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Thursday 28 April 2011

Best Restaurant in Stockholm by WesternTaste.com



Matsalen by Sweden’s top celebrity chef Mathias Dahlgren at Grand Hotel was granted the award "Best Restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden" by Western Taste. The food is absolutely amazing with tremendous flavours and creative cooking. It received its award for impeccable service, amazing professional staff, great flavours and innovative cooking and great wine list that goes perfectly with its food. Western Taste has also granted Matsalen with the 2 star "Cru Beverage Award" for great food and wine pairing skills and great variety of selections that can be perfectly matched with its dishes.

Some say that when entering Matsalen it is like entering a gastronomic theatre, we would say that it is more like a gastronomic opera. Everything is beautiful, sophisticated and experimental. I can recommend taking the tasting menu if you have difficulty choosing dishes. It will give you a good idea how the restaurant are and what the chef is trying to create.

Matsalen by Mathias Dahlgren at Grand Hotel will always be recommended by Western Taste and is the best restaurant in Stockholm 2010.

Grand hôtel/Bolinderska palatset, S Blasieholmshamen 6.
08-679 35 84
Tasting Menu 5 course, 1295 SEK
Tasting Menu 8 course, 1650 SEK

Written by Alexander Yü













Tuesday 26 April 2011

Top 10 Favourite Restaurants in Stockholm, Sweden

1. Matsalen (Mathias Dahlgren, Grand Hotel) **


The best restaurant in Stockholm that Western Taste ever tried. The name of the restaurant is Matsalen run by Mathias Dahlgren in Swedens best hotel; Grand Hotel. This restaurant gives you 2 Micheline stars and is granted Western Taste 2 star “Cru Beverage Award” for an excellent wine list with good variety and selections that can be paired for multiple occasions and multiple gastronomic food experiences.

You can feel the chef and his passion for traditional Swedish food that has been taken to another level with modern and innovative cooking. His combination of flavors is extraordinary and he brings the Swedish restaurant business to a higher competitiveness. We like it, we enjoy it and we definitely love it.


2. F12 (Melker Andersson, F12 Group) ***


Well, I must say that this restaurant gives you absolute perfection. Everything feels exact, like a mathematic formula or scientific creation, at F12, you will not be disappointed. Everything is coordinately calculated, from the staff to the presentation and food, even the interior feels calculated and exact. Somehow this is also a downturn because food is about passion and “mostly” not mathematics. However do not get me wrong here; I absolutely adore F12 and what Melker has accomplished in Stockholm. I have never been given a better restaurant service and I still feel that the food is amazingly good. The flavors and combinations are beyond words however I sort of miss the passion and love for food and wine. Although the wine list is the best I have seen in Stockholm and is why it has been given 3 star “Grand Beverage Award” by Western Taste.

F12 is a restaurant I will always look back on and definitely go back to. It will always be in my list of recommendations.


3. Frantzén/Lindeberg (Björn Frantzén, Daniel Lindberg) **












In 2011 Frantzén/Lindeberg was named “restaurant of the year” by the prestigious White Guide and ranked 57 on ”The S.Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurants 2011”. It also sports two Michelin stars!

The restaurant is located in historic Old Town and gastronomy buffs from Stockholm and beyond are fighting over the tables. Eating here is a sensory experience with a touch of humor. Chefs Björn Frantzén and Daniel Lindeberg serves up fresh ingredients from the restaurant's own garden to create culinary artistry with intriguing surprises such as the dessert "burger" where the bun is a macaroon, the burger is made of chocolate and the lettuce is a slice of mint. The surprises continue with the sommelier-selected drink package that pairs pre-selected wines with specific food courses.

For an unforgettable evening event, Frantzén/Lindeberg can accommodate groups of up to 12 people in its "chambre separé". It features its own entrance, bar and sommelier. The restaurant is also awarded with 2 star "Cru Beverage Selection Award" for its great selection of wines and beverages that goes perfectly with its food.

This truly is the most exciting eating experience in Stockholm


4. Matbaren (Mathias Dahlgren, Grand Hotel) *


Matbaren is Mathias Dahlgren’s “more casual” alternative to his world renowned and 2-star ‘Matsalen’ fine dining restaurant. They are both located inside the Grand Hotel right in the heart of Stockholm.

Matbaren is a lively restaurant displaying smart Swedish design furniture. They feature concise menu changes up to twice a day, always showing off straightforward yet perfectly balanced recipes with a simple but playful modern style. Dishes are carefully crafted using top quality ingredients.

At Matbaren they mostly offer a variety of seasonal medium sized dishes. They’re larger than an appetizer but smaller than a regular entree. Basically divided into regional (Swedish) and globally inspired they also have vegetarian and a part with pastries and one with dairy products and cold cuts. The beverage section is very well matched and the service is always impeccable.
The restaurant has a few traditional seated tables. The relaxed ethos of the restaurant is evidenced by the long steel food bar around the kitchen and the high tables and stools that line the sides of the restaurant. The restaurant is also awarded with 1 star "Beverage Selection Award".


5. DJURET (Daniel Crespi)


Well, this restaurant is truly something different and stands out from the rest in Stockholm’s culinary scene. I asked the waiter while we sat at the table, why only meet and why the name for the restaurant? The waiter answered me that the best possible aspect for the owner to think of when it comes to be sustainable is to not waste proper food. That is why at “DJURET” they use all parts of the animal and none goes to waste and you can literally eat anything with a amazing and truly creative gastronomic way. 

Lets do its critique as simple as “DJURET” is presenting its concept.
Prices = good, meet quality = great, staff = professional and friendly, interior = very suitable and rustic (feels like you are dining at a high class slaughter house), wine list = perfect match for the heavy wine drinker, location = in the middle of the old town in Stockholm (perfect location for this restaurant).

Well to sum up, Western Taste can truly recommend this place and have it on the list as no 5 of “Top 10 restaurants in Stockholm”.


6. LUX (Peter Johansson, Henrik Norström) *


The prices are a bit high and the interior a bit stiff and the location is a bit far away from city centre. But the food is really and truly good. I love the creative provocation of using traditional Swedish food and putting it on the plate with innovative and new modern creativity cooking.

During summertime this restaurant is actually a great scenic place since the location is just by the water at “Lilla Essingen”. By eating here you will not regret your visit, the food is well prepared and the staff gives you fairly good service. You must be thinking that why Western Taste is having LUX at the “Top 10 Best Restaurants in Stockholm” when the service is half good. Well the answer is that most of restaurant services are half good in Sweden.

LUX is no 6 and they deserve its position well because of its presentation, food quality and execution in terms of gastronomic creativity. They are also awarded with 1 star “Beverage Selection Award” by Western Taste because of its well selected wine list and combination of its contemporary Swedish food.


7. CAINA (Nobis Group) *


The new 5 star hotel in Stockholm has exploded as the new place to be. The hotel has focused strongly on food & beverage department and interior design. When entering the hotel it actually feels it can compete with international hotels as a top design hotel with 2 restaurants, 3 bars and a spa. The restaurants name is CAINA and gives you flavours from Italy. It is not trying to be a fine dining but rather a classical Italian restaurant with traditional Italian dishes. The food is actually very good and the quality of products is excellent. The staff and service is very high and well trained which is very unusual in Sweden. I also love the wine list which gives you a good variety of grapes and differentiation of regions in Italy.

Something you have to try is the starter for two, the Antipasto misto della casa (the house Antipasto). As you go for the main course I would suggest the risotto and the beef with Barolo sauce.

CAINA is something you will not be disappointed at and rather enjoy in the relaxed dining hall with great staff and pleasantly atmosphear. CAINA is also recommended with 1 star “Beverage Award” by Western Taste.


8. SMAK (Melker Andersson, F12 Group)


Smak på Restaurangen is located in Stockholm city centre, just a a few hundred meters from Hötorget. It’s a fine dining restaurant with the concept ”Taste from all over the world”.
The concept is all about flavours, where you are given three choices - three, five or seven small dishes in which the most influential flavour gives its name to the dish. You simply make your order by circling your choice on the paper menus with a pencil. Wines and other beverages are also available in smaller tasting glasses, all to give you the possibility to try as many flavours as you wish.

Smak på Restaurangen is a large, contemporary restaurant from the F12-goup. It has a  summer terrace and ingredient-filled, glass-topped tables. This really is something to try!


9. Rolfs Kök (Rolf Nilsson)


Rolfs Kök was designed to bring patrons closer to the food experience with a bar wrapping around an open kitchen. In the dining-room you will be taken care of in a royal manor buy the part-owner and restaurant manager Klas Ljunquist. The restaurant's personal service, creative dishes, and unique interior design (spare chairs hang from hooks along the wall) have made it a Stockholm favourite for almost two decades.

The Swedish and Mediterranean-inspired menu suggests wines for each dish from the 450 varieties in the cellar. The best item on the menu is undoubtedly the red wine braised cheeks of ox with truffle (from the island of Gotland) & potato purée.


10. Långbro Värdshus (Fredrik Eriksson)


Celebrity chef Fredrik Eriksson runs an old fashioned Swedish tavern called Långbro Värdshus in a big villa on the outskirts of Stockholm, in Fruängen. Here you'll find a friendly atmosphere, excellent service and the best traditionally Swedish food in Stockholm.

Långbro Värdshus takes pride in offering guests carefully prepared dishes made with the best seasonal, raw ingredients. They offer diners dishes such as Artichoke Soup with a shallot mousseline, parsley and crispy forest mushrooms and Veal Steaks with a creamy white pepper sauce, pickled winter vegetables and puréed potatoes.


Written by Alexander Yü & Kristian Kull



Monday 25 April 2011

Ritz Carlton - More than a 5 star hotel

People say that it is the best hotel chain in the world. People say that Ritz-Carlton is the only hotel chain that possesses 6 star ratings where ever it opens.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is known in the hotel industry for its unwavering commitment to the tradition of impeccable service and luxurious ambiance introduced by the man who made the Ritz name famous, Cesar Ritz.

The Ritz-Carlton Company L.L.C operates in a chain of 36 hotels world wide and it is growing in new locations every year. The chain is under the huge hotel bran Marriott International.

With 15000 employees world wide and sales with more than 970, 6 million American dollars, best standards of luxury and quality service makes it the most respected hotel chain in the world.



Ritz-Carlton Moscow, Russia










With the world most expensive breakfast and total luxury with all the desires that you need for absolute comfort and relaxation. With the biggest entry-level rooms in Moscow, superb dining, business and fitness facilities, and an extraordinary range of concierge services to cater to every imaginable customer need, the Ritz Carlton can lay reasonable claim to being the finest in Moscow.

Phone: +7 495 225 8888


Ritz-Carlton Naples, Florida, USA 
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, the area's only Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort. Enjoy dazzling views of the Gulf of Mexico and three miles of pristine beach. Seven unique restaurants, indulge in luxurious world-class spa, or relax and enjoy pools and beach activities, including a wide selection of water sports. Listed by The Robb Report as one of the “100 Best Places to Stay in 2006."

Phone: +239 598 3300


Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
This enjoyable boutique hotel with 3 F&B outlets provides you with non stop luxury. With a little bit smaler hotel the guests can be more at focus and service is at a higher standard. All rooms are provided with DVD players, butler services and rainforest shower. It is the little extra that makes everything different.

Phone: +603 2142 8000


Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, China 
With the highest bar in the world it breaks down in six restaurants, all serving breakfast, all-day menu items, dinner and dessert menus, including one bar featuring two kitchens and a Club Lounge. Each menu consists of at least two dozen items to choose from at any given seating, and this doesn't include the tea service or specialty cocktails. The hotel is newly opened and was available for booking on the 29th of March 2011. All details in this hotel is "posh" with classical design that meets the new and modern interior. Everything is made for your luxury experience and we at Western Taste just love this hotel.

Phone: +852 2263 2263 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +852 2263 2263      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Ritz-Carlton Dawanglu Beijing, China 
The city of Beijing is very hectic, full of life and great place for culture, historical monuments and fantastic restaurants. There are 2 Ritz Carlton in Beijing; however we enjoy the second one in Dawanglu district, particularly the Italian restaurant Barolo that can amaze most of people. Take a look at their wine cellar or wine room before you enter the restaurant and you will be chocked by its content and supply of wines. The rest of the hotel is absolutely beautiful with classical interior and a modern touch. All rooms are decorated with full extent of service and you do not need to worry about its well established service minded staff. Barolo restaurant is also awarded in the category "Top 10 Hotel Restaurants in the World" and 3 stars "Grand Beverage Selection Award".

Phone: +86-10 5908-8888 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +86-10 5908-8888      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Ritz-Carlton Bvlgari Resort, Bali, Indonesia 
The Bulgari Resort is located in one of the most exclusive destinations in the world, a veritable emblem of the tropical exoticism of the Orient, combining the breathtaking beauty of unspoiled nature with a sophisticated contemporary design born from the encounter between traditional Balinese forms and high Italian style. The quality of the services along with the views of the Indian Ocean offered by its magnificent position 150 meters over the sea are the perfect introduction to the second luxury property from Bulgari Hotels & Resorts.

Phone:  + 62 361 8471000




Written by: Alexander Yü

Friday 22 April 2011

What to drink for Easter 2011?


We all enojoy great food for easter with meat, fish and a lot of different paired beverages. That is why WesternTaste.com provides you with recommendation on beer, white wine and red wine.

Enjoy!


Beer

Name: Oppigårds Easter Ale
Country: Sweden
Cost: 25,90 SEK
No Systembolaget: 1345
Tasting Notes: Aromatic, full of taste, hope and malt with a distinct taste of bitter ale. A finish of nuts, spices and bitter orange.





Name: Pumpvikens Påsköl
Country: Sweden
Cost: 29,30 SEK
No Systembolaget: 1330
Tasting Notes: Fruity and full of malt with a small taste of sweetness. It brings out flavours of butter toffee, bitter orange and herbs.





Name: Nils Oscar Kalaspåsköl
Country: Sweden
Cost: 19,50 SEK
No Systembolaget: 1393
Tasting Notes: Great beer with hints of peach, tofffee and syrup. It is also a beer full of aromatic hob.






Wine

The traditional Swedish Easter feast features ham, pickled herring, eggs, salmon, lamb and much more.  This makes wine pairing a bit of a challenge and I strongly recommend that you serve both a red and a white wine. Choose grapes that work with many types of food. For example you could go with a Chardonnay and a Merlot. They won’t overpower any of your food but simply complement most of it well. Since spring is already here maybe you could even serve a powerful Rosé.

Here are three suggestions from Systembolagets selection:

Concannon Chardonnay (nr 23032), 89 SEK
The Chardonnay from Concannon is bright gold in the glass, a rich color that hints at things to come. It is a delightfully creamy but not overwhelmingly buttery chardonnay. On the nose are some great notes of cheese and straw. It has kind of a “barnyard” feeling that I would normally attribute to Sauvignon Blanc, but much, much more muted. On the palate, the wine really does taste buttery and creamy but there is a pleasantly tart apple note too. This really evens the wine out.




Mulderbosch Rosé (nr 6077), 79 SEK
Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé is quite heavy for a rosé and really goes well with fish and white meat. It is a brilliant, lively, clear wine with a strawberry colour. The nose is quite coplex with hints of grapefruit, strawberries, guava and even some peppernotes. A dry lingering palate of pomegranate and berry fruits fills your mouth.






Zenato Merlot (nr 32224), 129 SEK
Zenato Merlot is ruby red in color with a full bouquet. This Venetian merlot has aromas of ripe berries set against a toasted oak background and smoked meats. The palate hints at blueberry pie and sour cherry and finally milk chocolate and vanilla. Pair it with a wide variety of dishes, particularly lightly grilled white meats and veal. 






Written by Alexander Yü & Kristian Kull

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Gordon Ramsay


We all know mr Ramsay from the television shows and his screams and dirty words towards his staff. However, many people doubt about his performance as a chef and wounders if he really can provide the quality in the kitchen or not. Well make no mistake, he is one of the greatest chefs in the world and he can create amazing food with innovation, creativity, classic and modern culinary and food performance.
BackgroundScottish by birth, Gordon was brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, from the age of five. With an injury prematurely putting an end to any hopes of a promising career in football, he went back to college to complete a course in hotel management.
Gordon’s first years in the kitchen were spent training under culinary luminaries such as Marco Pierre White and Albert Roux in London, after which he moved to France to work in the kitchens of Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon for three years, where he was able to enhance his expertise in classic French cooking. In 1993 Gordon became chef of the newly opened Aubergine and within three years the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars.
In 1998, at the age of 31, Gordon set up his first wholly owned restaurant, Gordon Ramsay, in Chelsea which was awarded three Michelin stars within three years of its launch and also awarded "No 4 Best Restaurant in the World" by WesternTaste.com. Over the next five years Gordon and his team launched some of London’s most high profile restaurants including Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Pétrusand The Savoy Grill.
2003 saw the launch of Gordon’s first international restaurant, Verre, located in the Dubai Hilton Creek Hotel. Gordon Ramsay Holdings now operate a number of restaurants across the globe in New York, LA, Tokyo, Dublin, Doha, Paris, Tuscany, Sardinia and Melbourne.
Between 2004 and 2010 Gordon Ramsay Holdings launched a number of successful restaurants in London including maze and maze Grill, Plane Food at Heathrow T5, York & Albany and two pubs, The Narrow in Limehouse and The Warrington in Maida Vale.
2010 proved to be another busy year with Pétrus reopening in Knightsbridge, and the launch of its first restaurants in Australia, with maze and maze Grill opening at the Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne. November 2010 saw the long awaited re-launch of the iconic Savoy Grill, following a refurbishment of the entire hotel.






My all time favourite customer insult, ever!!







Tuesday 19 April 2011

Best Restaurant in the World by WesternTaste.com







El Bulli, a Michelin 3-star restaurant and voted "Best Restaurant in the World by WesternTaste.com, is located near the town of Roses, Catalonia, Spain, run by chef Ferran Adrià. The small restaurant overlooks Cala Montjoi, a bay on Catalonia's Costa Brava, and has been described as "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet" and does a great deal of work on molecular gastronomy. In early 2011, management announced that the restaurant would close as of July 31st 2011, to reopen as a creativity center in 2014.

The restaurant gives you an extraordinary sensation with an experience beyond food & wine. The experience at El Bulli is not only a culinary adventure but a adventure overall. We absolutely love this place and will always recommend its visit to anyone who asks.

The food is innovative, new, modern, delicious, full of flavors, experimental and you can be sure that it will be an experience to not forget.


El Bulli is also decorated with 3 star Grand Beverage Selection Award by WesternTaste.com for its perfect selection of wines that is excellent for food and wine pairing with a great varaity for all palets.

Written by Alexander Yü