Mathias Dahlgren is one of the most well known chefs in Sweden. I like that he is on top of the food trends and always willing to take some risks and renew himself. When I moved to the city, he had two restaurants: Matbaren (one star) and Matsalen (two stars). They were located next to each other on Standvägen, in the same building as the famous Grand Hotel. Since 2013, the year I moved to Sweden, Dahlgren has opened an awesome all rhye bakery, Green Rabbit; and closed down his two star establishment to open a vegeratian restauran, Rutabaga. Matbaren is a relaxed restaurant, with well prepared mid-size dishes and an awesome wine-list. And I have a special liking to the place as M took me there for my 30th birthday, which was also one of our first dates. One might even say that Matbaren is where I started my journey towards being a foodie.
What do I love about Matbaren? First and foremost, I really like the space. There are many different types of seating for different groups of people. Tables are not very tightly packed together, and the bar seats are only reserved for walk-ins.
Second, the wine list is awesome. It is not cheap, but you are paying for quality. The wines change quite frequently, so they have been smart at the restaurant and used iPads. Its very easy to add and remove wines (when they are out), and also searching becomes more easy. There were also some rare wines by the glass in the Coravin selection. It will cost you, but hey, sometimes its worth it. I was also blown away by the house champagne which was Christophe Mignon Pur Meunieur Brut Nature. Its an awesome 100% Pinot Meunier wine. Really awesome!
The third thing I love about Matbaren is that you can see into the kitchen. M has always been saying that an open kitchen keeps the chefs honest. I don’t know if its that, but I like having the movement and buzz in the background. It’s also if you date starts to bore you, you can have a look at what excitement is going on in the kitchen.
The food was awesome too. Every dish was really well made. It feels like they have upped the game after closing of Matsalen. Perhaps Dahlgren is aiming for another star..