With an ever changing menu defined by what’s available locally, an evening at Gastrologik is sophisticated, delicious and gives you a glimpse into Nordic cuisine and style
Certain restaurants around the world are too prestigious to miss if your travels take you near to them. Stockholm’s Gastrologik is one of those places.This is a restaurant which is making waves in the world of food. We had heard a lot of good things about what they’re doing and it came highly recommended by some of our foodie friends. It has been awarded a Michelin star, and the World's Best Restaurants describes it as a place where “a carrot is treated with just as much respect as a truffle.” This was a restaurant that was high on our restaurant bucket list and a place we knew we would have a special experience.
Adding to the exclusivity of Gastrologik is the fact that the dining room can only seat around thirty guests at a time. If you can get in, you will find yourself in a bright and open dining room that feels distinctly modern and oh so Scandinavian. Everything is either white or a soothing shade of gold, with the exception of the wall behind the pass which is turquoise – this is a great example of Scandinavian simplicity. It designed by Jonas Lindvall – a top Swedish architect – and thus the decoration gives the place a Nordic feel. This is compounded by the fact that local touches are used as much as possible. The ingredients are largely Swedish, as was the designer of the staff uniforms.
As demonstrated by the way they set themselves the nationally sourced rule, the chefs have put an enormous amount of effort into finding the best ingredients – they believe that this is as important as what they do with them in the kitchen. On any given night, they know where the flour comes from, where the grains are milled and the vegetables grown. They have built up strong relationships with some of Sweden’s best farmers, ensuring that they have priority access to the pick of crops.
Of course, prioritizing the quality of the ingredients means their availability fluctuates. Therefore, the menu changes on a nightly basis and it is built around whatever chefs Anton Bjuhr and Jacob Holmstrom have been able to get their hands on. They call it the ‘let the produce decide menu’, and it consists of around twenty courses served over several hours. This is the distillation of their philosophy is that food should be “interesting, delicious and innovative – but never more interesting than delicious”.
With the level of interesting on offer when we dined there, a whole lot of delicious was needed to fulfill that statement, but of course they managed it. That night they were serving a twenty-two course symphony of tastes and special moments. Each dish was a visual feast, and each bite was simple, elegant and delicious.
We were treated to all sorts of gourmet offerings but some of the best, were goat cheese on a rye pancake with nasturtiums and crab apple, the Alesund langoustine with a cream made of fennel and lobster’s head, and the sourdough bread with smoked hand-churned butter. Somehow the humble bread course is increasingly becoming one of my favorite parts of my meals, and this example was no exception. Each dish was paired with wine which complimented it (although being pregnant I had juice).
The sweet courses were just as good as the savory ones, and our first was made almost entirely from pumpkin. First they scooped out the seeds and turned them into ice cream, then they grilled the flesh, brought it out to our table and scooped it out. Another round was based on a Swedish tradition – Kalvdans. This dessert (literally translated as ‘calf dance’) has been made here for centuries and uses the unique milk that cows produce immediately after giving birth. This is then heated with water to make a custard-like cake, and at for us it was served with cloudberries.
Dining at Gastrologik was one of the most sophisticated dining experiences we’ve had in a quite a while. It was elegant, comfortable, relaxing and so so delicious. It is safe to say that this restaurant deserves the reputation that it has built up, and we will remember eating there for a long time. If you are a person who goes out of their way to try only the world’s most celebrated food, you won’t want to miss this one.
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