February 6, 2021

Swedish winter in Indian summer

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Another Saturday, another lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.  It was 11 months ago - before the world's borders began shutting down - that I last paid a visit to Frantzén's Kitchen.  Thanks to all that happened last year, I ended up neglecting a number of chef friends - and Jim was one of them.  I'm making a conscious effort to correct that wrong.

Things have suddenly been busy for Sankala and I was informed a couple of days ago that she wouldn't be able to join me.  Thankfully My Favorite Cousin is free, although she did warn me about her unreliable stomach capacity...

There's a "Sharing is Caring" option for lunch, where two people can get all the dishes on offer, and of course that was what we decided to do.  But first, My Favorite Cousin wanted something extra...

Signature French toast - always a crowd-pleaser, which is why the restaurant very smartly chose to make it an add-on... knowing that more than half the diners would go for it regardless.  And as usual, it's the aged cheese - and today it was back to Parmigiano-Reggiano Vacche Rosse - which made all the difference for me.  

The mushroom tea which always accompanies the toast was pretty nice.

Green asparagus, fermented gooseberry sauce, morels, pea purée and toasted pistachios - a very nice mix of greens, and similar to a dish we had in the early days of the restaurant.  The gooseberries used in the sauce, if things had stayed the same, were fermented for 19 days.  

Norwegian salmon, cauliflower, trout roe - an off menu dish courtesy of Jim.  There was a good amount of trout roe on top of the slices of salmon, and we've also got both cauliflower cream - which was nice and sweet - and grated bits of raw cauliflower.  There were also finely diced marinated cucumber, as well as yuzu (柚子) pearls delivering acidity and fruity notes along with kaffir lime leaves, while soy sauce pearls really added some depth of flavors.  Pretty nice.

Chestnut soup, pan-seared bone marrow, parsnip, fermented mushroom jelly -  another off menu item courtesy of Jim.  Inside we've got chunks of rich and delicious bone marrow which I love, along with bits of parsnip cooked with bone marrow.  The whole thing was topped with parsnip foam and bacon cream.  These were all things I really loved, and totally appropriate as a winter dish with the heavier seasoning - except that it was 28°C outside today.  The mushroom jelly brought acidity to help cut down the richness, but not quite enough.  I probably should have poured a little water into the soup to dilute it a little to my taste.

Thanks to my foolish decision to have breakfast 2 hours before lunch started - and after having a slice of sourdough bread to go along with the drool-inducing brown butter I adore - I now found myself a little full after the soup.

"Lobster roll" open sandwich, brioche, pickled onion and jalapeño - this was, for My Favorite Cousin, the best dish today.  I would find it difficult to disagree.  While I really didn't need another chunk of bread taking up more room, this was really tasty.  We've got crispy strands of celeriac on top with pickled onions and jalapeńos, and the chili mayo mixed in with the lobster delivered just the right amount of heat.

Sea of Japan roasted scallop, yuzu kosho emulsion, fingerlime, pickled daikon and dashi - this was very similar to the first Frantzén dish I've ever tasted at the first Michelin gala dinner in Macau.  The scallop was done mi-cuit, with a springy texture and a nice crust on top.  The yuzu kosho (柚子胡椒) emulsion on top added a nice dose of kick, along with acidity which was plentiful thanks to fingerlime and pickled daikon (大根).  The savory dashi (出汁) was pretty smoky, and the pine shoots provided some additional aromatics.

Beef tenderloin, smoked shiitake, sauce Périgueux, chanterelle aioli, enoki and dried wood garlic - My Favorite Cousin did not pull her weight on this one, and I wasn't able to finish this hunk of beef.  Lots of mushrooms here with enoki (榎茸), shiitake (椎茸), chanterelles in the aioli, and black truffle.  Plenty of acidity here to help balance the richness.

Blood orange sorbet, caramelized hazelnuts, olive oil and yoghurt - this was really good.  Loved the blood orange sorbet and the candied orange zest.  The hazelnuts were nice, too.

"Spicy red", preserved strawberries, pink peppercorn and vanilla - an interesting dessert I've had before.  Loved the different forms of strawberries working with the vanilla meringue.  This time I managed to taste the pink peppercorns, which was really nice.

I decided that I wouldn't BYO today so that we could give them a little more revenue, and chose a wine I haven't tasted in a long, long time.

2017 Giaconda Chardonnay Estate Vineyard - nice and big toasty nose, with lots of flint.  Wonderful Burgundian feel, with lots of toasted popcorn.  Good acidity on the palate and not too ripe.  More buttery and sweet notes developed with more time in the glass.

We were absolutely stuffed, but thankfully not too drunk. A pretty happy meal, but we probably should be a little less ambitious next time.

1 comment:

Markus Schmidt said...

Must re-visit Frantzén's Kitchen the next time we can travel to HK. That Giaconda Estate Chardonnay is one of my favourite wines, so much so I get it directly from Rick Kinzbrunner. The 2017 is superb....


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