The Big Gay Al's Food Adventures
I was very lucky to secure a reservation at Ekstedt for our stay in Stockholm. Ekstedt is one of the restaurants I had read up about while researching my trip and in particular some of the exciting things currently happening with Nordic cuisine. The cuisine of Sweden and Norway in particular has become known globally for clean, fresh flavours, technical brilliance, and a novel approach in the use of local ingredients.
Ekstedt is a conundrum. At once, it is part of this scene (if the scene really exists and is not simply the fantasy of food writers) and yet an antithesis to it. It is high end, refined dining prepared using the most basic of cooking means – fire. However, as I said, this is high end dining – this is NOT you local BBQ Rib Shack and smoke house. It is also really quite extraordinary.
A very warm welcome by the host, who uses your name and knows a little about you already is a great start. It fills you with confidence that they are going to look after you. Quickly seated and brought warm towels to clean and refresh yourself for the experience ahead.
The menu is pretty straight forward – it doesn’t take long to decide as there are two choices only. A 6 course tasting menu of a 4 course menu. For me, this was an experience I intended to savour so there was no choice but to go for the full 6 course menu. As a special treat, I even had the suggested wines to go with each course as selected by Maximillian – the sommelier.
So, the menu. In Swedish, was as follows;
And the selected wines to accompany the menu;
The meal was at a fairly leisurely pace, giving ample time to appreciate each course as it was served.
Before the official 6 courses began, the chef sent over a little amuse bouche – a tasty little sourdough pizza with caramelised onion and goats cheese. They still have the same sourdough started they had when they opened the restaurant around 5 years ago and they look after it very carefully. Every night, all the embers from the fire pit are placed into the bread oven. This in the morning leaves the oven at the perfect temperature to cook the bread.
Sotad havskräfta, kålrabbi och rökt smör (Langoustine, kohlrabi and smoked butter)