to at least one of us. Joyce found the steamed bun with deep-fried chicken, avocado and coriander to be mushy and lacking in taste. While Tom liked his batter fried chicken. On the other hand, Tom found the seared hake with hazelnuts, broccoli and lemon to be too lemony and was distracted by a pesto-like taste but Joyce thought the dish was pretty good, except for the broccoli.
Marten Trotzin is a classical Swedish restaurant that adds a contemporary touch to traditional dishes. Although we have had both types of game before, we enjoyed the preparation of each. The roasted fillet of reindeer was served with lingonberry sabayon and port wine sauce with haricots verte and cheese-filled potato cake. The fillet of elk had a calvados sauce with blackberry puree, pan-fried oyster mushrooms, haricots verte and roasted vegetable cake. We enjoyed both dishes (with a preference for the elk) and the bottle of 2012 Chateau de Sequin Bordeaux Superior that we had with them.
Flying Elk is a British-style gastropub from Michelin two-star chef Björn Frantzén. Its limited menu provides some interesting, unpretentious dishes with a Nordic flair. We had two: Cod with baked egg yolk, onions, new potato and dill, with a touch of trout roe and a noisette brown butter and pickled herring sauce. While the dish was fine, we preferred the spring chicken glazed with lemon and garlic accompanied with green beans, English peas and chanterelles with a nettle gremolata and mushroom cream sauce. To accompany the dishes, we had a 2013 red Burgundy.
Sturehof is a French-Swedish bistro that focuses primarily on seafood. Although it is incredibly popular, we weren’t impressed. The Skagen Toast was our favorite dish: but it would be hard to ruin shrimp in mayo with roe on toast. Tom then tried an assortment of herring. While the fried pickled herring wasn’t his taste, that wasn’t their fault, But the herb/garlic and mustard herring were both better at Lisa Elaquist (see below). The main dish, which we shared, had tiny pieces of butter-fried Kalix perch atop crushed new potatoes, peas and cheese with dill mayo. The perch had little taste and the sauce didn’t help. Nor was the service any better. In any case, we did enjoy the wine, a 2014 1er Cru Burgundy from Domaine ds Malander.
Osterlanggatan 17, in Old Town, is where we had two very good dishes as well as a great people watching spot. Tom enjoyed Swedish meatballs with potato puree, gravy and lingonberries. Joyce’s dish was even better: A perfectly cooked tuna steak on a bun with seafood salad that perfectly complemented the burger. While Joyce stayed with her traditional Chablis, Tom had a nice Sitting Bulldog IPA.
Lisa Elmqvist, is a casual restaurant in Ostermalm Square’s Saluhal food hall, where we had two fast, but very tasty dishes: a selection of three herring preparations (marinated with red onions, with mustard sauce and dill, and with garlic and herb mayonnaise sauce); and an open-face sandwich with shrimp and dill in mayonnaise with Kalix Löjrom bleak roe.
Diplomat Hotel, where we ended up with an inexplicable urge for a late evening burger. The one we had at the Diplomat certainly filled that bill with half-pound-plus cheeseburger, crispy fries and a lovely street-side seat overlooking one of city’s many scenic channels. Nor did we have any complaints with our two glasses of a pleasant red Rhone blend.
Bistro Sud is located on Swedenhorsgastan in a lovely section of Sodermalm. The pedestrian street (blocked off by resting concrete lions) which begins at the top of a park that appears to be the city’s lawn bowling capital, is lined with restaurants and bars, all with outside seating. We shared three dishes, along with a bottle of Albarino. We began an interesting sounding, and delicious tasting, Kalix Löjrom bleak roe (a mild roe from small salmon from small fish in the salmon family) served with hashbrowns, sour cream and red onions. We, were, however, disappointed with the over breaded and overcooked softshell crabs with beurre blanc that each of us ordered.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, a nice hotel right next to the train and bus station. It was very similar to Radisson Blue in Stqavenger. Same somewhat scratchy sheets and towels. No washcloth, robe or slippers which one would expect at this price level. But comfortable room and excellent staff. We had a standard room for the first 5 nights and then switched to a superior room And what do you get for paying more? A slight view of the water. Live and learn as it wasn’t worth it for us at least. Our superior room was on floor 9 and we mostly saw a piece of the convention center. The standard room was on floor 12 and the view was frankly better. We didn’t have breakfast there as it was extra. Wifi was good. The business center for printing was free but was in the adjacent business center so it closed down it night. However, the staff was more than willing to help out if you needed something printed at night.