Stockholm has been blessed with many new wine bars this years. Two weeks ago we enjoyed a fine range of interesting wines at Folii in Södermalm, and last Friday we tried out newcomer Ambar on Tomtebogatan. In June I also introduced Dryck as a new addition to the Stockholm wine scene. Its great to see such a development taking off on the wine-side. Wine is so popular at the moment, that restaurant owners dare taking some risks with very narrow concepts. Ambar is a good example of brave specialization, they serve a wide range of orange and amber wines with Japanese food. Sounds weird perhaps, but it is actually a lovely and working combination. And the jolly personnel make the visit feel even more special.
Ambar is located deep in the asphalt jungle of Vasastan. For a place that is new, it looks like it has been there for decades; One of those places that says “founded in 1978”. You know, a place where the same people eat their beef steak every week. When stepping in we were greeted with a huge smile. The owner was working that night, and he picked up very fast that we were there for the wine. It was still quite early and the place was empty. We had time to chat and look at the wine list together.
What really stood out was the generosity to open different bottles even though we only wanted a glass. There is no hard by the bottle-policy, except for maybe on Saturdays (since Sundays are closed). We tasted a Cremant de Jura sparkling, two different orange wines from eastern Europe, I had a Georgian non-filtered white and M a Pinot Noir from the same producer. Wine glasses were hand made by a Japanese woman living in Stockholm.
Food was very authentic Japanese: Gyozas, edamame and salty ramen soups. M who has quite a lot of experience from traveling in Japan was impressed and that to me is a seal of approval. The owners wife is actually Japanese, so I think that there was an expert behind the recipes.
All in all everything felt very hand picked based on the owners own passions, it felt a bit like visiting someones living room. Suddenly I also realized that I had met the owner before. He used to work at Woodstockholm and was on duty the last time I was there. There is a picture of him with his colleague in my post from that night. It was such a fun night due to the joyful staff. Happy people are easy to remember.
A restaurant bill is seldom small when you are in Stockholm inner city, but looking at the quality of wines and food, it was very reasonable. Perhaps 500-600kr per head. Ambar is also probably the best place in town to try eastern-European wines; wines that are hard to come by via the monopoly. I will definitely be back.
Ambar winebar: Tomtebogatan 22