31 January 2015


This restaurant is great inspiration for people who wish to open a restaurant of their own but don't dare to, due to lack of big financial assets, lack of interior designer friends, lack of posh location or fear of loosing the battle to attract guests in a city full of competition.
Chef Claes and sommelier Alexander, who owns the place, used to work together at one Michelin star restaurant Kock&Vin in Sweden's second biggest city Gothenburg. They eventually decided to risk everything to open Nook in the capital. A well gambled risk as the restaurant has been more or less full since the opening.
Plates from Ikea and a sober, minimalistic interior shows that you don't need to splash out the big bucks in order to create a personal environment.
Nook "only" serves two 3-course menus, apart from a few bar snacks and big suckling pig feast for bigger parties. At the time of our visit one menu cost 350kr (42$) and the other 400kr (48$), a bargain I must say.
I started with a bottle of cold Punk IPA from the Scottish brewer BrewDog.
Intense, tropical notes of mango, pineapple and passion fruit mixed with rich bitterness, it's a beer I really like.

As I had a bit of a blocked nose this very evening I missed a few of the delicate nuances of the Barolo I ordered but I still liked the slightly earthy notes I sensed in 2005 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera from Elio Grasso. Unfortunately the wine was served too warm but after 10-15 minutes in an ice-bucket the problem was solved. Still I think some restaurants needs to take serving temperature of wine a bit more serious.

First dish was a slow cooked egg with miso, vendace roe, Jerusalem artichoke and chicken skin.
The sticky texture of the 64 degrees cooked yolk, the crunchiness of both the Jerusalem artichoke chips and the chicken skin mixed with the salty fish roe and the creamy Jerusalem artichoke puree.
Insanely good and definitely one of the best dishes of 2014.

Main course was duck breast with duck heart, barley, bonito, cabbage and duck liver sauce. Also a very good dish.

Dessert was a brown butter ice cream with cloudberries, almond and pickled spruce.
Nice but maybe a bit heavy for my personal taste.
As a minor negative point the food took quite some time to get delivered to our table. I understand that with their price point they can't afford to have a massive kitchen brigade but a small, simple appetizer or some bread could have saved the long wait. Nonetheless, I was very happy with the dinner and would gladly come back. 

13 November 2014

Djuret Revised

This is the second time I review this amazing restaurant in Stockholm but maybe the 5th time I dine there. The concept has slightly changed since my last visit. Still the theme is to serve one animal for a good five weeks and display it with its different cuts and their various uses and tastes.
Instead of a la carte, Djuret now serves two menus; one 3 course and one 6 course.
The food is cooked with love, not too complicated but always with great flavours, contrasting textures and prepared with excellent craftsmanship.
What makes me love this place even more is its massive wine list and advantageous pricing. On top of that I can add warm, cozy atmosphere, professional but relaxed service, Riedel glasses and a sense of humour that runs like a red line through the venue with everything from menu description to interior. Restaurateur Daniel Crespi knows what he's doing.
It's the third time I had the honour to eat at Djuret with VicSlic, one of my dearest friends and an amazing musician. He doesn't have any classic schooling or knowledge about wine or food but his passion and love for it is as big as it can be. I believe he can analyze wines better than many sommeliers and I honestly think you need to have an artist soul to fully understand the true and deep meaning of a great wine. Might sound pretentious but thats my view of it.

The current "theme" was cow from Rafna in Sweden and while I was flipping through the wine list we got served dried and smoked beef, a Swedish version of Biltong.

With regards to the wine I came up with a theme; two bottles of syrah made in a completely different style and from a completely different origin. Could be fun (and tasty) I thought.
The first bottle was from the classic region for the grape variety Syrah; northern Rhône valley and the other bottle from the warm and sunny California.

2009 Cornas from Auguste Clape started off a bit shy but soon opened up with full grace after a while in the decanter. Lingonberries, raspberries and a herbaceous tone, it was a very noble and elegant wine, we both truly loved it. VicSlic described the wine as perfect HiFi. High treble without being sharp, thick bass without being mushy and a punchy centre core. It got better and better throughout the night and if you happen to have few bottles of this fantastic wine at home, wait and open them in 5-10 years and the reward will be massive.

The second wine, 2006 Reva Syrah from Alban Vineyards was, as I said, completely different. From Edna Valley, this Syrah was packed with fruit and extremely concentrated but it is remarkable how clean and pure the wine still was with all that fruit, not jammy and flabby at all. Even though there was a warmth, you barely noticed the 17% alcohol that this fermented grape juice contained.
The sweetest compote of berries with vanilla, dark tea, black currents (almost like the black Bassett's Winegums), chocolate, toffee and hazelnuts. Very complex and long.

First serving of the cow (apart from the dry snacks) was a tartar of the tenderloin served with oysters, parsley emulsion and algae. The mineral and salty flavours from the oysters worked really well with the raw meat. Great, light start.

The tongue of the cow was one of the parts used for the terrine served next. Layered with foie gras and served with various texture of apples and hazelnuts. Once again a great dish.

Next up was, what I think, a classic Djuret-dish in the way it was composed. Blackened heart with truffle sausage, cabbage, pear and mushrooms. Creamy, crispy, salty and sweet. Finger-licking good Djuret-style!

Balsamico-baked brisket with bone marrow, almonds and shallot.
Rich, caramelized shallot puree and the tender brisket was great.

Rib eye 56 degrees with lardo, cabernet sauvignon, girolle and artichoke.
Cooked to perfection. Juicy read meat all the way with just a thin, seared, crusty surface.

Pomegranate-baked apples with sourdough, Calvados and cream cheese.
Desserts have always been a bit of a weak part of the restaurant and so was this one. Good but nothing memorable.

Dear blog readers, don't get bored if I visit and write about this restaurant another 10-50 times, I cant help it, I just love the place too much.


24 October 2014


There is almost more sushi joints than pizzerias in Stockholm now days. With the extremely high standards of the restaurants in the capital it's shocking to see how bad 99% of the sushi restaurants are. Thank god for Råkultur.
This easy going sushi place, serving both lunch and dinner, is owned and run by Sayan Isaksson and is located in the same building as Sayan's Michelin starred, fine dining restaurant Esperanto.

I went for a quick lunch with mom and my auntie.
We started of with a lovely selection of sashimi beautifully presented on a mist of dry ice.

Next up a maki roll filled with sweet pork ribs, ginger and shiso. Great flavors but the rice was a bit too cold.

After this we were served sushi moriawase of only Scandinavian fish. The nigiri selection were; wild salmon, cod with chili mayonnaise, silver eel with smoked teriyaki sauce, pike-perch in hay, halibut marinated in beetroot and topped with tobiko, char with squid emulsion, scallop with mustard miso and finally salmon belly tataki with meat soy.
On the plate we also had a gunkan of char and two kinds of maki rolls; salmon with tamago and cod with cucumber and leeks.

To prevent the guests to over-season their sushi in a pile of soy, Råkultur serve all their sushi bites with soy in a shot glass and a brush. You're meant to "paint" a small amount of soy on the fish only, not the rice, in true Japanese fashion.

Together with the sushi I drank White Ale Hitachino Nest Beer from Kiuchi Brewery in Ibaraki, Japan. This fantastic wheat beer is flavored with coriander seeds, orange peel and nutmeg, just like the famous Hoegaarden. But unlike the Belgium wheat beer, the White Ale is backed with nice bitterness and greater depth. The beer is imported in Sweden by my good friend Åke Nordgren and his company Akebono. Åke is a well respected person in the world of Sake and Japanese gastronomy and was 2010, awarded Sake Samurai in a big event in London. He's the seventh person outside Japan who got this prestigious award.

An amazing dessert of apple purée flavored with brown butter, topped with frozen yogurt and fennel meringue came next. I really loved this one, so, so good.


Can't wait for Sayan's next restaurant to be opened soon. It's going t be a fine dining version of Råkultur. Stockholm and the world, be prepared!!!



When this restaurant opened a few years ago they served pub grub with finesse and their burger was perhaps the most talked about dish in Stockholm for a very long time.
Now the style has slightly changed and with my friend "Rai" behind the pots and pans it's more of a budget version of fine dining. They only serve one five course menu at a price of 550 sek (85$) which for this level of cooking is ridiculously cheap. And when it comes to the quality of the food and the ingredients it's far from budget.
The restaurant is run by Mr. Crespi. He and his team run a handful of restaurants in this block of Stockholm Old Town; Djuret (see previous blog), Leijontornet 12x8 (all-in classic fine dining opened only 12 times a year for total eight guests), Svinet (backyard restaurant only serving pork) along with the newly opened wine bar The Burgundy and the cocktail bar Tweed.

It was with a glass of NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and a chat with Mr. Crespi himself I started this evening while waiting for my friends to arrive.
The restaurant is tiny with a communal table in the middle where the big part of the guests are seated. Around the table they have the "wine wall" where you can make some real bargains. Apart from that they also have an impressive wine list that is very advantageously priced. We choose two bottles from the evening. From the wine wall we picked a bottle of 2006 Château Pontet-Canet and from the bible-like wine list we chose a bottle of 2010 Meursault Tessons, Clos de Mon Plaisir from Domaine Roulot. The white Burgundy might have been the wine of the evening. It was so full of mineral fragrance that when I stuck my nose in the glass I was transported back in time to the smell of fire works at New Year's Eve when I was a kid. Fantastic wine with such an appetizing balance and great lenght.

As an appetizer we got breaded duck leg with sour dip. Simple and tasty.

Bass with onion purée, burnt onion, lumpfish roe and nasturtium.
Great first dish and perfect with the Meursault.

Coarse tartar of fallow deer with parsley emulsion, fried oyster mushrooms and fried herbs. I never get tired of a good tartar and this one was amazing. The very pungent herb lovage was noted in the mix and it worked very well with the dish. Normally I think this herb is too strong and dominant.

Next dish was a lobster and truffle serving. It wasn't part of the original five-course menu but an additional option we couldn't resist to order. Just on the edge of being too salty, but still great.

Burnt salsify with cod, cockles, toasted almonds, smoked beurre blanc and seaweed. So, so good and along with the dish we had a glass of the wine from their wine pairings; 2008 Mas d'en Compte Blanc from Celler Cal Pla. This white Priorat is made from the grapes Garnacha Blanca, Picapoli, Pansal (Xarello) and Macabeo, all matured in 80% new French oak and has aromas of vanilla, dried apricots and fennel with a rather low acidity. Interesting wine, if not a personal favorite, it matched the food perfectly.

Now we slowly started to sip on the Pontet-Canet that had been decanted for a good hour. Great, medium bodied claret with classic nose of cassis, toasted oak and a hints of violets.
Unfortunaly the super tasty main course served next with its rich and sweet flavors kind of killed the wine and every bit of fruit existing.
Iberico pork neck glaced with hazelnut
 butter and served with an intense red cabbage pure with a lot of natural sweetness, baked pointed cabbage, pork jus and black truffle. Such an amazing dish but the poor wine was lost. Should have ordered a richer, more fruit driven wine. A bit of a waste of a great Bordeaux.

As dessert we were served an ice cream made of caramelized rice with grilled pear, lemon mascarpone, sake syrup and puffed wild rice. Good but a bit anonymous after the other great dishes.

After the dessert we left the restaurant and walked to the other side of the block to their cocktail bar Tweed. It's a very cozy bar that looks like an old men's club.
A second dessert was here offered; Chocolate creme with vanilla ice cream and "polkagris", a hard, swedish candy seasoned with peppermint.

We were still longing for more wine so after a basket of bread to neutralize the palate I ordered a bottle of 2006 State Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Kapcsándy in Napa Valley.
I drank the same wine about a year earlier. I was more floored by the wine last time. It felt a bit closed at the moment. Still an impressive red though.

Still thirsty we moved a few blocks to Restaurant Frantzén's wine bar Gaston where my dear friends O-chäf and Mr. Agrell served us two nice last bottles before we strolled home happy in the early morning.

13 October 2014

Six Senses Yao Noi

Six senses has seven, exclusive, sustainable resorts on unique locations in five countries; China, Oman, Maldives, Vietnam and Thailand. Our holiday destination was their resort on Yao Noi island at the beautiful Phang Nga Bay between Phuket and Krabi in southern Thailand. Most of the 50+ villas are located on a hilltop and gives the guests complete privacy and a sense of relaxed luxury with private pool and complete comfort.

Head chef is Anthony Reynolds with past experience in places like Le Gavroche in London, and he oversees the three restaurants on the resort. 'Living Room' serves a variety of dishes in an informal "al fresco" setting. This is also the venue where the massive and great breakfast is served every morning. 'Dining Room' serves organic european cuisine in a fine dining setting and finally 'Hilltop Reserve' with its amazing view over the bay and the main property pool.

They also have some visiting chefs from time to time. Only two weeks after we left the island Magnus Nilsson from the famous Fäviken Magasinet in northern Sweden was doing a guest appearance. Do I need to explain how bummed I was that I missed that?
Overall the standards of the food were very high and they had a good wine list to dig in to.
Various gardens are scattered around the place where they grow herbs and vegetables for their dishes. They even have their own mushroom hut.
They also collect rainwater that they filter and bottle to serve the guest, they ferment pineapple skins to use as a magical fertilizer in their gardens and the vegetable off-cuts are fed to the chickens that produce the tasty eggs that the guests eat for breakfast.
We definitely didn't walk around hungry during our stay and the service was throughout very attentive and warm.


Mushroom hut

Aloe vera, used in their after sun lotion

Day 1

A light lunch of steamed barramundi caught in the water outside the resort and served with green chilli seafood sauce.
The fish was steamed to perfection, juicy, soft and flaky. The sauce, eventhough containing chilli, didn't overpower the delicate fish. A great dish.

For dinner we went to the Dining Room.

A refreshing tamarind ice tea with a perfect balance between sweet and sour was served with the lemongrass towel as a welcome gesture. Now both my throat and hands were clean and ready for some food.

As an appetizer we were served a tuna tataki with asian pickled vegetables.

2011 Dog Point Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand was my choice for the evening. Smokey aromas, roasted hazelnuts, matchstick and a massive minerality. Medium bodied with refreshing acidity and just a light touch of oak. The wine was very perfect with my two dishes.

Roasted cauliflower bisque with truffle, brown butter and apple.

Home made tagliatelle with roasted garlic and a selection of mushrooms grown on the resort.
Really good and rich but both dishes was a bit similar in their bold, creamy flavors. I could only blame myself who made the order.

Day 2

Chicken satay with peanut sauce and pickled cucumber. Compared to the one I'm used to from Indonesia, these skewers had an Indian seasoning that was very interesting and tasty as well.

Beef salad with chilli, mint, celery and shallots as a main course this lunch. Classic Thai flavors like lemongrass and ginger in the mix, pretty spicy but very good.

We started the dinner in our villa with some Serrano ham and olives. A half bottle of NV Grande Cuvée from Krug was our choice of aperitif. 
This truly is a great champagne packed with aromas of lemon confit, pineapple, roasted bread and elderberry. Creamy, rich taste with a long finish.

After this great little start we went to Hilltop Reserve restaurant for our dinner. This restaurant is beautifully located above the resort's main pool. Every alternate day they serve a theme menu and a la carte Thai food. This night it was the later. You choose four courses from the a la carte menu to make up your own set menu. We decided to skip dessert and pick four savory dishes. After a start of prawn crackers with home made ketchup my first course was served;

Crispy crab balls with mango salad. A pretty plain dish without that extra "something". The crab balls weren't really crispy and the salad was more of a dipping sauce.

'Tom yam gong' was my second choice. This classic soup was made to perfection according to my taste buds. I asked for medium spicy which was perfect, still spicy but bearable until the last sip and perfectly seasoned. Prawns and mushrooms were added but why do they never take out these big pieces of ginger, lemongrass and handful of lime leaves from the soup bowl? Who wants to chew on those?

Third serving was wok duck with Japanese onion, Thai chilli and tamarind sauce. Served with steamed rice this was a good dish.

Grilled pork spare rib was my last choice. Charcoal barbecued and marinated in five spice.
Finger licking good.
All the dishes were washed down with the famous Thai beer Singha.

Day 3

This was by far the best young coconut water I've ever tried. Naturally slightly sweet and very tasty. We drank it together with 'som tum gai yang', an amazing, barbecued, local chicken with green papaya salad for lunch. Fantastic!

In villa dining for dinner.
A juicy grass fed angus ribeye steak with potato fondant and red wine jus.

With the steak a beautiful bottle of 2009 Dominus from Dominus Estate in Napa Valley, California. One of the classic wines from the region made by the famous Christian Moueix. There's not a single drop of Merlot in this wine, the grape that made Monsieur Moueix famous with wines like Petrus and Trotanoy. Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. The wine has been matured in 40% new oak for 18 month.
The nose was initially very perfumed, elegant and a bit closed. Lacking a proper decanter I poured the wine in an ice bucket we had and one hour later the wine had truly blossomed. 
This is one of these wines you don't need to drink, just sniffing it for hours would have been enough.
The sweetest of blackcurrants and blackberries ( without being jammy) with a medium body and an already perfect balance in the mouth. Silky tannins and acidity well integrated with the juicy fruit. Superb.
Together with the first Rush Hour movie on the TV this was a great end of another fantastic day in the paradise.

Day 4

Lunch at The Den which is the resort's bar.
We ordered a massive seafood platter with crabs, oysters, lobsters, scallops, langoustines and local prawns, served with bread and various dipping sauces. In the glass a young, fresh bottle of 2011 Chablis from Domaine Francois Raveneau. Light and citrusy with notes of raw rhubarb, lemon, almond and chalk. A bit fatter and rounder in the mouth than on the nose with yellow plum, chervil and cream. A five star lunch an amazing setting.

The craving for something sweet was now big. So perfect then that they have an ice cream bar serving unlimited, home made ice cream for free just next to the bar.
I chose green tea and sesame. Both great.

After a fantastic massage at the spa we went back to Dining Room where we had our first dinner.
This time a mushroom soup was served as an appetizer.

We decided only to go for a main course since the big lunch was still making an impact on our appetite. 

The Austraian lamb rack on the menu looked tempting. Served with romanesco crust, melted leek and juniper jus. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned.

A bottle of fruit driven Shiraz was ordered. 2010 Bishop from Glaetzer in Barossa Valley, Australia. Berry compote, vanilla and mint chocolate, very typical for its style.
Not the most complex wine but it filled its purpose this evening and matched well with my lamb even though the length of the wine was a bit short.

Day 5

The last full day on Yao Noi we felt like exploring the island a bit.
After a morning in mud piles, rice fields and viewing the local villages on our rented ATV the hunger kicked in so we stopped at 'Je T'aime', a relaxed restaurant in the heart of the island. It's run by a Danish lady and her French boyfriend and the restaurant is ranked as number one on the island according to Tripadvisor. We had vegetarian spring rolls as a starter and 'Laab Moo' (spicy pork salad) and chicken green curry as mains. Simple and very good.

For the last dinner we went back to the bar The Den. We ordered 'Plaa Bplaa', tuna tartare marinated in lime, lemongrass, mint, chili and shallots, like a 'lab-salad'. It was good but a bit more seasoning wouldn't have hurt for this refreshing starter.

As a main course I chose 'Neua yang jim jow', grilled beef cubes with a dipping sauce. Perhaps the least favorite dish during our stay. A bit plain and boring.

As dessert we chose a fantastic mango sticky rice with coconut sorbet.

The night ended with a few mojitos with the charming chef Anthony. A well traveled and experienced chef who must have the best job in the world.
It truly wasn't easy for us to leave this amazing resort the morning after.

I can really recommend you to try this resort if you travel in the Phuket region and you will be amazed with the nature, professional and friendly service, food, and fantastic accomodation.