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Friday 23 November 2012

Restaurant Review: 7 Mini reviews in Vasastan, Stockholm

There are quite a few places in and around Vasastan where you can wine and dine in which ever fashion/style you fancy. Here are some varied titbits about a handful of restaurants.


Run by one of Sweden’s top chefs this is an absurdly decorated upscale BBQ-joint. You can dine in a variety of different highly exaggerated environments and enjoy BBQ from all over the world. It is somewhat pricey with main courses starting from 190 kr. If this is too rich for your budget Grill also serves a wonderful lunch buffet on weekdays that only sets you back 110 kr. If you try their buffet on Fridays they even throw in a dessert. The restaurant is located just on Drottninggatan 89.

Vasa's Bar & Matsal

If you want to experience a real Swedish “sunkhak” this is the place to go. A “sunkhak” is a cheap bar/restaurant where you can find the local drunks and sample the most rudimentary form of Swedish cuisine such as “falukorv”. Happy Hour lasts all day and a beer never costs more than 30 kr. On Tuesdays Vasa’s serves an all you can eat taco buffet mercifully priced at 79 kr. Try it, you will enter a world far from that o Sveavägen 65. You can find Vasa’s on Norrtullsgatan 15, just few meters from Odenplan.

Rolfs Kök

Rolfs Kök is a small but exquisite restaurant located on Tegnérgatan 41 a few blocks from Sveavägen. It’s somewhat of an institution in Stockholm’s restaurant world and has been there for ages. They serve a 2-course lunch for 127 kr that is worth every crown. If you opt to visit Rolfs Kök to have dinner I strongly urge you to try their red wine braised cheeks of ox with truffle (from the Swedish island of Gotland) & potato purée, it’s heavenly and surely worth 225 kr.

Buona Sera

If you’re feeling peckish when an all-nighter is approachin a pizza from Buona Sera can be just what you need. The small but rather good pizza parlor is located just off Sveavägen on Kungstensgatan 35. The pizzas cost about 70 kr and are really good.

Ki Mama

If you like Sushi but don’t like to pay a fortune Ki Mama is the place to go. They are widely recognized as having the best sushi in town and you don’t have to dish up more than 75 kr. The restaurant is small and always crowded so I would recommend take away. If you want to try something new I suggest Kiku, it’s like one big piece of sushi with mixed fish and roe served with several “toppings”. You can find Ki Mama on Observatoriegatan 1. 


Tranan is a good restaurant on Odenplan with mainly typical Swedish food. It has been there for ages and has a nice bar in the basement. Main courses starts at 145kr and you can also enjoy a quality business lunch at Tranan. The food and ambiance exudes of luxury from a time and place that is no more. Try this wonderful restaurant that you can find on Karlbergsvägen 14.

Prinsen (Östermalm)

Prinsen is a classic restaurant that only serves traditional Swedish dishes or as we in Sweden call it: Husmanskost. This is a fashionable place where main courses start at about 200 kr located just off Stureplan on Mäster Samuelsgatan 4. If you are visitor in Sweden from a foreign country you should definitively try this restaurant, you really get to taste the best of Sweden.

Written by Kristian Kull

Thursday 22 November 2012

Restaurant Review: F12

F12 is owned by Daniel Couet and Melker Andersson, and is a part of the F12 Group in which the duo own 11 different restaurants including F12.

F12 is situated in the Royal Art Academies premises, in the city central of Stockholm. Their motto is to provide first class food and service in a warm environment with an easy and informal atmosphere. The food philosophy is to provide innovative and international cooking with a unusual combination of flavours that is looking to surprise the guest.

We visited F12 on a Saturday night where we were greeted by professional staff that welcomed us and showed us to our table. The restaurant gives a very calm feeling with its soft green walls and beige décor. The space in the restaurant with its high ceiling makes the atmosphere relaxed and not too busy even though the restaurant was fully booked. You notice straight away that the service is first class with the waiters noticing every little movement from the guest.

The menu was presented as a letter where the different ingredients of tonight’s tasting menu was presented. F12 have gone from offering a la carte menu to only tasting menu with either 5 courses or 7 courses. We decided to go for the 5 course menu accompanied with the composed beverage menu. We tried both the alcoholic alternative and the non-alcoholic. The non-alcoholic alternative was truly a flavour sensation and excitingly surprising, all perfectly combined with the food.

Here comes two downsides to our dinner, mostly because of a new beginner waiter, we ordered the 5 course menu but realized after 5 courses that they were serving us the 7 course menu. The waiter also forgot to serve the accompanied non-alcoholic beverage to our first course, but this was superbly taken care of with a fresh start. Which meant that we got served the first course again together with the right beverage. All to make sure the guest gets the complete experience with food and drink.

The food was truly a flavour sensation, both in smell and taste. All the flavours melted perfectly together and gave a most pleasant evening with a consistent of among others; scallops with eggs of a pheasant, ravioli with forest broth, Pheasant from Qvistberga with juniper berry and ginger, Turbot with oysters and Cloudberries. The chef is truly a magician in the kitchen and made us smile in a feeling of well-being during the whole evening. It is surely a restaurant you will remember for a long time and you will surely be back.

Final grade is:
5 out of 5

Fredsgatan 12
111 52 Stockholm
+46 (0) 8505 244 01

Written and rated by: Sofie Yü

Wednesday 21 November 2012

The Mescal (Tequila) of the Year - El Jolgorio Joven, Agave Madrecuixe

Mezcal, or Mescal, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from Agave americana native to Mexico. The word Mezcal comes from “Nahuatl mexcalli” and “ixcalli” which mean 'oven cooked agave'.

The maguey grows in many parts of Mexico, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca. This also applies to “Agave de Cortes” which produces El Jolgorio Joven, Agave Madrecuixe. There is a saying attributed to Oaxaca regarding the drink: "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, Mezcal, and for everything good, as well).

It is unclear whether distilled drinks were produced in Mexico before the Spanish Conquest. The Spaniards were introduced to native fermented drinks such as pulque, also made from the agave plant. Soon the Europeans began experimenting with the pulque and the agave plant to find a way to make a distillable fermented beverage. This resulted in Mezcal and later Tequila.

Mezcal is still made from the heart of the agave plant, called the "piña", often much in the same way it was 200 years ago. Mezcal is generally consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor.It is not as popular as tequila, a Mezcal made specifically from the blue agave in select regions of the country. Mexico does export the product, mostly to Japan and the United States, and exports are growing.

The Cortes family produces traditional Mezcal from the state of Oaxaca, “the World Capital of Mezcal” since 1887, 5 generations. The Mescals are made by experienced Zapotec Maestros Mezcalilleros from Oaxaca’s central valley. “AGAVE DE CORTES,” is a producer, packer and marketer located in Santiago Matatlán. The particular agave Madrecuixe, or Tobasiche in Zapotec, grows wild in Santa María Zoquitlán, Oaxaca and matures for 13 to 15 years. The production is extremely handcrafted in all aspects from harvest to bottle. The agave is cooked using underground pits with volcanic stones heated with mesquite wood and then pressed using a traditional tahona (a quarry wheel of stone) pulled by horses. The juice is then fermented in vats of pine wood and distilled twice in small copper pot stills. Mezcal el Jolgorio is only produced in extremely limitited batches.

El Jolgorio Joven is an exclusive Mezcal made of the rear and wild Madrecuixe Agave. “Agave de Cortes”  only produces a yearly production of 252 lt! Only a few bottles have made it to Sweden!

You will find El Jolgorio Joven in a beautiful clear bottle with Mexican artwork on the label, It is sealed with pink wax.

Ideally you should serve this Mezcal slightly chilled as an aperitif or digestive in a dram or snifter. You could also use it as base for refreshing cocktails and drinks with citrus and agave. However I think this would be a waste since it is a heaven to drink straight up. It is a perfect companion for cold cuts and fish or seafood.

This Mezcal has a crystal clear color with aromas of cooked agave, herbs, cedar and some tropical fruit. It has a taste of ripe fruit, aloe vera, pear, dark cherry with a very pleasant and light smokiness and intensity of raw agave. The aftertaste is very finicky and leaves you thirsty for more!

Nr in Systembolaget: 486107
Cost in Sweden: 1199 SEK


Thursday 1 November 2012

Article: Château Latour-Martillac 2011 in Tumba

A couple of weekends ago I somehow ended up at a party in the Stockholm suburb of Flemingsberg. I had a strangely good time and managed to leave just before a big fight broke out. The world works in mysterious ways and instead of heading back in to town I found myself travelling even further south by commuter train and bus. Eventually this magical journey took me to bohemian-chic slumber party in an apartment building in Tumba. It was about 2:30 am and I asked if there was anything to drink there. Immediately a nice girl handed me a glass of red wine that I assumed was simple table wine. Even though it was late and I had had a couple of drinks the first sip made me realize that I actually had something really good in my glass. I asked to look at the bottle and to my surprise it was a Château Latour-Martillac 2011. Thank you so much!

Western Taste really recommends you to try this wine so below you can find a short review.

Château Latour-Martillac, previously Château La Tour-Martillac and known as Kressmann La Tour, is a Bordeaux wine from the Pessac-Léognan appellation. The winery is located in the central part of France’s Bordeaux wine region Graves, in the commune of Martillac. The earliest records concerning Latour-Martillac as a vineyard, however, date only to the 19th century. At this time it seems that the property was part of the Montesquieu estate, which also included the nearby Château la Brède, where the famous philosopher Charles-Louis de Secondat (better known simply as Montesquieu) was born and bred. Although it was during this time that Latour-Martillac developed a separate identity, the wines were not widely known or of any great repute. This did not change when the estate came under the dominion of Charropin, a native of Bordeaux who accrued his wealth in the practice of law, and it was not until the Kressmanns, a
family of German descent, arrived on the scene that things were to change in this particular Graves vineyard. Edward Kressmann landed in Bordeaux in the 1860s and quickly set up in the wine trade, and by 1871 he was distributing the wines of Latour-Martillac. The family's involvement with the domaine increased over the years, first taking on responsibility for the viticulture, before finally purchasing it outright in 1929. They have owned it ever since.

The vineyard area extends 42 hectares (100 acres), of which 33 ha (82 acres) are dedicated to the red wine varieties, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit verdot, and 9 ha (22 acres) for white wine production of the varieties 55% Sémillon, 40% Sauvignon blanc, and 5% Muscadelle. The annual production averages 20,000 cases of the red Grand Vin and 11,000 of the dry white. Of the second wine Lagrave Martillac made from the estate's youngest vines, there are produced 4,000 cases of red and 2,000 cases of dry white.

Château Latour-Martillac 2011 is one of the best wines that Pessac-Leognan appellation has
produced in a long time. Initially it reveals a note of spicy oak, but that quickly fades to the
background as the black currant and sweet cherry fruit characteristics emerge. It has core of black currant, crushed plum and fig notes laced judiciously with sweet toast and graphite notes. Firmly tannic on the initial taste finishes with nice dry tannins. It is fresh and medium-bodied and all of this results in a delicious wine that should evolve for 12-15 years.

If this hasn’t persuaded you to try this wine I can add that Château Latour-Martillac 2011 was awarded 93 points by Wine Spectator.

This article has been inspired by an article from Chris Kissack (the Wine Doctor).

Written by Kristian Kull