November 8, 2017

Swedish durian

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It has been a looooooong time since I caught up with a certain friend over a good meal, and he's never even had occasion to meet Hello Kitty.   After multiple rounds of attempts, we finally managed to pin down tonight as a date we could all manage, and we even roped in The Great One.  As it's been a while since my last visit to Frantzén's Kitchen, we ended up choosing it out of a short list.  Thankfully the restaurant was able to accommodate us at a time slot that worked for us.

It always amazes me when I am greeted by name at the door of a restaurant, especially when I'm neither a frequent customer (although I did manage to visit 3 times within 3 months) nor anyone particularly important.  I am grateful, though, that Chef Jim Löfdahl always takes good care of me when I'm around.

The seasons have changed since my earlier visits, so we now have a number of new dishes I haven't tried.  My goal tonight was to try each and every one of them.

Noble scallop (桧扇貝) - from Oita (大分).  Dressed in lavender emulsion, some sea salt, rosemary, and almonds soaked in Sichuan peppercorns for 24 hours.  I saw this on Jim's Instagram earlier today, and was pretty excited that we'd be able to try them.  These were really, really fresh... and really sweet.  The texture was just amazingly soft - probably one of the best scallops I've ever had.  I loved the almonds, which were slightly sweet, delivered some nutty flavors, yet carried the delicate fragrance of Sichuan peppercorns without blowing my head off.  What an awesome way to start!

Blood pancake - pan-seared foie gras on top of a pancake made with cow's blood and potatoes, with some fermented lingonberry sauce in between.  Sprinkled with pistachio bits and powdered butter.  Pretty decent.

Swedish sushi - I don't think I'll ever get tired of having this.  There's just something pretty magical about this combination of a thin slice of raw roe deer on top of crispy white moss (yes, this would be two days in a row that I'm eating reindeer moss...), along with some incredibly tasty cep mayonnaise in between... and all topped with a blanket of shaved frozen foie gras and hay ash.  Maybe on my next visit I'll just order 3 of these for myself!

Knäckebröd with beurre noisette - apparently nowadays they only bring these out after people have gone through the snacks.  I gotta tell ya... that beurre noisette is as addictive as ever!  Once I start on this, I simply couldn't stop.  In fact, it's even more addictive than any of the butter that Bordier puts out...

"Seven Gardens" - apparently Jim's interpretation of a dish found at Frantzén in Stockholm, the contents of the bowl come from seven different organic farms in Hong Kong.  Sansho (山椒) butter is drizzled over the veggies, then puffed buckwheat and crispy dehydrated fish scales are spooned on top for finish.

I couldn't possibly pick out all of the ingredients, but we've got potato, corn, roselle, okra, wax gourd, yellow and red capsicum, pickled winter melon, string beans, carrots, kailan (芥蘭) stems, asparagus, eggplant, and pickled radish.

Toast "Pelle Janzon" - an interpretation of the Swedish sandwich, we have slices of beef carpaccio and cubes of beef sitting on top of a brioche, with a quail egg resting atop a layer of vendace roe.  The beef from Swedish dairy cow has been dry aged on the bone for 70 days, and the slightly charred edges of the cubes were pretty nice.  The yolk inside the deep-fried quail egg was still runny, and pretty nice when mixed together with the beef.

Tartar of Te Mana lamb - with mint and coriander emulsion on top, and cucumber pickled in ättika.  As a finishing touch, dehydrated egg yolk was shaved on top with a Microplane over the sage and dill.  VERY tasty.

Poached turbot "43°C" - interesting to see dehydrated sea urchin powder on top of the turbot.  On the side we have Jerusalem artichoke purée, different mushrooms including black wood ear and white snow fungus, chicken jus, and topped with a layer of lardo, pine shoots, and hazelnut slices.

Not that the turbot was bad, but the condiments on the side really outshone the fish.

"Hot- pot" - there were indeed small cubes of Australian wagyu woven inside the green "wreath" of kale, red cabbage, roast cabbage purée, carrots, purple cauliflower, mushrooms, and truffle.

Roast cauliflower bouillon was poured in the middle on top of the puddle of kale oil.  The wagyu was supposedly medium rare, but did seem a little chewy to me.  A nice dish for the cooler season.

Spicy orange - rose hip curd at the bottom, with some sea buckhorn sorbet, carrot foam with Sichuan peppercorns, then some cloudberry compote on top of a meringue disc.  Nice dose of acidity along with bitterness in addition to the sweetness.

Lördagsgodis - now THIS was the dessert I have been waiting for.  I was meant to come here after dinner more than a month ago, but alas... I was too late.

The black garlic marmalade jelly was really interesting, as it was at once sweet, savory, and covered in a mixture of salt and sour powder...  The French nougat was good.  The pine fudge was fragrant and interesting.  But what I really wanted were those two durian dumules.  I had seen posts about them earlier, and even though they only contained 2% durian, I could still taste the distinctive flavors.  Fairly subtle, but the durian was strong enough to make sure that you know it's there.  Loved it.

Lavender lollipop - this was sure tasty, but the damn thing stuck to my teeth like an octopus clinging for dear life.  I seriously had to try using a toothpick to pry it away...  In fact I think it it may just take out a loose filling or two from someone's teeth.

As I was eating with a couple of Aussies, I figured I'd bring an Aussie wine for a change.

2003 Torbreck Descendant, from magnum - sweet and jammy as expected, with lots of fried herbs.  Actually good acidity here, and the wine has softened enough while retaining concentration.  Lots of oak and eucalyptus.  Very fragrant.

Finally, Jim was kind enough to offer us a sip of something a little stronger - with each of us getting something different.  This Mackmyra Moment Bärnsten was finished in a cloudberry cask, and showed a much sweeter nose than I had expected.

A very, very happy evening.  Glad to have caught up with my friends, and of course very grateful for the good care and generous hospitality Jim and the team showed us.  Now if he would only let me take home about a dozen of his durian dumules...

1 comment:

custom writing service reviews said...

Everything in the post looks so fascinating, i wonder how will they taste.I have never tried Swedish food,but they look like a must try.


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