Between our joint trip to Helsinki and Cindy's sneaky side-trip to Denmark, the last couple of weeks of May didn't turn out to be massively exciting food-wise in Stockholm (at least until the 28th!). Cindy made sure she got to sample Sweden's own mock-meat invention, Oumph! (pictured below). It's a soy-based product with a pretty impressive range - we had the thyme and garlic version, stir-fried to serve alongside a quinoa salad. It's a decent attempt - a chicken-y texture and some nice flavours make this a rare mock-meat you can eat without added sauce. Good job Sweden.
We tried to drop in to Herman's to show Cindy the view one Friday night, but the line was too long and we gave up. With Cindy's time in Stockholm fast running out, we wound up heading back on one of the few non-sunny evenings we've had here lately, which slightly dampens the experience.
The buffet (120kr/$20.05 per person) remains a solid dinner option in any weather, with quite a few variations from my earlier visit. The fresh bread and associated bean and avocado dips were probably my highlight, but there was plenty to enjoy.
Cindy convinced me that we should sample from the dessert cabinet, which has a very attractive array of options. She settled on the apple pie (50kr/$8.35) which was an excellent choice, having buttery pastry and an excellent filling. Her huge, cream-topped hot chocolate was vegan too! The quality felt like a step up from the buffet-style savoury dishes, so it might be wise to ease off a bit on the savoury plates (if you can restrain yourself) and leave room for some sweets.
Next up came the festival of Michael, starting with my birthday dinner at home on Friday night, and continuing with brunch at Louie Louie in our neighbourhood. The brunch menu kicks off at 11am, and things were pretty quiet when we arrived bang on time (it got busier by the time we finished at around midday).
The basic brunch plate is on the left below: sausage, scrambled eggs, chickpea salad, a parmesan and chilli scone, sun-dried tomato mayonaisse, roasted pumpkin, fig jam, a mango-orange smoothie and unlimited coffee refills, all for 150kr ($25). We decided to split a side of the waffles with berries and cream (30kr/$5 extra). It's a massive meal, working a very brown/yellow colour palette. I was really impressed by the 'chorizo', and enjoyed all the trimmings that came along with them. The waffle was mercifully thin and added the appropriately celebratory touch to start my birthday right.
We spent the day wandering around the city and then taking a nap to prepare for our late dinner at Fotografiska, a photography museum with a fancy restaurant overlooking the water. We strolled through the exhibitions and still had time to squeeze in a drink in the neighbouring bar.
The big windows really show off the restaurant's incredible view - we were lucky enough to get shuffled to a window seat early in our meal meaning we spent most of the time gawping out the window as the sun slowly went down (see also the pic at the top of the post).
The restaurant has a real buzz (at least on a Saturday night), and almost all of the tables were full when we turned up at 8:45. The exposed beams and open kitchen are typically on trend, but it's really all about the windows and the view.
I ordered the cocktail of the day, a carrot and citrus based drink with gin and some other kind of booze involved (142kr/$23.70). It came out alongside some wonderful rye bread, served with pickled Swedish turnip, onion mayo and butter. I happily accepted a second round when they offered.
The menu proper has a strong vegetable focus, with four cold and four hot dishes, all with vegetables as their main component, but some with non-vego add-ons (all can be done vegetarian). The staff suggested four dishes each (they're 125kr/$20.90 each), so we ordered 6 of the 8 possible dishes and saved room for dessert.
The first four were: asparagus with fennel hollandaise and tarragon (above left), potatoes in browned butter with cold smoked sour cream and tapioca (replacing the roe, above right), spring weeds with a herb marinated egg and a light broth (below left), and ramson pasta with fennel (below right). All four were fantastic - I think the asparagus and the potato were the stars of the first round, but there were no weak links.
The final two savouries were salt-baked beetroot with a smoky potato puree (below left) and a baked yellow onion with mushrooms, Jerusalem artichoke and truffle (below right). These two took things to even higher levels - managing somehow to be surprising and comforting at the same time.
We had to see whether the desserts (again 125kr/$20.90 each) could possibly measure up to the savouries, splitting a Jerusalem artichoke pizza with caramel and elderflower...
... and a serve of the birch ice-cream, with sorrel ice, meringue and liqourice.
Again, these were inventive and delicious - the kitchen at Fotografiska churns out some brilliantly thoughtful creations.
We had friendly and efficient service - there was a screw up with my coffee, which they promptly rectified and then didn't charge for - and the setting is to die for, but the food managed to outdo them both. It's not obvious how well they'd manage vegan food, although the website is very clear that they're happy to cater for any requirements given enough notice, so it would be well worth a try. The food we had was so vegetable-focussed and creative, that it seems likely they'd come up with something worthwhile. I'm really glad we chose Fotografiska for our one properly fancy meal in Stockholm - it's a total winner.
This was our last meal together before Cindy set off home to Melbourne. I might make one more round-up of Stockholm eats before I, too, head home.