Mathias Dahlgren cuisine with its fantastic tasting menu proves that good things do come in small packages. It's a very embodiment of miniature gastronomy concept where a single mouthful reveals an entire bouquet of opulent tastes and textures.
Such an exquisite culinary experience is available at the Swedish star chef's namesake restaurant Mathias Dahlgren. Located by one of the city's water-strands and overlooking the quay, the restaurant is housed in the Grand Hôtel Stockholm, which has served as a scene for the legendary Nobel Prize banquets.
The natural cuisine principle implies that only fresh, local, seasonal ingredients are used and due to that there is no permanent menu either. Moreover, Mathias Dahlgren in his "food laboratory" never stops innovating and discovering entirely new food presentation ways and methods.
The small restaurant with only 38 seats enfolds its guests in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere where tended by keen and caring personnel you can savor a course of five or eight dishes.
First of all, you are presented with a live and fresh peanut in a puffed peanut cookie, light and crisp like a rice flake. Then follow a handful of exclusive, rich raisins and a blue cheese biscuit, presented on a white napkin. At the slightest touch of a fork, it goes into brittle bits like glass. Perfect!
The next dish consists of small piece of salted and lightly smoked cod, served with herb sticks. The above mentioned is followed by freshly harvested and slightly grilled leek, accompanied by a slice of beetroot. What a pleasant play of tastes on your tongue! A vegetables' selection acquires a new tinge of taste when supplemented by fresh spring-cress water.
Mathias Dahlgren manages to bring out the magic of daily bread, which is served with peculiar, homemade butter, butter pudding and whipped bacon lard. The bread and butter performance comes a while before true Scandinavian sashimi that consists of cucumber, ginger, horseradish and delicious seafood - salmon, oyster, lobster and sea scallops. Exuding mild notes of Scandinavian waters, it is accompanied by horseradish dressing and soy-marinated tapioca. Just excellent!
Coldwater shrimps and royal crab croquettes made in bear dough wallow on white, cool stones, waiting to be sprinkled with golden-color broth. Fried at low-temperature, chicken has acquired crispy skin and reveals a striking compatibility with spicy, pickled pumpkin. Sea scallops and oysters are covered by cloud-like mussel foam, served with baked onions and sprinkled with ash!
As a soft prelude to the main course, profiterole is served with egg, baked spinach, and gruyère cheese and sprinkled with truffle. Profiterole with its intensive taste presents a great contrast to light and fresh-tasting seafood, tried before. Artichoke and a perfect ensemble of textures of foie gras on a paper-thin cracker are yet to come, and after that we finally have arrive at the main course.
You can choose either brandade - a dish of mashed young potatoes with smoked cod and cod liver or veal sweetbreads with summer mushrooms, white and green asparagus and fresh garlic - a truly delectable treat!
The gastronomic adventure at Mathias Dahlgren finishes with a selection of cheeses, ranging from the mildest to the strongest. Then dessert is served - sorbet, raspberry meringue and various sorts of bilberries. And of course, the last sips of fine wines that have been selected and savored during the entire meal.
A meal at Mathias Dahlgren means several hours of unhurried and peaceful enjoyment combined with certain excitement and concentration, discovering new combinations of tastes and textures. Mathias Dahlgren restaurant definitely possesses a unique culinary signature, which leaves a long lasting inscription in one's food-related experience register.
Keywords: restaurant, Stockholm