October 14, 2022

Nordic birthday treat

Pin It

Four Sheets and I have enjoyed dining at Frantzén's Kitchen very much since the place opened, and I was very happy to see Chef Jim Löfdahl choosing to stay in Hong Kong when the space transformed into Embla. It has been some time since Four Sheets last paid Jim a visit, and we took the opportunity to bring along a couple of friends for their first taste.

Four Sheets was a little bummed that the new format meant we were no longer allowed to order the dishes we wanted a la carte, and instead had to stick to the standard tasting menu. I, too, miss the ability to pick and choose from a list of dishes of varying size, but I understand this has become a necessary evil as the restaurant moves towards the fine-dining end of the spectrum.

The four of us chose to share one portion of the optional starter, which was a pretty good idea, although I'm probably the only "old man" who enjoyed this "old man's mix"...

Smoked eel, pickled herring "Gubbröra", eggs, dill, chives, caviar and crisp bread - the list of ingredients sounds very, very Swedish to me... I don't get to eat pickled herring a lot but I do love it. The smoky flavors of the eel was pretty prominent, even with dill and chives in the mix.

We have these crisp bread on the side which is used as the serving vessel.

I'm not sure how common it is for the "gentlemen's delight" to have caviar, but even if fish eggs were involved, it probably wouldn't be sturgeon caviar from Royal Caviar Club. Happiness attained.

This was paired with Gustav Dill Vodka.

Salmon cornet "Gravlax", red apple, vendace roe and horseradish - this will forever remind me of the French Laundry. The salmon is cured for 12 hours and then the gravlax is smoked. The seasonal roe of vendace comes from fish found near Kalix. Very Nordic, and I could definitely taste the horseradish.

Toasted brioche, pork chin, potato emulsion, ramson capers, garlic and herbs - that pork chin... after braising for 24 hours and then whipped up with potato emulsion... one could really taste the fat. It was soooo moreish! One little brioche with that was definitely not enough! The ramson capers on top were interesting because they added texture as well as acidity.

We got a cup of cloudberry juice on the side, so that the fruity acidity could help balance out the fat, I presume...

By the way, I think someone needs to rework their Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion. The description on cloudberries seemed a little off.

Roe deer tartare, ättika emulsion, semi dried carrots, deep fried lichens, browned butter and parsley - the roe deer from Rhug Estate now gets served as tartare, although I didn't get the smoky flavors Jim mentioned. Still love the lichen, but the other ingredients like carrots, parsley seemed to detract from the gamey flavors of the protein.

I have to say that I really, really miss Frantzén's "Swedish sushi", which was arguably my favorite dish to order. I never did get myself 3 portions in one sitting. SIGH.

Sour milk bread "Rye, spelt, barley, oats" - I loved this bread on my previous visit, and tonight the crust was still very, very good. It still tasted very sweet.

Home made butter - oh and this home made butter was so, sooooo good. Fermented for between 24 to 48 hours, then seasoned with 1.5% sea salt. Just looking at it one can imagine how it looked as it was being churned...

Langoustine, caramelized cabbage soup, sautéed spinach, rapeseed oil and chestnuts - we've got shaved chestnuts on top, and I did like the cabbage soup.

The Norwegian langoustine was so, sooo good.

Celeriac fondant, preserved truffles, smoked tea scented with pea soy, hazelnuts and fermented onion bouillon - one of the few repeat dishes, although we didn't get caviar this time. Once again I really enjoyed the acidity in the bouillon, but this time I didn't get any smoky flavors from the Lapsang aspic.

Wild turbot, butter poached clams, sea buckthorn velouté, chanterelle purée and leek - due to a miscommunication, I ended up having this dish again... which I didn't mind too much. The turbot from Brittany is always a good idea, and we've got some bits of turbot wing and clams on top, with a velouté of fish bones and sea buckthorn. The girolle purée on the side was nice. So... same same but different, which is good.

Lingonberry sorbet, poached grey pear, Norwegian brown cheese and oak cookie - interesting mousse flavored of cardamom, and I love lingonberries.

Financiers - made with gluten-free flour and seasoned with spruce.

We were pretty full, and as we seemed to be the last customers remaining in the restaurant, we chose to dispense with the fika service at the end...

Belo and Wai Gor were their usual generous selves tonight. When they heard I was bringing a bottle from Four Sheets' vintage, they decided to match and brought two beautiful clarets from 1982...

1982 Taittinger Collection - nose of toasty brioche, marmalade, very nutty, and also smoky like aged tangerine peel. So rich on the palate with a lot of depth. Drinking absolutely beautifully.

2006 Jean-François Ganevat Les Vignes de Mon Père - tasted 1½ hours after opening. Initially a little dusty and chalky, not did not seem clean. More oxidized than expected. Decanted and served 45 minutes later, which showed ripe, flinty, and sweet nose. At the same time there was pretty biting acidity. Drinking OK but fell short of the magnum tasted a few weeks ago.

1982 Palmer - served 3 hours after opening, not decanted. Drinking beautifully now, the nose was so open. We've got smoke but there was still plenty of fruit and also earthy notes. Definitely a classic claret. Some pencil lead now, and this was just so fragrant and elegant, so balanced. Incredible!

1982 Pichon-Baron - served 3½ hours after opening, not decanted. Very fragrant and smoky nose, a bit more green pepper, and more concentrated. More muscular and lean, and not as opulent and supple like the Palmer.

Very, very happy to be back to see Jim and continue my slow education in Nordic cuisine.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map