Posts for the 'Sweden' Category


Mathias Dahlgren – Stockholm, Sweden

Crisps with truffles

Crisps with truffles

I have a thing for Swedish chefs. When I was little, my favourite character on The Muppet Show was ‘The Swedish Chef’. For whatever reason, I found the combination of his sing-song voice, his incoherent chanting and his hairy eyebrows rather endearing. My sister could never understand it – he only talked gibberish after all – but oh how I loved him so!

To another famous Swedish Chef, Mathias Dahlgren, who is something of a celebrity in this part of the world. His namesake fine dining restaurant (Mathias Dahlgren Matsalen) at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm bears two Michelin stars and is ranked number 50 in this year’s San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants List. His restaurant is well known for his ‘organic and natural approach’ which he couples with themes drawn from memories of his childhood. There is also a casual eating area adjacent to the fine dining room called Matbaren which is run out of a separate kitchen.

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Oaxen Krog – Oaxen, Sweden

Prince Van Orangien

Prince Van Orangien

My visit to Sweden was the part of my two month itinerary which I have been most excited about. You see, I was meeting my sister here. As she lives in Oz, we don’t get to see each other very often. Therefore any time we have together is extremely precious.

She is a foodie too (must be in the genes), and it didn’t take long to convince her that we ought to try out some nice restaurants. First on the list was Oaxen Krog, a restaurant which made it to number 32 in the 2009 San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants Awards. The restaurant is a collaborative effort between the husband and wife team of Magnus Ek and Agneta Green, and is well known for its use of biodynamic local produce and traditional methods of curing, smoking and preserving. The restaurant does not have any Michelin stars, and when I chatted to Agneta at the end of my meal, she told me that Michelin has visited the restaurant, but that their policy in Scandinavia is to not award stars to restaurants which are more than a 30 minute taxi ride from the major cities.

The couple opened the restaurant about 15 years, but it wasn’t until last year when they bought a boat called Prince Van Orangien which they converted to provide accommodation to their guests. The boat does not have twin rooms, just doubles, which meant that the consequence of an overnight stay was that I would have to share a bed with my sister. I love her dearly, but jeez, we’re hardly honeymoon lovers. More like an old married couple who fight over the duvet in the middle of the night.

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