26 December 2012

Rolfs Kök

I have probably visit Rolfs Kök more times than any other restaurant in Stockholm so it's about time to give it a small review.
This place is all about simple, well cooked food with dishes influenced by Swedish and Southern European cuisine and along with an amazing wine list and a lovely, laid back atmosphere and great service it can't go wrong.

Unlike most of the good restaurant in Stockholm, Rolf's Kök is actually opened on Sundays which is great. So when I and my cousin decided to go for an early Sunday dinner the choice was easy.

I started with a small pint of Brooklyn Lager to quench my thirst while browsing the menu.
Their classic dishes always are tempting but we decided to try something new this time.
I continued with beer for the starters and chose The American Dream from the fantastic Danish brewery Mikkeller. I just love this beer with its rich, fruity flavors of passion fruit and pineapple backed up with a pleasant bitterness. Mikkeller also makes signature beers for the famous restaurant Noma in Copenhagen.

We started with a plate of pata negra de Salamanca. This fantastic ham is delicious. What more to say?

Next up, razor clams with sauce vierge. Topped with the fresh herbs and tomato it was a good dish but nothing special.

2008 Central Coast Syrah from Piedrasassi in California had now been decanted for an hour and was poured in our big Riedel glasses. This 100% Syrah uses fruit picked from three vineyards; White Hawk, Rim Rock and Harrison-Clarke. Such a pure, clean wine. Not big and overblown, just elegant with a long, long finish and super silky tannins and a match in heaven with our main course.

Roast of suckling lamb from Zamora topped with garlic bread croutons and served with a lamb and olive jus. On the side; bean purée with baked tomatoes, beans, snails and more of that lovely jus. Wow, unbelievably good.

The restaurateurs; Klas Ljungquist and Johan Jureskog who has run this restaurant for almost ten year also has a second restaurant, AG, which I also highly recommended, especially if you want some high quality steaks.


20 December 2012


This was about to be the third time I visit this restaurant. Djuret means "the animal" and the theme of the restaurant is to serve different parts from one animal and with that offer a selection of exclusive wines from an area that matches the food. These "theme" wines are always priced extremely low which is obviously an welcoming touch. This evening the wine theme was Côte-Rôtie and to give you an example; a bottle of 2005 La Turque from Guigal could be ordered for around 500 US dollars, must be the cheapest price on the planet? If you don't like Côte-Rôtie (who doesn't?) or you like me just feel for something else there's one of Sweden's biggest and best wine list to immerse in.
The meat for this month was not one, but three different ones; elk calf, wild boar and wild duck. They also have few a classics on the menu that shouldn't be missed.

We started off in the bar with a glass of Thiénot Brut Champagne and deep fried pork rinds with chili mayonnaise. Salt, crispy and fat, what a yummy start and the freshness from the champagne made it even better.

My dear friend and previous colleague David Svensson is now working at Djuret and he showed us to the table. Having this amazing sommelier around, I knew we were in good hands.

The ambience is very warm and cozy and I really like the old meat grinders they've transformed into lamps. The dark light isn't very favorable if you want to take pictures of the dishes, which you can see on the grainy photos below.

When seated we started off with 2007 Saint-Véran "En Crèches" from Daniel et Martine Barraud. An excellent, creamy and perfectly balanced white burgundy that caressed our mouths.

With the fantastic bread we got served butter, pork rillette and a lovely rooster liver pâté topped with figs and gherkins.

Next dish was so seductive with its rich, fatty flavors; a marrowbone served with bleak roe, pickled onions and newly toasted brioche. This marrowbone serving was ten times better than the classic "marrow bone with parsley salad" I was served at the 1 Michelin starred restaurant St. John in London. Don't get we wrong, that was a great dish too.
Fish eggs in general is not the best buddy with dry wine as its rich content of umami makes the wine taste metallic and bitter but if you round off these flavor with something creamy like bone marrow this will not be an issue. My god what a great combination and what a superb dish.

We continued with the Saint-Véran for the next two dishes but we also got a glass each of 2011 Riesling Trocken from Wittmann in Rheinhessen, Germany. This is truly an amazing entry level Riesling with an explosive, aromatic nose of peaches, white flowers and hand lotion. What a great palate cleanser!

On the table we got served two dishes; tartar of elk calf with pickled chanterelles, roasted shallot cream and Kavring bread croutons. The meat was a bit grainy and not a favorite. Maybe elk isn't the best meat to make tartar of?

In a totally different league was the other plate; confit baked cheek of wild boar, smoke baked heart of the elk calf and a terrine of the wild duck liver. This was served with variations of celeriac, grated truffle from Gotland and topped with an fantastic oxtail consommé. Wow, so yummy and the broth tasted like something cooked by my grandmother when I, as a kid, spent my summers in Tuscany.

With our next two servings of game I choose a bottle of 2006 Pagos Viejos from the great producer Artadi in Rioja, Spain. The wine is made from Tempranillo grapes from 50 years old vines that got a treatment in 16 months all new oak barrels. An elegant, serious wine with deep fruit and balanced tannins.

As main I ordered a variations of wild boar. The neck as sausage and the shoulder braised in tomatoes, game stock and white wine. This was served with Borlotti beans, a lemony polenta and gremolata. Tasty dish but a bit anonymous, especially when compared to the fantastic wild duck dish my friend ordered.

Confit of the leg and fried breast of the wild duck served with pickled Savoy cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke croquet, duck liver, chestnuts, apricots and wild duck jus. A magnificent dish, that had everything.

Dessert was excluded after this massive dinner. Instead we went for a guided tour in the wine cellar with David before we rolled out from the restaurant to the snowy, narrow street of Gamla Stan and walked home with a big smile on our faces.

15 December 2012


I love December and the good and warm feeling of Christmas.
The obvious beverage during this cold and snowy month in Sweden is Glögg which is also known as mulled wine, vin chaud or glühwine in other parts of Europe.
It is basically a warm, spiced wine. The variations are as many as people making it but here comes my own recipe;


750ml of fruity red wine
3 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp dried ginger
8 cloves
6 black peppercorns
2 bitter orange peels
7 tbsp brown sugar
100ml concentrated black currant juice
100ml spirit (vodka, cognac, rum or whiskey)


Place all the spices and the sugar with 200ml of the wine in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove the drink from the stove to avoid the alcohol from evaporate and add the rest of the wine plus the spirit and the concentrated black currant juice.
When cooled down, place the sauce pan in the fridge to let the spices infuse in the liquid for a night or two. Strain away all the seasoning.

Place a few raisins and almonds in small, espresso-sized cup before you top up the warm drink.
Served with ginger bread cookies, I'm sure this will warm up your body and get you in a great Christmas mood.


05 December 2012

19 Glas

Back for a quick visit in Stockholm. Covered in snow, the capital is truly beautiful at this time of the year, especially Gamla Stan with its old houses, narrow alleys and wonderful atmosphere. This part of the city used to be filled with sad, touristic restaurants serving poor pasta and bad version of classic Swedish dishes. But since a few years, Gamla Stan is transformed to a true gastronomic centre with restaurant like Frantzén/Lindeberg, Pubologi and Djuret. Another one is 19 Glas and here I decided to go for a quick lunch with my mom.
They only serve one dish each lunch so there is no problem when it comes to deciding what to eat. This could not be said when it comes to the wine list though since they serve a majority of their wines by the glass. A glass of easy drinking Le Volte from Tenuta dell'Ornellaia was my choice and matched well with the food.
First we got served a home made sausage of rabbit and duck topped with harissa. Lovely levain bread was served with a tasty, nutty brown butter.

The main course was slow braised leg of lamb served with tomato, caramelized onions and spinach. Simple and very tasty.

On the negative side it was freezing cold in the restaurant when we were there which was ok for a quick lunch but I wouldn't stand sitting here for a two hours dinner. Still I really recommend you to try this little gem, especially if you like wine.

24 November 2012

Xiao Wei Yang

Xiao Wei Yang Hotpot restaurant has been a favorite in Dubai. The only problem has been that the two branches are located in Deira and International City, far away from my apartment when the cravings kicks in. Now they have opened an eatery in JBR, opposite Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, just a 5 minutes taxi ride from my home, perfect.

Chinese hotpot is like a fondue where vegetables, meat, fish etc. of your choice is dipped in a aromatic broth, simmering on your table.

This time we choose twin herb broth and ordered beef sirloin, lotus root, beef balls, kangkong, tofu sticks and black fungus to be dipped in the aromatic liquid.

I strongly recommend to go here for a cheap, tasteful treat.

15 November 2012

Roasted Chicken

Not much beats a roasted chicken dinner at home.
Here are some tips for the most juicy, succulent chicken ever. Get the best chicken possible, so don't try to save money on that cheap stuff. More expensive = more taste. Brine the chicken in a 5% salt to water solution over night. This gives the bird more taste and makes it juicier. Smear the skin with generous amounts of butter and fill the cavity with seasoning of your choice (whole lemon, herbs, garlic...). Put the oven at 80 degrees celsius only and cook the chicken until the thickest part of the breast reaches 62 degrees celsius. Take it out and let it rest for 45-60 minutes (during this time you could use the oven to roast the potatoes). After this, crank the oven up to maximum heat and roast the chicken for 10-15 minutes, until the skin is golden and crackling. Serve with the condiments of your liking.

This evening I served the chicken with roasted potatoes, long stem broccoli and a chicken gravy made from home made chicken stock. In the glass we had 2009 Mearsault from Louis Jadot. It had a medium full body with discreet toffee notes from the oak blended with aromas of juicy pears, white flowers and minerals. Medium full in the mouth with, again, distinct flavors of ripe pears and citrus marmalade. All finished with a fresh acidity.

What a Wednesday treat.

13 November 2012

Dinner at Home 07.11.12

It was the day before my better half's birthday so I wanted to spoil her with a nice dinner at home. I was able to buy a piece of white Alba truffle from Massimo Vidoni aka "the truffle man". He used to supply chefs like Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter and Mario Batali before moving to Dubai where he now sells these white gems to the top restaurants in the city. I know I used white truffle in my last dinner, but it is in season now so what to do  ;)

I made Pansotti which i filled with spinach and ricotta cheese and seasoned with garlic, shallots and nutmeg. Served with a creamy walnut sauce and topped with generous amounts of the Alba truffle it was a  delicate starter and I wanted to serve it with a rich, food driven champagne. 

I choose Bollinger and their NV Special Cuvée. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier it had a rich, toasted character with a fresh finish of apples and lemon zest.

Next wine served was 2009 Finca Remota Malbec from Mendel. This is one of the top wines from Mendoza, Argentina and is made from Malbec grapes from 60 year old vines that has matured in 150% new oak. Deep, purple colored with a rich, fruity taste of plum tart, vanilla and chocolate, almost like a liquid version of Anthon Berg. The tannins were already rounded and silky and the flavors lingered in your mouth for minutes. An impressive wine but maybe not favorite style. A few more years in the cellar and some more complexity hopefully would be shown through all that massive fruit.

With the lack of top quality Argentinian meat my choice turned to a nice Wagyu steak that i cooked medium rare and served with caramelized brussels sprouts and mushroom mayonnaise that I made from dried porcini and and trumpet mushrooms picked at my summer house. A rich jus made from a heavily reduced oxtail stock was finally poured onto the meat. Great combination with the wine.

As a sweet end of the meal I had made home made Magnum ice cream. Vanilla parfait covered with dark chocolate and caramelized hazelnuts.

27 October 2012

Dinner at Home 24.10.12

Working in a restaurant that is open 365 days a year, its not often I have the same off day as my two colleagues Jacquie and Juan. Now, when we finally got a free day together it didn't take long before I suggested a dinner at my place. Jacquie, Juan and his wife Sandar arrived early evening and after their wines had been decanted we started with my first starter; scallop tataki, with roasted hazelnuts, pea and mint cream and a dressing made of brown butter, soy and sherry vinegar. A lovely, elegant dish, I must say. I was a bit afraid that the sweetness from the scallops and the cream would kill the wine but it worked ok, not ideal but ok.

The wine served was 2008 Cos d'Estournel Blanc. This is the first time I try their white wine made of a majority of Sauvignon Blanc and the rest Sémillon. The wine is matured in 1 year old barrels but not much of the oak was showing in the final wine. It was extremely elegant, with minerals and green, crisp fruit.

I was able to buy a white Alba truffle through one of our restaurants supplier and that was served on top of of the risotto I cooked next. A few days earlier I cooked a light chicken stock that was ladled in the carnaroli rice before it was topped with fine parmesan, butter and finally the white gold from Piemonte. An elegant and aromatic dish that deserved an equal elegant wine.

My own contribution for the evening was a bottle of 2009 Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Clos de la Maréchale from Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier. Obviously very young but it was interesting to see how it evolved in the glass, from an almost syrah-like aroma of white pepper, bay leaf and meat to a more refined nose of minerals and cranberries. Lovely, "simple" food and a great wine.

Next plate was beef rump, slow-braised in wine and spices and then reduced together with my rich, home-made veal stock. I served the meat with soft polenta and a cold ragout of white beans, artichoke, chestnuts and caramelized unions.

This wine friendly dish was served with two clarets. First up 2004 Cos d'Estournel. What a beauty to drink now and especially compared with the "monumental" 2005 vintage that I tried a few days earlier. For the second bottle we moved to Saint-Emilion and the wine 2004 Canon la Gaffelière. This wine had a much sweeter fruit profile blended with oriental spices. There was an minor oxidized tone of brown apple in the background that was a bit alarming. Still a good wine but nothing amazing. My guess was that the bottle wasn't in the best condition

Two pieces of Comté with various maturity was served next. I love this cheese with its milky, nutty flavor.

In the glasses we we had 2007 Amarone from Allegrini. I haven't tried this wine for a while and it was a bit surprising for me to find the wine so nicely balanced. Still a big wine with notes of dried fruit, licorice and cloves but with a good acidity.

We rounded up the dinner with chocolate anglaise topped with a virgin olive oil and salt, served with chocolate soil, raspberries, campari jelly and toffee. A great dessert with nice textures, especially with the popping candy I sprinkled in the soil.

The fairly light 2002 Tokji Aszú 3 Puttonyos was way too dry for the dessert, so I saved it for later.

I can't wait for our next off day together.

15 October 2012


Asiana hotel is located in Deira and has a fresh, luxurious feel to it. The hotel has one Japanese restaurant called Hanabi which supposed to be very good, but today I wanted to try the Korean restaurant Sonamu. The venue is pretty big and stylish and most of the waiters seems to be Korean as well as the guests.

The food menu is very big with a lot of mouthwatering dishes to choose from. Unfortunately the wine list wasn't as extensive and the few bottles listed wasn't anything that caught my eye so both I and C went for a few cold pints of Kirin (the Korean beer was out of stock).

After we placed the order we got the whole table filled with small plates of goodies. Kimchi, pickled cucumbers, water spinach, mushrooms and various dipping sauces. They where all served cold, straight from the fridge which wasn't ideal. After a few minutes in room temperature the flavors came together and all tasted great.

I noted a fish tank with alive abalone so obviously we had to chose that as a starter. The mollusk was served in a Japanese sashimi style with gari and wasabi but also with some non-Japanese dipping sauces. Abalone is truly a unique experience with it's crunchy texture. Good but nothing amazing.

Then we got served Korean crepes with crab, eggs, vegetables and mustard sauce. 

Korean barbecued sirloin (looks more like rib-eye to me) grilled on the table with onions and mushrooms. Very juicy and tasty meat despite that the waiter mis-understood my cooking preference of the meat.

Then we were served man-doo; fried pork dumplings, very similar to Japanese gyoza. Perhaps the best dish of the evening.

At this point we were very full but still curious for more so we ordered nok-du jeon which was a korean pancake filled with pork meat and mung beans. Great but a bit too big and you got tired of the dish after a few bites.

I want to come back and try more dishes from the vast menu but I think I have to visit the Japanese restaurant Hanabi before.

10 October 2012

Culinary Olympics 2012

Once again my little country has shown how big they are when it comes to cooking and gastronomy:
Sweden just won OLYMPIC CULINARY GOLD and OLYMPIC JUNIOR CULINARY GOLD. Congratulation to Fredrik, Rod and all the rest.