Recipe for my homemade Swedish meatballs

One of my favourite Swedish dishes, and probably one of the few Swedish dishes non-Swedes have even heard about, is the famous Swedish meatballs. I’ve seen a few crazy interpretations over the world, but these are quite genuine. 🙂 There’s a crazy twist with these meatballs, and that is that you make them in the oven before finishing them in the frying pan. I did not really believe this would work before trying it myself, but they turn out super juicy and perfect.

Ingredients for approximately two or three persons:

  • 250 grams minced beef
  • 250 grams minced pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 stock cube
  • ~ 1 deciliter of water
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Neutral cooking oil

1. Fry the finely chopped onion in butter on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Do not burn, but it’s okay if it’s a little golden. Set aside.

2. Heat the water in a microwave or on the stove. Add the half stock cube and use a spoon to stir until completely dissolved. Add the breadcrumbs to this and stir again. It will look like some weird savoury porridge (which it is) but trust me, this is an essential part of the process. Let the breadcrumb stock cube porridge sit for around 10 minutes.

3. Put the minced meat in a bowl and add a deliberate sprinkle of salt to this. It’s hard to say exactly how much, and the stock cube will be going in too, but trust your instincts. If you like it salty like I do, add more. If not feel free to add less. Let the salt marinate the meat a few minutes before adding the breadcrumb mix and the fried onion from earlier.

4. Wash your hands, nanananana, wash your hands nanananana, wash your hands nanananana, wash your hands. I’m sorry. But this is easier with your bare hands, and especially so with wet hands. So with your hands, combine everything together – you can use a fork if you really don’t want to do this by hand, but it’s harder to evenly mix the meatball mixture if so.

5. After everything is mixed thoroughly, it’s meatball rolling time. A top trick is to use an ice cream scoop to get even meatballs. Wet your hands again and roll between the palm of your hands until they are round. Put on an oven proof dish and set your oven to 175°C or ~ 350°F.

6. Put the meatballs into your oven and let them bake for 10 minutes.

7. Frying time. Add butter and neutral oil to a frying pan on quite high heat. I use 7/10. when the butter stops sizzling it’s time to add the meatballs. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, if you’re unsure pick one up and cut in two to check that it’s fully cooked. Watch out so they don’t get overcooked though, we want juicy, not dry, meatballs.

8. When meatballs are done, let them rest for a couple of minutes before serving. The Swedish way is to eat them like in the above picture with mashed or boiled potatoes, cream sauce, pickled cucumbers, and sugared lingonberries. Or just with macaronies and ketchup. We never use sour cream, at least I’ve never in my life heard of anyone doing that in Sweden. But maybe we should try?

If you read this and want a recipe for the cream sauce, drop a comment and I’ll add a recipe for that too. Smaklig måltid (enjoy your meal)!

Great salsiccia pasta recipe

A few years ago, I made this salsiccia pasta for the first time, and since then we’ve had to have it at least every few months because it is so delicious – and – easy to make.

What you need for approximately four persons:

  • 600 grams of salsiccia sausages
  • 500 grams of good quality tomatoes (you can use crushed, but I usually don’t)
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 deciliter white wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 deciliter full fat cream
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes (or less if you don’t want it spicy)
  • Pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Tagliatelle, mafaldine or pappardelle pasta (or any pasta you’d rather use)
  • Olive oil for frying

How to cook it

1. Chop garlic and onion finely. Remove and discard casings from the sausages, we’re using the filling as you would minced meat. Chop the tomatoes.

2. Heat olive oil in a pot. Fry the salsiccia and meanwhile try to chop it up to a ’crumble’ – again think minced meat. When salsiccia is starting to brown, lower heat a bit and add tomato puree. Make sure to fry the tomato puree for at least 30 seconds to it gets a little bit toasted. Then add garlic, onion and chilli flakes. Fry a bit more until it’s starting to soften.

3. Add chopped tomatoes, let fry a little bit together with the other ingredients. Stirr them in so everything mixes nicely.

4. Add white wine and water to it covers everyhing. Cover with a lid and slowly simmer for 1-3 hours. About 20 minutes before serving, add the cream and let reduce without lid on. I usually do not need any salt as salsiccias are salty, but taste and add some if needed.

5. Cook the pasta in salted water until ’al dente’, reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid.

6. Mix the salsiccia sauce with the cooked pasta in the pot. Add some cooking water to make it ’creamier’ while continuosly stirring, this should take around a minute.

7. Serve with grated pecorino cheese, finely chopped parsley and a glass of wine. I think rosé usually goes quite well with this.

Part 12: Where and what to eat in Bangkok

After arriving by train from Chiang Mai, we took the Bangkok MRT to our beautiful hotel, the Amara. We wanted to splurge on our six last days of vacation, so we upgraded to an executive floor room which apart from a better room also came with complimentary cocktails and canapees each night. And I’m very glad we did splurge, as just a month after our return, big parts of the world went into lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic which we at this stage of the trip was starting to hear more and more about.

Bonchon Korean fried chicken

Our first stop after checking in, and basically breakfast after spending a few hours walking around the area of our hotel.

We’d eaten only Thai food and before that Lao food for weeks and thought we felt okay to deviate a little bit from the South East Asian fare, while still remaining in Asia. Our first idea was to go for Japanese ramen at Ippudo, but then we saw that a place called Bonchon, a Korean fried chicken restaurant which we’d heard about but never tried was next door. We hadn’t eaten anything since the day before so the sound of famous KoFC for breakfast/early lunch sounded a bit too good to miss.

We tried both their garlic-soy and their spicy fried chicken which were both extremely tasty. For sides we chose rice, kimchi slaw, and we also had some complimentary pickled radishes. So good.

Suppaniga Eating Room

Five years ago I visited Bangkok and went to dinner with a local Bangkok resident. The restaurant was Suppaniga Eating Room, and I remember really loving the food. This time we by chance ran into another Suppaniga branch, close to where you catch the ferry to Wat Arun temple. The location is basically on the river, meaning great views, and the food was as delicious as I remembered. We had their incredibly tasty panang beef curry, the best version of this dish that I’ve ever had with sublime flavours of meat, spices and coconut combined. The crab omelette was also delicious and came with a nice sweet chilli sauce on the side. All this paired with a bowl of sticky rice made for a very tasty lunch.

Amara Bangkok’s sky bar AkaAza

Our hotel, the Amara Bangkok’s sky bar, AkaAza, deserves a mention. There wasn’t that many people and from 7 to 9 p.m. you can enjoy 2-for-1 selected beverages with amazing views over Bangkok. Above picture is taken sitting at the table where we had our drinks.

Din Tai Fung (Central Embassy)

Whenever I’m in a city with Din Tai Fung, I need to go there. They have several outlets around Bangkok and we visited their restaurant in the Central Embassy shopping mall.

DTF is a Taiwanese restaurant chain that has taken one of the tastiest dishes there is, the xiao long bao soup dumpling, to world fame. The 18-times folded little nugget of gold is a dumpling that contains minced pork and jellied broth. When it’s steamed, the broth melts and hence there is soup on the inside of the dumpling. When you bite into it the dumpling (after dipping it in a soy-black vinegar-chilli-ginger sauce) it bursts in your mouth combining all the delicate, delicious flavours in one perfect bite.

Din Tai Fung also serve some other great dishes such as their amazing egg fried rice with garlicky, super tender Taiwanese pork chops; a peanut-y and sesame-y bowl of dan dan noodles, and delicious wontons coated in spicy Sichuan-style chilli oil.

Just go.

Bo.Lan

When visiting Gaggan restaurant last time I was in Bangkok I had my best ever meal. That is until I stepped into the doors of Bo.Lan during one of our final nights of the trip. We started off with a yummy Thai whiskey cocktail and some snacks while selecting which menu we were going for.

We were then taken to the kitchen where the first dish, a little spoon of crispy deliciousness was served. Both Bo and (Dy)lan were there and said “hello”, which made me just a little bit starstruck.

After the kitchen we were taken to our table. The menu at Bo.lan is “Essentially Thai” meaning it is their interpretation of Thai food. We went for one of their middle of the road tasting menus paired with Thai craft beers. An excellent choice as the beers worked so well with the dishes.

Starters, round one. Caramelized crab on rice crackers, local squid salad, organic rice dumpling.

Thai rice whiskey with a green mango and tamarind skewer, and pandan leaf mouth spray. First a sip of the whiskey, then a bite of fruit, then a spray. Yummy things happen in your mouth.

Crispy minced pork with plum sauce and fermented tofu, steamed fish pudding, sticky rice, caramelized coconut, and chicken.

It was all incredible, but the best dish of the night was this: Thai gnocchi with coconut broth and prawns. Amazing.

A bit into the meal they’ll just bring you everything they’ve got. Fresh veggies with nam prik chilli dipping sauce, fried chicken, grilled seafood with eggs, Jay Fai (Michelin street food lady) style crab omelette, duck panang curry, and a beef soup so spicy it sort of ruined my experience a little. It was so spicy I had to take a 10 minute break from eating while mouth spraying and drinking beer. 😅

There were some desserts too. This was a coconut pudding/soup with little nuggets of slimey rice dough. Unusual, but tasty.

The dinner was finished in the lounge where some magic was applied to coffee snacks and different candies.

We left Bo.lan tired, full, slightly tipsy, and very happy.

Price, you may wonder? Well, compared to Thailand in general, this is super expensive, but sonsidering quality of food and the general experience it’s not that bad. We paid around $400 for two tasting menus with their Thai craft beer pairing, and a cocktail each upon arrival.

Kua Kling Pak Sod

I received a recommendation to visit Kua Kling Pak Sod on Instagram, and when i looked it up found that one of their outlets were in the building next to the Amara hotel where we were staying. In a gigantic city such as Bangkok that is quite lucky, and naturally we decided to go.

The food is from southern Thailand and hence it’s even spicier than the food in the north and central parts of the country – which still is quite fiery, if you ask me.

Upon ordering they asked us if we wanted spicy, and we replied “just a little bit” which they took as “yes”.

We ordered their curry with coconut milk, eggplant, green curry and tofu; stir fried long beans with red curry and pork belly, as well as southern style dry khua kling curry with minced pork. Everything was super delicious, and of course super spicy. We downed several plates of rice to handle the heat, but it was absolutely worth it as the food was so good. Be prepared however or tell them that you don’t want any chili at all if you’re sensitive. 🙂

Ink & Lion Café

One of the best cup of coffees we had in Bangkok was at Ink & Lion in hipster neighbourhood Ekkamai. A really perfect flat white with a deep toasty aroma. Mmm.

Chatramue

My all time best lemon ice tea is from Chatramue. We went to their outlet in Siam Paragon shopping mall’s food court. So, so good.

Ruen Urai

Close to Amara hotel is Ruen Urai, located partly in an old style traditional Thai house and partly in a nice little ‘secret garden style’ courtyard, next to the Le Meridien Surawong hotel.

The food is inspired by traditional herbal medicine, and we enjoyed it very much. We had woked flat noodles with shiitake mushrooms, pork coconut green curry, and woked lemongrass-cashew chicken. It was a tad expensive, but quite delicious.

Paris Mikki

If you’re craving high quality French style pastries, visit Paris Mikki, a nice little café next to the Terminal 21 shopping center. We went their for my partner’s birthday as she wanted something birthday cake-ish and we were very pleased. Coffee wasn’t great, but the pastries were.

Allegedly their croissants are the best in Bangkok, but we didn’t try them unfortunately. They looked very good though.

Ba Hao (Chinatown)

Despite having visited Bangkok two times prior to this visit, i hadn’t been to its Chinatown.

This visit it was time however, and we caught a Grab (like Uber) to Ba Hao, a fancy 1920s Shanghai style bar and restaurant in the midst of Bangkok’s Chinatown.

Ba Hao serve great cocktails and bar food-y takes on Chinese classics. We started with Opium, or ‘Chinese negronis’ with ginseng and herb liquor, and then ordered from their food menu. The dishes aren’t huge, so you’ll probably need at least two each to get full.

Dan dan noodles.

Duck wontons.

Chinese pancake stuffed with pork.

Great food, great drink and great ambiance. You can also rent a room above the bar if you’d like the full Chinatown experience.

Part 10: eating in Chiang Mai

Khao Soi Islam

One of northern Thailand’s most famous dishes is the delicious khao soi noodle soup. In Chiang Mai, we had it twice; the first time was at restaurant Khao Soi Islam. The soup consists of a coconut-y broth (I chose chicken as protein) and then also both soft noodles in the soup as well as crunchy deep fried noodles on top. On the side there’s lime wedges, raw red onion and other condiments to add to your soup as you like. Very delicious

Price: low

Lemongrass restaurant

Lemomgrass is a quite touristy Thai restaurant situated close to the Chiang Mai night bazaar. With staff quite actively trying to persuade people passing by to get in, it felt more tourist trap than it actually is. We passed by most night and it was usually quite crowded past 7 pm.

During our visit we tried a few Thai classics such as paneng gai chicken curry, the local laab/larb spicy salad (it was very spicy), and a plate of springrolls. All very tasty, and with English menus and decently affordable beer. Just next to Lemongrass is also a very nice massage place that we visited one evening.

SP Chicken

One of the best meals in Chiang Mai, and probably during the entire trip was enjoyed at SP Chicken. It’s a small, almost hole in the wall, kind of restaurant located on a backstreet in the old town. Their specialty is roasted chicken, and they do it incredibly well.

We ordered a whole chicken to share, and it was really the perfect roasted chicken. Meat was moist, juicy and tender. Skin was crispy, and flavours were great with a hint of garlic, charcoal and salt. As recommended we ordered a few sides of super tasty, tangy and spicy som tam papaya salad with crunchy peanuts and rice. Included were also veggies and a couple of sauces. So, so good.

Price: affordable.

Khao Kaa Moo Chang Phueak (Cowboy Hat Lady)

Of foodie fame is this small but world famous food stall. Having been visited by food celebrities such as the great Anthony Bourdain, you probably could call Khao Kaa Moo Phueak a foodie institution in Chiang Mai, and the food is pretty good. We arrived just before the official opening time, navigating by using Google Maps. We were seated immediately, and just a short while after it was almost full. We ordered their classic pork rice which basically is pulled pork style slow roasted pork on top of rice with creamy yolk boiled eggs and cabbage. It’s quite simple, but delicious and affordable.

Price: Affordable

Nakwan Café (at Siripanna Resort)

While it might not be worth a detour if you’re staying far away, I still wanted to include one of our hotel restaurants since we had a very delicious bowl of Khao Soi noodle soup there before we jumped on the train to Bangkok.

I actually found it as good as Khao Soi Islam which is famous for the dish. So if you’re staying at or close to the Siripanna Resort it might be worth a visit. An added bonus is that you can walk around the beautiful hotel gardens, pools and rice field if visiting.

Price: Expensive-ish (for Thailand)

Coffee

Into the Woods

Into the Woods serve some great (and Instagram worthy) coffee. Situated in the old town, just next to the river. It is also close to where the Cowboy Hat Lady’s restaurant is located if you wan’t to tick off two worthwile places at once.

Ristr8to

Very tasty coffee in a cool venue in the hip Nimman area of Chiang Mai which serves great, very artsy coffee (as can be seem above). We visited on our way back from Doi Suthep mountain temple complex for an early afternoon coffee break and managed to snag seats almost directly, despite the place being quite full. We also shared their waffles with ice cream that were delicious.

Bonus: what to do while visiting Chiang Mai

A visit to Doi Suthep temple features both the beautiful temple itself as well as stunning views over Chiang Mai.

Visit an “ethical” elephant park, such as Elephant Nature Park.

Drink Chang beer while people watching at the night market area. And of course – shop away if you’re interested.

Homemade pesto recipe

A weekday favourite of mine that is way simpler too make than it may seem. If you’re lazy (like I usually am), use a blender. If a bit more ambitious use a mortar & pestle.

What you need (four approximately 3-4 persons)

Basil, about 5 deciliters of fresh leaves

2 Tablespoons of pine nuts

1 clove of garlic

1/2 deciliter of grated parmesan cheese

Salt & olive oil

How to make the pesto:

1. Toast the pine nuts until golden, but not burnt. Set aside.

2. Peel and roughly chop the garlic.

3. Put garlic, basil, parmesan and nuts in a blender. Mix to a paste.

4. Add olive oil, little by little while continuing to mix until the pesto reaches a thick, slightly runny texture. Season with salt.

Serve with pasta, on pizza, a sandwich or just eat it straight from the jar, it’s that good. ☺️

Tarte tatin recipe

For Easter dessert this year, we made one of my favourite desserts, the French classic apple pie, tarte tatin.

Here’s the recipe if you too want to try.

You will need (serving two):

2 apples

1 deciliter of white sugar

45 grams of butter

Puff pastry, approximately one folded sheet

How to make it:

1. Put 1 dl of sugar in a small oven proof pan. Heat on medium until the sugar melts. Do not stir. While sugar is melting, peel, core and cut two apples into quarters.

2. Add 45 grams of butter to the dissolved sugar. Stir slowly until it turns into a thick, golden caramel.

3. Put the apples into the caramel. Keep in mind that the pie will be flipped over for serving. So put the apple pieces “upside down”. Let rest for about fifteen minutes. Set your oven to 175°C.

4. Roll the puff pastry to a circle a bit bigger than your pan. Then put the dough on top of the apple caramel pan. Tuck in the edges so it cover the apples. Fork the dough lid so it lets air steam out.

5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until golden.

6. For serving (make this when the pie is just out of the oven – be careful to not burn yourself on the super hot caramel): Put a bigger plate on top of the pan, then flip it over so it looks like in above picture, that is crust down, apples up.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Part 8: Chiang Rai and a day trip to Myanmar

Before moving further in Thailand we opted to spend two days in the city of Chiang Rai. Except for a short day visit to Myanmar and the Golden Triangle (of drug fame), basically our only plan was to visit the White Temple and eat local food.

The White Temple of Chiang Rai is actually not that old and, despite being a “real” temple, it is in fact an artwork made by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997. To tip: come early if you want un-crowded pictures. It’s a few kilometers outside of Chiang Rai, so we rented a taxi that picked us up in our hotel and then waited outside while we visited the temple, before taking us back.

Food: Sai Oua and (Thai) Khao Soi

Khao Soi in Thailand is very different from the herby, tomato-y Lao version we had in Luang Prabang. In Thailand the broth is coconuty, and apart from boiled noodles, the soup is also topped with deep-fried crunchy noodles. It also included chicken and optional flavourings such as lime, chopped onion, and something pickle-y.

We also had sai oua sausage which like Khao Soi has its Laotian version, but where the Thai sausage it’s spicier and in my mind more flavoursome.

The restaurant we visited was called Four Stars and was located very close to the Chiang Rai clocktower.

Day trip to Myanmar

Before leaving for our trip, we had found out that you could do a day trip to Myanmar from Chiang Rai, and since I have my visit-new-countries-habit, naturally we had to go.

We booked online with a company called Green Trails, that is seemingly owned by Chiang Mai A la Carte (we received confirmation and communications from both companies which confused us a little at first).

Despite booking many months in advance, our (super funny) tour guide arrived on the minute in our hotel, and then drove us straight to the border, while giving a lot of interesting context of the region and of Myanmar.

At the border, we were stamped out of Thailand and then literally walked across the bridge to Myanmar. There, to our guide’s great surprise, they did not keep our passports as per usual protocol, but instead handed them back to us. Apparently Swedes are trusted to not escape into the country as you’re only allowed to visit Tachileik city on the land border visa we got. Also remember that you can only enter Thailand by land border twice in a year (at least as an EU citizen). As we used a land border to cross into Thailand from Laos, this was our second. This might be easy to forget, as a day trip might not seem like a ‘real’ border crossing.

In Tachileik we hired a tuk tuk and then went around town, visiting the sights such as their golden pagoda, a wet market and a few other markets and temples.

We finished the visit with a yummy Burmese lunch consisting of a buffet of local dishes.

Deep fried samosas, spring rolls and buns to start. Super tasty.

Little bowls of deliciousness: pork curry, corn, bambo shoots, okra, fermented funky fish (okay, not that delicious), soy beans, vegetable soup and more. As Myanmar also borders Bangladesh, the food also has a touch of Bangladeshi and Indian flavours.

After the lunch we went back to Thailand, visiting the Golden Triangle Area. We made an interesting stop to the great museum The Hall of Opium, and also visited a couple of nice viewing points from where you could see Thailand, Laos and Myanmar at the same time. A loooong but very interesting day.

This was pretty much what we did and saw in Chiang Rai. It’s a nice town, and I would love to return some day to see more than we were able to during our two days.

Part 3: Koh Rong

After eventually finding our way to “the drop off” which is where the Sok San Beach Resort’s private boat departs ($20 per person, per way), we were finally on our way to the island of Koh Rong.

The Sok San Beach Resort is quite a place; super pretty and quite laid back. The beach area has plenty of sun loungers and after that it is a wide stretch of totally empty white sand if you don’t mind to sit on a towel or similar.

The rooms were quite basic. There was air con and a fan and a decently comfortable bed. No tv. There is also free wifi, shower and a toilet, of course. Note that we lived in the “cheapest” standard rooms, which I think was a garden villa. Unfortunately I got a little bit sick day 2, so spent more time than I had hoped for in our tiny room.

Service wise it was pretty much all good. The staff spoke decent English (a few very good) and were all friendly. One weird thing to was that they refused to help us book a table at a restaurant in the nearby village “as they had their own restaurant”. That is a first for me, I mean it’s just weird to try to force guests to eat in your own restaurant by making it harder for them to reserve a table somewhere else. Of course we still went and ate there, and all the hotel got was some “bad will”.

Speaking of the hotel restaurant, there are actually three places where you can eat, or two, depending on how you count. In the lobby and main bar area you eat breakfast, and there are two restaurants (or more like two different menus) to choose from; a Western and an Asian.

Breakfast at the Sok San Beach Resort.

Food is on the expensive side, but not terribly. A main is around $10, a beer during happy hour (5-7) was half price meaning $1,25. Rice was usually an extra $2, but included in a few dishes. Food was reasonably good, but nothing spectacular.

Kampot crab rice.

Kuy Teav, rice noodle soup with prawns.

Okra with minced pork and oyster sauce. Probably my favourite dish in the restaurant.

In the nearby Sok San village, which is walkable from the hotel in maybe 5 minutes, you’ll find a couple of small restaurants, bars and shops.

We had dinner at Moon restaurant, situated on the beach, which served up quite delicious Thai and local food for approximately $5 per dish. Rice was included. 🙂

We also had dinner at Italian owned and managed “Eat, Pray, Love” where we had a really good gnocchi with ragù sauce, and an okay pizza. Quite expensive (from around $8 for a main), but nice setting in a stilted house, and friendly service. We managed to book through their Facebook page, they did not respond to email.

Christmas dinner at Operaterrassen with Julbordsmäklarna

This is a paid article in collaboration with Julbordsmäklarna.

I recently visited Operaterrassen, a sort of fancier julbord– julbord being Swedish for a Christmas buffet – the literal translation being ‘Christmas table’, that you eat during the Christmas period, which roughly stretches from the 1st of December until Christmas Eve on the 24th.

Booking Operaterrassen using Julbordsmäklarna.se
I found and booked my table at Operaterrassen with Julbordsmäklarna, an easy and convenient online service that allows you to browse through and find your prefered pick among around 300 different julbord around Stockholm – and also nationwide in Sweden from 2020. Also, Julbordsmäklarna does not add any extra charge on top of the regular price.

Operaterrassen
Operaterrassen (or the Opera terrace) is located in the Stockholm Opera, built in 1773. It is pretty much in the very heart of Stockholm, and being up two stairs from street level, feature stunning views over Blasieholmen and the Grand Hotel, Stockholm’s old town and the surrounding water.

Vegetarian options
While Operaterrassens julbord is heavy on meat and seafood, there are a few vegetarian options. This is probably not your first pick for a julbord as a vegetarian and even less so if you’re a vegan. There are a couple of different salads, cheeses, breads, omelettes, cabbage and sauces, and of course the desserts, that lack meat or fish (to my knowledge).

Old school but very friendly service
We had our personal waiter, an older gentleman that possibly was the genuinely nicest waiter I’ve ever run into. Super relaxed and friendly in a very much non-posh way – as you may fear a little in places like Operaterrassen that has been around for a long time.

Seven rounds of Swedish Christmas food
Our waiter suggested that to fully appreciate the dinner experience, he recommended that we took “seven turns”. I’ve never done that, but hey, when in a super old restaurant – stick to tradition!

Round one: herring and condiments

Herrings; fish roe (much tastier than it might sound) with sour cream and finely chopped red onion; prawns in mayonnaise, and a carraway crispbread I rebeliously nabbed from the cheese table (that’s round 5!).

Round two: Mixed seafood

Two kinds of salmon: gravlax and smoked salmon. The gravlax was amazing and came with a very nice hovmästarsås, a mustardy sauce we put on salmon in Sweden. There were also eggs with shrimps and a bunch of pretty little potatoes that were separately brought to the table.

Round three: coldcut meats and condiments

Waldorf salad; smoked reindeer; pork roll; Christmas ham with coarse mustard; pickled veggies; kale & orange salad, and beetroot salad. There was plenty more in the buffet, but this was what I tried.

Round four: warm items

Prince (pork) sausage; meatballs; Jansson’s temptation with potatoes, cream & anchovies; mushroom and kale omelette (so good!); red cabbage, and finally pork ribs with the best ever apple sauce. Super traditional flavours, but really well made and delicious.

Round five: Cheese

I’m sorry dear reader, but I failed both our friendly waiter, myself and possibly you at this point: I did not really have room for cheese. The cheese table looked good though, although quite small.

Round six: Dessert

This was the highlight of the evening. It wasn’t hugely assorted, but everything I tried was really good. The ostkaka, Swedish baked cheesecake was great with cloudberry jam and whipped cream. The ris á la malta, a creamy cold rice dessert was super smooth and surprisingly light. The cake, a quite clever version of Swedish Princess cake with the usual plain cream replaced with licquorice cream, and more traditional raspberries. Nice combo, and I’m not really that keen on licquorice usually.

Round seven: Christmas candy

Since I did not take any good shot of the finishing Christmas candy, I’ll leave you with this menu from Operakällaren downstairs from 1898. I can report, however, that the candy was very nice. I had marmalade candy, ‘mint kisses’, knäck (chewy, nutty toffee), chocolates and even a candy cane. Then I couldn’t fit anymore food in, and had to give up.

I really liked my visit to Operaterrassen and would happily go back. If you’d like to read more about julbord in Stockholm – have a look at Julbordsmäklarna’s list below of Stockholm’s top 20 julbord.

Merry Christmas!

More:

Julbordsmäklarnas top 20 Stockholm julbord (In English)

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48 hours of eating in London

Except for Din Tai Fung Covent Garden, which I wrote about the other day, we visited a few other noteworthy spots.

Barrafina

One Michelin-starred Barrafina on Dean Street a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus delivered some of the best tapas I’ve had.

Cold meat platter. Everything extremely good.

Ham croquetas. Crunchy, delicious and perfect.

Best pan con tomate I’ve had.

A runny, perfect tortilla with peppers and prawns.

Morcilla; spiced Spanish blood sausage (similar to black pudding) with fried quail eggs, a crispy wafer thingy and a rich sauce.

Location: Dean Street, Soho.

Price: £80 for the above (and some more), including a glass of wine each.

Eve Bar (hidden in Frog restaurant’s basement)

It was nearly impossible to take decent pictures, but a staircase down from fancy restaurant Frog (by Adam Handling) is Eve bar. Get it, Adam and Eve?

Clever naming aside, Eve Bar was really my cup of cocktail with great cocktails, ambience, service and decent prices.

Location: Covent Garden.

Price: About £13 for a cocktail.

The American Bar at The Savoy Hotel

A 40 minute wait, £25 cocktails and lots of tourists. Could that be good? I’d say so! Friendly service, live piano music, free snacks and a hard-to-beat ‘old world’ atmosphere. As an extra bonus you’ll get access to their small museum, and can also sneak around the grand lobby (above) of The Savoy Hotel which The American Bar is a part of.

Location: Covent Garden(ish)

Price: ~£19-££££

Breakfast at Eggbreak

For our last meal for this time we went to Eggbreak in Notting Hill, after I read about their crab cake eggs benedict.

The coffee, a flat white, was, as the youth of today (I think as I’m old-ish) would call it: on point.

The star of the show: perfectly poached eggs on top of equally perfect crispy, delicious crab cakes. A few healthy spoons of sriracha-hollandaise sauce and some chives finished the decadent masterpiece.

Price: £45 for three coffees, two mains, a grilled grapefruit (also delicious) and a pain au chocolat.

Location: Notting Hill.