Skybar, Malmö, Sweden

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Finally Malmö has a bar with a view. Sure, Malmö is a pretty small city (although the third largest in Sweden) but it has some impressive landmarks that are a real treat to view from above.

Skybar is located in the same hotel as Eatery Social, on the 24th floor, so after our taco dinner we took the lift upstairs to take in the view.

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We were there a Monday evening and it was buzzing, which made us wish the bar was a bit bigger. But what’s there is good; the view, the cocktails, the service and the ambiance.

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But it’s worth coming here for the view alone. It’s pretty great. So good that they’ve printed a funny hash tag to the loo window.

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Sky Bar, Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live, Dag Hammarskjölds torg 2,
211 18 Malmö

Dinner at Eatery Social, Malmö, Sweden

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Malmö has changed a lot lately. For the better, I might add. The area near the Central station which was all bare before now hosts the new addition Malmö Live; a cluster of three modern looking buildings just by the river containing a new four star hotel, a conference centre and a new concert hall.

I really wanted to try the restaurants, both from patron chef Marcus Samuelsson. Eatery Social is the larger fun one on the ground floor serving tacos and the likes.  Kitchen & Table is more formal (and a lot smaller) and shares the top floor with the popular sky bar. But even though I visited the hotel twice, I went Eatery Social both times, so Kitchen & Table will have to wait.

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Javing been twice to a restaurant in the space of two weeks I feel I can certainly give a fair review. The first evening I was here with Emma and Claes and we started the evening with a mojito each in the outside bar. Good cocktails!

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We were all extremely hungry and soon ventured inside to find our table and order something quickly. We agreed on the nachos with chorizo and it was so delicious we order another two plates of it.

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We also shared a quesadilla la nina, which I thought was quite bland. After that it was all about the tacos.

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The scallops and mango ones were good but the mango took over a bit too much. The chicken and refried beans taco was actually not nice at all, but the flank steak taco was delicious!

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We were still a bit peckish (I said we were hungry!) after all that and ordered a serving of crispy sweet potato fries with spicy mayo. es8

Finishing the meal we decided to share two puddings; the churros with chocolate crème and cream cheese ice cream and an ice cream cone with three flavours (coffee, coconut and berry sorbet). Sadly none of them were amazing but we all liked the coffee ice cream and the churros.

I may sound very critical of the place, but I’m not. For the type of restaurant and what you pay it’s a nice place. OK, I would be really happy if the reworked the chicken taco but some other dishes were really nice; like the nachos with chorizo and the flank steak tacos.

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The second time I came here was a busy Friday night and we were a table of 14, something I don’t recommend. We had all pre-ordered the food but it arrived bit by bit so we couldn’t all eat at the same time and ordering drinks was confusing too. This time Emma, Claes and I shared our favourite dishes from our last visit (chorizo nachos, flank steak tacos, sweet potato fries) and were really happy with the food. But some of the other dishes, like the seabass for two looked really nice as well.

All in all I think this is a great place. It’s not fancy but fun, bustling and good value for money.

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Eatery Social Taqueria, Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live, Dag Hammarskjölds torg 2, 211 18 Malmö

Brunch at Salt & Brygga, Malmö, Sweden

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The weekend before last I went home to Southern Sweden for a wedding. It was my childhood friend Tobias who got hitched and it was so much fun seeing him and his Malin say I do and dance the night away with old friends. To make the most of a weekend at home I had brunch with my parents, my bestie Emma and her husband Claes the next day in Malmö.

We went to a restaurant in the West Harbour called Salt & Brygga. They have new owners and have recently started doing brunch we thought we’d check it out. Instead of a buffet (that’s the usual way for brunch in Sweden) it was table service and instead of a big menu they had a set thing on the menu. First vanilla yoghurt with homemade granola then a plate with an array of brunch items (like a smorgasbord on a plate).

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We had scramled eggs and bacon, roasted new potatoes, sauerkraut, prawns, mozzarella salad, sausages, brie, melon and parma ham. And nice baguette on the side.

I prefer this to the buffet setup as you don’t have to queue and deal with other people’s mess, yet you get to sample different foods. It felt nice and fresh and the food was well cooked.

Salt & Brygga, Sundspromenaden 7, 211 16 Malmö, Sweden

Dinner at B.A.R., Malmö, Sweden – one year later

My first evening in Sweden before Christmas I spent with dear friends. First lunch with my bestie and then we gathered a bunch of friends in her and her husbands’ flat for some bubbly and snacks before going out for dinner at B.A.R.

Almost the same group of people went to this restaurant the year before as well, so it was fun to go back and compare. We were even seated in the same area and had another lovely evening with fantastic food, great wines and lots of laughter. Thanks guys for lovely get together!

The food so, was just as nice as the previous year. For some it was a bit strange to eat lamb’s heart but I think everyone enjoyed it in the end and I thought the dish was splendid.

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But we started with their nice sourdough and beautifully whipped butter.

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The first course was cured pollock with celeriac. It was nice and a fun take on different textures.

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Next up was the lamb’s heart which was incredibly tender and thinly sliced. Mine was served with beetroots, capers, Jerusalem artichoke crisps and fresh horseradish.

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The others had their hearts with red cabbage and crispy kale and that was a lovely dish too.

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The pork with baked heritage carrot, red onions and lingonberries was very tasty and quite filling.

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The wines we got recommended with our meal were as nice as the food, and this peppery red (La Stoppa Trebbolio Rosso 2012) we were served with the pork was especially good.

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The pudding was similar to last year’s but I liked this one better; the salted caramel sauce with thyme was amazing! When photographing the dish my friend Tobias suggested I should be in the picture too, so I made him take a selfie of us! My friends thought I should continue to be in the pictures, but I prefer to showcase the food on its own, but occasionally I can post a picture of myself too.

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B.A.R. Malmö, Erik Dahlbergsgatan 3, 211 48 Malmö, Sweden

Dinner (and boule) at Boulebar Malmö, Sweden

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On Boxing Day two of my best friends had organised a boule tournament at Boulebar Malmö and since I often miss larger gatherings like this because I live abroad I was very happy I could attend this time. Although I’m not very good at boule, I had a lovely time.

We played for 90 minutes and had our own little tournament going on four lanes. Before and after we mingled at the bar and we also had dinner here after the game.

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 The winning team!

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I really like the concept at Boulebar; that you have boule lanes, a bar and tables to eat at all under one (big) roof.

The food had a French theme (no surprise there) and the menu we all had included crunchy baguette with dips (aioli, tapenade, oil  and Dijon mustard) to start, chèvre chaud with beets, moules marinière and steak with frites and bearnaise butter.

The bread and dips were a great way to start the meal, the chèvre chaud was really nice, the mussels well cooked but could have had more flavour and the beef was very tender and nice. My only issue is that it wasn’t enough for us hungry people. If there would have been more baguette to start and more frites with the beef (one little basket is not enough for six people to share) we would have been very happy. More meat would not have gine amiss, but considering what the menu cost I wouldn’t expect anything more than some more carbs that frankly don’t cost much. We should have asked for more though and were too shy to, and that is entirely our own fault.

Boulebar, Drottningtorget 8, 211 25 Malmö

Dinner at Brasserie Kungliga Posten, Malmö, Sweden

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This is a delayed review since my Sweden visit in August when I visited the newish restaurant Brasserie Kungliga Posten in Malmö with a bunch of friends.

The restaurant is situated in what used to the an old post office but is now a swish brasserie instead. The interior is cosy with sofas as well as chairs to break up the large space, which works well.

When we visited in the height of summer, albeit on a Wednesday evening, the restaurant was fairly quiet, which actually surprised me as Swedes tent to eat out more when they have time off. The menu was very summery and simpler than the regular menu. The salmon tartar (above) was perfect summer food with cool and fresh flavours.

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Also the mozzarella with tomato salad and toast was nice and fresh.

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And the charkuterie board nice with pickled small onions, cornichons and four types of charkuterie.

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The menu offered some smaller and some larger plate, without being divided into starters and mains, so some in the group had two starters or shared a starter and had a maincourse and the hungry ones had a starter and main, which worked really well.

Also the maincourses were nice; the cod (above) was perfectly cooked, the pork with Asian flavours really nice and the flank steak with bearnaise sauce and fries also really good.

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But I wasn’t bawled over. Probably because I didn’t expect a summer menu. Everything our group sampled was cooked very well and the flavours were there, so we had a great evening, but as a foodie it was too close to what I cook myself at home.

So I look forward to visiting again and trying the regular menu and see what the kitchen can do. The summer menu definitely showed potential!

The staff was friendly and helpful and the wine list very suitable for the type of restaurant it is!

Brasserie Kungliga Posten, Posthusplatsen 4, 211 20 Malmö

Dinner at Steak and Tapas, Malmö, Sweden

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When I went home to Sweden over Christmas and the new year I got to try two newish restaurants in Malmö (the third largest city in the country and the one near The Bridge), first B.A.R. and now Steak and Tapas.

When I moved away almost six years ago the restaurant scene was rather boring but now it almost seem to flourish.

Steak and Tapas is situated in the cellar beneath Hotel Tunneln in the centre of town and the white arched walls and rustic wooden tables contributes to the relaxed and cosy atmosphere of the restaurant. The menu is also relaxed with non-poncy with its tapas and steak sections (little surprise there).

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I was here with four friends and we decided to share three Spanish cheeses, a focaccia (baked in a pot) and some olives to start before most of us moved on to the meat.

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I chose the flatiron steak (onglet) and it arrived with an array of pots. One stainless steel dish for a salad wedge, a small deep-frying basket with fries (I like that quirky touche) and another bowl with the sauces. It felt a bit inefficient serving this many pots, but it looked rather charming.

One friend ordered the halibut instead and was also very pleased. The only let down was that some of the steaks were far from hot by the time they arrived at the table. I like my meat rested but this was a bit excessive..

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Although the pudding section only had three choices we decided to share a chocolate cake with peanuts, marshmallows and chocolate sauce. It was a bit too dense and bitter for me and I don’t think we managed to finish it even though all five of us had some.

As a concept Steak and Tapas is very approachable, and I understand why you as a restaurateur in Malmö go for something that appeals to the masses, as the restaurant scene here is not as vibrant as say Gothenburg and Stockholm, even on a smaller scale.

Yet the combination strikes me as odd, but I imagined more cooked tapas and this is mainly charcuteries, cheeses and a few hot plates so it actually works to share a few things before moving on to steak or for a lighter meal sticking to the tapas section the whole meal.

Steak och Tapas, Kansligatan 4, 211 22 Malmö, Sweden

Dinner at B.A.R., Malmö, Sweden

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When I went to Sweden over Christmas I tried to fit in a few dinners out in Malmö with friends. The place topping my list was B.A.R. Malmö; a natural restaurant and wine bar situated on the cosy Davidhall Square. I had high hopes about this place but felt right at home when I saw the marrow bone napkin rings.

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Walking into B.A.R. the interior is quite sparse and the upstairs bit almost feels a bit cold but as you walk downstairs and past the kitchen the interior feels more cosy although still simple. I think the decorating and lack of tablecloths have been done deliberately to make it feel more comfortable and counterbalance the cooking style which is quite elaborate without being poncy.

Instead of a bread basket the lovely sourdough is almost tossed onto the table in brown paper bags and the accompanying spreads are served on rocks. The whipped butter with sea salt and fennel powder was absolutely delicious and completely trumped the pork fat with dill, which actually was very good too.

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As there was eight of us we all had the same four course menu called the Chef’s choice menu to make it easier for the kitchen. Even if in a smaller group I would still recommend this menu or at least four courses from the a’la carte menu as some of the dishes are quite small. With that said I was still to full to finish my main course but everyone else at the table did.

The first course was quite small and consisted of more or less four mouthfuls but the flavours of squid and leek were delicious. .

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The duck served with beetroot, grated bone marrow and a mayonnaise with confir garlic was even better than the first course. Absolutely gorgeous!

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The maincourse with amazingly tender boar, crispy fried cavolo nero, celeriac cooked two ways and pears was absolutely wonderful!

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The dessert was a small let-down after the previous two stellar courses, although there was nothing wrong with the chocolate sorbet, berry granita and vanilla custard it didn’t blow us away.

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We had a lovely evening here and I can’t wait to go back in the spring or summer and try a different menu. What I really like about this place is the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that the concept appeals to food geeks like myself as well as people who just like good food in general.

The wines recommended by our waiter were also very good and of course a perfect match with the food, but also all natural and not very expensive.

I think it is about time this type of restaurant opened in Malmö and I certainly hope the town is ready for it!

B.A.R Malmö, Erik Dahlbergsgatan 3, 211 48 Malmö

NYE 2013

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My bestie Emma and I have always liked a good party and quite often organised New Year’s Eve parties ourselves. Although it has always been lots of fun it takes quite a lot of time and effort to do it well so, in lieu of a big NYE party to go to, we decided to go back to basics for once. Just a few people, four in fact. Easy but classic and very tasty food, champagne and nice wines to drink and just lots of fun because you’re among great friends.

I wouldn’t mind a repeat this year, guys!

After watching some ice hockey in the afternoon (the Junior World Championship was on in Malmö) we started our evening with Champagne and canapès consisting of crispy bread fried in butter topped with creme fraiche, Swedish caviar (löjrom), red onions, dill and lemon slices. It doesn’t require much cooking but it is so delicious it still impresses your guests!

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Our starter was lobster with melted garlic butter and puff pastry twists. Again very simple, but absolutely gorgeous!

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The even bigger hit was the main course with incredibly tender fillet of beef that I managed to buy in a regular (but very good) supermarket (where I also found bone marrow  – I was in heaven!). Served rare with a wonderful mushroom crème, tenderstem broccoli, caramelised shallots, Hasselback potatoes and creamy red wine sauce, I think this was everyone’s favourite dish. So so delicious!

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I made the same dessert as last year, as it was such a success! Fluffy parfait with chopped dark chocolate and caramelised hazelnuts served with honeycomb and butterscotch sauce. Delicious!

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Just before midnight we walked down to the Opera in Malmö where the fire work display was going to be, toasted in some more bubbly, watched the fireworks and went back inside to eat and drink some more. It was a great evening!

The Recipes

Swedish caviar with butter-fried bread, serves 4

4-6 slices of nice white bread

2 tbsp salted butter for frying 

1 packet Swedish caviar (löjrom – bleak roe)

200 ml creme fraiche

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

dill lemon slices to decorate

Heat up a frying pan on medium heat and melt half the butter but don’t let it burn. Fry the bread slowly first on one side and then on the other until crispy and golden brown. Add more butter when you turn the bread. Cut into smaller pieces. 

Chop the red onion and let it soak in icecold water a few minutes before serving to lose some of the sharpness. Drain before serving. 

Either place a dollop of creme fraiche, caviar and some red onion, dill and a small lemon segment on each bread piece or serve in bowls and let people assemble their own canapès. 

Lobster with garlic butter and puff pastry twists, serves 4

2 fresh lobsters

100 g salted butter, at room temperature 

1 medium garlic clove, pressed

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

white pepper

1 roll all butter puff pastry 

sea salt flakes

lemon slices to serve

Start with the puff pastry twists. Cut the roll of puff pastry into 2 cm wide strips. Twist each strip a few times and place on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and bake in 225C oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Leave to cool. Keep in an airtight container. 

Mix the softened butter with garlic, parsley and some white pepper.

Cut the lobsters in half lengthways with a sharp yet sturdy knife. Remove the black vein and any roe. Rinse very carefully. Remove and open the claws and keep the claw meat on the side. Place the lobster halves on a baking tray, spread with butter and place in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with a lemon wedge, a fresh claw each and the puff pastry twists. 

Fillet of beef with Hasselback potatoes, tenderstem broccoli, mushroom crème, caramelised shallots and creamy red wine sauce, serves 4

1 kg good quality beef fillet, trimmed of any tendons and cut into 3-4 cm thick medallions 

1 kg medium Maris Piper potatoes (or another firm type)

2-3 broccoli stems per person

1 batch red wine juswith approx 400 ml liquid

200 ml double cream

Start with the sauce, crème and onions (recipes below). Add the cream to the red wine jus, let it thicken and season to taste. Can be reheated before serving. 

Peel the potatoes and cut in half lengthways. Put them flat side down and make small incisions creating a ridged effect with a sharp knife. Don’t cut all the way through and leave 1-2 mm between the incisions. Place the potato halves on an oiled baking tray, drizzle with mild oil and add salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden brown, approx 30-40 minutes in 200C. 

Brown the meat on all sides. Season well with salt and black pepper. Place in oven on 150C until the inside temperature of the meat is 55C (for medium-rare). Rest the meat a few minutes before serving. 

Cook the broccoli in salted water until soft but not mushy. Drain and add some more salt. 

Plate with the mushroom crème underneath the meat. 

Mushroom crème, serves 4

125 g chestnut mushrooms

1 handful dried ceps (porcini) in pieces 

1 shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp Cognac

50 ml double cream

salt, white pepper

Soak the ceps for a few minutes then squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop all the mushrooms roughly. Heat up a knob of butter in a frying pan/sauteuse on mediun heat and add shallots, garli and mushrooms. Fry slowly adding more butter if needed. Once the mushrooms have browned, add the mustard and Cognac and let the liquid evaporate. Add the cream and let the mixture thicken. Blend to a smooth paste using a stick blender. Adjust the seasoning. Heat up again before serving.

Caramelised shallots, serves 4

10-12 shallots, peeled and cut in half

1 knob salted butter

200 ml red wine

100 ml beef stock

2 tsp Acacia honey

salt, pepper

Use a non-stick pan. Caramelise the onions in the butter on medium heat, it takes about 5 minutes. Add red wine, stock and honey and let the liquid evaporate (without a lid) until you have sticky dark brown onions. Add salt and pepper. 

Lunch at Njutbar, Malmö, Sweden

ska24Even though I go home to Sweden to visit fairly often (at least according to my colleagues) it is difficult to make time for everyone I want to see and everything I want to do. So when I realised that I had time for a lunch in Malmö with my best friend before a joint makeup session (our birthday present to each other) and a dinner party I had to choose carefully. There are quite a few new exciting places in Malmö nowadays and I am way behind in trying them out. Top of my list is Saltimport Canteen, but it was closed the week I was in Skåne so instead we decided on an old classic; Njutbar.

I used to live around the corner from it and I even knew one of the chefs back in the day and I am so happy this place still exists. It is small but cosy, has a deli section with nice charcuterie and cheeses as well as filling delicious salads to choose from and soup to start off the meal. And decent wines too.

As it was a hot summer’s day we decided on a nice salad and a glass of white wine. And when they brought out already chilled glasses with the wine so it would keep cool longer we were so pleased! It is the little things that counts, and by going that extra mile we could enjoy our glass of cold and refreshing wine throughout the meal.

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The salad, their version of a chicken Caesar was really lovely and perfect for a hot day! The chicken was incredibly moist, the bacon crispy and the salad substantial with lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cabbage. Instead of croûtons it came with toasted breadcrumbs and their homemade dressing. Lovely!

Njutbar, Stora Nygatan 23, 211 37 Malmö