I got back from Sweden last night after ten wonderful days with friends and family. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, but I’m starting to learn that I never have that much time when I go home. And I’m happy I managed to squeeze in as much as I did.
I ate a lot of pick ‘n mix and cooked a bit, met up with friends and got invited over to theirs for lunches and dinners. And I got to enjoy the fresh countryside air, pick wood anemones in the woods and unwind a little.
Here are a few pictures from the trip and I will post a lovely recipe later in the week!
Most restaurants I visit back home are in Malmö, the biggest city in the area I’m from, but in the summer there are lots of smaller places scattered by the coast and in the countryside. In winter, not so much, but there are a few exceptions, like relatively new Stationen in Skanör. I had lunch with my friend Cecilia and Fredrik here one day at the beginning of the year and it was nice to see the restaurant was full, even in January.
All three of us ordered their classic burger with slaw and fries which was really nice and the portion was very generous too. On top of that coffee or tea and cookies were included in the lunch option. This is fairly common in Sweden and I think it’s really nice as you can sit for longer.
I know, you’re probably giggling at the headline, but that is the actual name of a restaurant in Malmö. A very nice restaurant in fact. It’s been around for a few years now and is always busy which is a good sign.
The atmosphere is best described as cosy meets big city, as it definitely feels the restaurant would work just as well in London or New York as in little Malmö. The focus of the food is on meat and unusual cuts and they have the same menu in the bar area and restaurant.
When I came here with my friend Carina one evening between Christmas and New Year we hadn’t booked but we came early enough to get a table after just a ten minute wait in the bar. We started off with a glass at the bar; champagne for me and a glass of white for Carina.
Sitting down we both had a lovely white burgundy (La Châtelaine 2015) that we stuck to the rest of the evening. We also had the charcuterie board which I would say is compulsory here. It’s more mixed than Terroirs, but just as nice.
After a while we decided we were still hungry and ordered the burrata (mainly for Carina) and the sweetbreads (mainly for me). The burrata was really nice and the oranges and pomegranate seeds balanced the creaminess very well.
The sweetbreads were cooked to perfection (such a joy!) and the sauce was incredible too, but I found the carrots as a dull pairing. I would have liked something with more acidity or bite to balance the heavy sweetbreads.
With that said we really enjoyed the meal and our evening here. I love that every single waiter or bar staff we spoke to were so passionate about the menu, wines and the business in general.
Bastard, Mäster Johansgatan 11, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden
When I was at home in Sweden for Christmas, everybody was talking about the new Saluhall (food market) that opened in Malmö in November. There used to be a food market in the centre of town when I was younger but it was redeveloped around 10 years ago. I really liked the old one, although it was more like a food court than a food market, but this new one is a good mix of both. It may lack Borough Market’s charm and diversity but I’m still really impressed by it. The space is used really well and although there aren’t that many vendors everything is there; produce, flowers and nice food. And everything is of the best quality.
My friends Malin and Emma and I came here for lunch but next time I really want to buy groceries as well.
The three of us had completely different lunches but ate together at a shared table upstairs. Most food stalls have seating but you can sit anywhere you find an empty table.
I was absolutely starving (verging on hangry) and decided on a burger from Falafel & Burgers as I’d heard they were very good. And it was. it was rather greasy, but in a good way. Will definitely go back.
Emma had a salad from her new favourite place Holy Greens. They have some really interesting flavour combinations, like this one with melon and mint.
Malin was also starving and decided on a pizza.
Hedvigsdal only have two pizzas on there menu (cheeky!) but apparently they’re so good one doesn’t need a bigger menu. Can’t wait to try one when I next visit. And love the fact that the pizza comes in a basket!
The food market is really nice and although not bang in the middle of town it’s a short walk away from the Central Station. It’s really buzzing here at meal times so I would suggest coming early or late to avoid queues.
Malmö Saluhall, Gibraltargatan 6, 211 18 Malmö, Sweden
I’ve been wanting to try Tareq Taylor’s (a Swedish TV chef I adore) restaurant Kockeriet in Malmö and I finally did on the second day of the year. My London friends Nick and Janet were on a Scandinavian tour and when they stopped over in Malmö we met up here for lunch.
It was a really cold day so it was nice to step into the cosiness at the restaurant. The old exposed wooden beams and candles made it feel warm and welcoming. They had two lunch dishes to choose from (this is fairly common in Sweden, as the lunch menu changes daily); one meat and one vegetarian. Both seemed nice but all three of us decided on the meat option.
But first we got some lovely sourdough and whipped butter and water carafes that were refilled a few times. Good service!
The pork with soft celeriac, onions and a creamy sauce was both fresh and comforting and perfect on this cold January day. It was a lovely luncheon and I can’t wait to go back and try the evening menu (and great looking wine list!).
Kockeriet, Norra Vallgatan 28, 211 25 Malmö, Sweden
There were plenty of lunches, fika and dinners with friends and family when I was back home in Sweden for Christmas and one day I got to try the fairly new Korean restaurant Namu for lunch with my friend Helena and her baby.
It was still pretty quiet in town this third day of the year but an early quiet lunch was perfect with a baby present.
The lunch menu at Namu was short but nice and consisted of three dishes; bibimbap with either beef bulgogi or tofu or a Korean wok. We both decided on the first option and very much enjoyed it!
I had mine without kimchi and kale as my stomach can’t handle it, but it was still really nice. The creamy 63 degree egg made it feel rather luxurious for a weekday lunch and the flavour of the bulgogi was spot on. We also got a bowl of soup on arrival and coffee or tea is complementary for lunch. Can’t wait to try their dinner menu next time I’m in Malmö.
When I was little Hällåkra was a farm nearby our house, but the last twelve years or so the farm has been transformed into a vineyard. In the south of Sweden. It may sounds strange as some people imagine Sweden as an eternally cold country. But it’s not. Not in the south anyway. My mother has a fig tree, so the climate here is fairly mild. Very similar to Kent in England or even northern France, yet Swedish wine was unheard of until a few years ago.
Anyway, having a vineyard so close by I’ve been dying to go, but fitting it in on my trips to Sweden has been a little difficult, but this summer I persuaded my friends to come with me, so we went to the wine tasting in the afternoon and then walked back to my parents’ house for dinner in the evening.
My childhood friend Karl is now a sommelier working at the vineyard and was in charge of our wine tasting. He did a great job keeping it relaxed but informative and interesting at the same time. We asked lots of questions which Karl patiently answered, and despite the heavy (London-like) rain he also took us on a tour among the grapevines.So impressive! And a lovely walk in the sunshine.
We tried six wines, three whites and three reds, and it was very interesting to compare them.
Two of the whites were from their own production but different vintages, and it was very interesting comparing the two as they were very different. We tried the Solaris (that’s the grape) from 2015 and 2014, which were both really nice but my favourite was the 2014. Of the reds Hällåkra’s Rondo 2013 was lovely as was the Austrian Gut Oggau Josephine 2012.
In Sweden you (unfortunately) can’t buy wine straight from the vineyards, but they can be bought through the government-owned shop Systembolaget, using what the call private import as it’s not readily available in their shops. More information, here, in Swedish.
Hällåkra Vingård, Hällåkravägen 47, 231 72 Anderslöv, Sweden