Helsinki’s Hidden Pearl – Restaurant Grön

I would never have booked a table Grön, if a wine interested friend had not tipped me off. Regardless of its central location, its kind of unnoticeable; and the name somehow suggests that the place would be just for vegetarians (its not). Its one of these small bistro-types that don’t look like much from the outside, but there is heaven inside for those who know it. Continue reading “Helsinki’s Hidden Pearl – Restaurant Grön”

Customer Obsession at Restaurant Jord

Few past years in Stockholm, I have witnessed the up-rise of shopping mall-dining. There has been a general cleanup off course, and the old grease-pit style food courts are but a memory now. New, produce focused fast food chains and celebrity chefs have come in to grab the attention. Kortteli, the new, luxury food court on top of the Kamppi mall is the first attempt to pimp-up the mall dining scene in Finland (as far as I know). The fifth floor of Kamppi ticks off all boxes: specialty coffee – check, vegan offering – check, awesome brunch – check, and last but not least celebrity chef – check. Restaurant Jord, hidden in the back of the food court, is the little sister of Michelin-starred Ask, one of Helsinki’s most talked-about fine dining restaurants.  Continue reading “Customer Obsession at Restaurant Jord”

Riding the Waves of the Low-alcohol Trend

There is a particular trend in Sweden that I am very happy about at the moment, that is the increasing popularity of low- or non-alcoholic beer ans other drinks. It is just great opening a beer after dinner on a normal weekday evening. A luxury that I have before, as a mother of a toddler, reserved only for weekends. Its also great that these drinks are high quality and that there are several different to choose from. We have a full shelf of colorful bottles in fridge. I am beyond the point that I would open a beer just for the alcohol content. We have always said with M, that we would be so happy if there were more good quality non-alcoholic wine, so that we would be able to enjoy our hobby even more. Continue reading “Riding the Waves of the Low-alcohol Trend”

Pop-up Restaurant by Koka

I love our wine cellar Magnusson Fine Wines. It is the kind of friendly place, where people love wine, but you do not feel like you should know the name of every village in the German appellation of Alsace. People chat with each other and are generous with recommendations. The owner, Johan Magnusson, arranges wine trips and pop-up dinner by talked-about restaurant sin Sweden. There is always something happening at the cellar. We feel we get quite good value for the money we have invested in having a space for our wines there. Continue reading “Pop-up Restaurant by Koka”

Amsterdams Finest – Restaurant Choux

Finally its time to start unraveling our great food trip to Amsterdam, and I would like to start with the finest: Restaurant Choux. The word choux is French and it means cabbage. It gives a little hint on the theme, Choux is what one might call vegetable forward. There is meat on the menu, but it does not play the leading role. Choux also houses an awesome selection of nature wines. Continue reading “Amsterdams Finest – Restaurant Choux”

The Best Fast Food in Town

We are an organized family: It is not often we wonder out to eat without a reservation or a clear thought on where we will be eating. Even if we are talking street kitchen, we check the location and timetable of the food truck in advance (streetkak.se is by the way a great place to locate your fast food on the run). However, there are a few places we might just pop into unannounced: Teatern in Skanstull and K25 on Kungsgatan in the Stockholm center.

Teatern is a somewhat new food court in a mall called Ringen in the hipster part of town, Södermalm. The fun thing about Teatern is that several celebrity chefs have started simple fast food kiosks there. For example Magnus Nilsson, who owns a two star restaurant in the north of Sweden, Fäviken Magasinet, has a hot dog stand Korvkiosken. The food court houses also a noodle stad by the owners of Adam & Albin Matstudio as well as Chaos by one-star chef Stefano Catenacci (Operakällaren). Sounds exclusive, but it isn’t. It’s really fast food for everyone at very affordable prices. A hot dog from Magnus Nilsson costs less than 3 euros (25kr). The soft ice creams from Korvkiosken are also great. The milk they use is from cows that are allowed to roam around freely. I don’t know how much that contributes to the taste, but at least the produce is super fresh, so the ice cream comes out great.

Teatern is also open in the evenings, and I have been meaning to go there for a quick dinner and drink some time. Quite many places also serve interesting wines (also nature wines) and craft beer. The ambiance is cozy (as cozy as a food court can get) and the clientele are there to relax.

My other favorite is K25 on Kungsgatan in the center of Stockholm. The food court has cuisine from around the world: Sushi, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Malaysian etc. We tried pho-style noodles from a new place called JimLim (by Tomi Björks Farang). The problem with K25 is that it gets very full during lunchtime. Many (including us) come with children and prams, so the narrow space gets quite cramped. Teatern is nice and round, so there is much more air. I would recommend going to K25 when it’s not lunch-rush.

xx Soile

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Jim Lim Asian fast food at K25 food court
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Kungsgatan
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K25 food court on Kungsgatan 25
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Korvkiosk is owned by celebrity chef Magnus Nilsson (Fäviken)
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Small fingers reaching for fries
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Galinas pizza
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Welcome to the food court
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Soft ice creams from Korvkiosken
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Bahn mi
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Adam & Albin noodles

At the Bakficka – Tyge & Sessil

In Sweden, a bakficka (back-pocket) is usually a small simple restaurant associated to a known, often fancy, restaurant. Many Michelin restaurants have bakfickas. It is a way for celebrity chefs to serve simple food for more reasonable prices. The back-pocket is always close to its mother, sometimes even sharing a kitchen and staff; they also always leave some space for walk-in customers. I love back-pockets. They are quite good value for money, and many of them have high ambitions with wine. Tyge & Sessil is the backficka of one-starred restaurant Ekstedt (where food is prepared on an open fire) located in Stockholms Östermalm and serving mainly ecological and nature wines from small producers.  Continue reading “At the Bakficka – Tyge & Sessil”

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants

Yeah! The list is out again – Asia’s 50 best restaurants is an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of almost 1,000 international restaurant industry experts. This is our bible when we plan which restaurants to visit on our trips to Asia. It has seldom let us down, except once in Singapore (Jaan), and it covers restaurants in cities that are not included in Guide Michelin. Next stop for us will be Hong Kong, so let the browsing begin. But fist, a quick look o who is the the top 10 this time. Continue reading “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”

Three Things I love about Matbaren

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.  Continue reading “Three Things I love about Matbaren”

Cheap and Chik Café Nizza

The topic is a bit misleading – eating out in Stockholm is never cheap. Chik on the other hand… anyway, relatively speaking, Café Nizza is a very price worthy dining experience in Stockholm. You get a cozy bistro experience with four courses plus amouse bouche and petit fours for 500kr. The food is not innovative but very well prepared and tasty, and the wine list is awesome. Continue reading “Cheap and Chik Café Nizza”