Good evening my friends, I hope everybody has had a great midsommar and recharged energies and batteries to tackle through the work week. Yesterday I had one of my best dinners since I moved into Stockholm. “Vassa Eggen” is a modern Swedish bistro that constitutes a must-visit in Stockholm’s restaurant scene.
I had heard so many great comments about their food philosophy and I just couldn’t wait to dine with them. Since I cannot eat the entire menu by myself (yeah, right…) I met up with my friend, the gorgeous Dutch fashion blogger Sa Bine.
Since Sa Bine was running a bit late, I got the chance to observe my surroundings while waiting. The restaurant is really cool and cozy in a modern way. It is divides in 3 rooms, without considering some bench-like tables at the outdoor sitting area. As I walk in, I come across a dimmed room with a couple of communal tables, for those who just want to share a bite or two in a more casual way. Then there is the bar with some booth tables for those who want to indulge in the delicious and very expensive cocktails…
And then there is the main dining room, decorated with big mirrors and an abstract and colorful painting.
All the tables are beautifully set up with no table clothes and shinning cutlery, indicating that the restaurant aims for a relaxed and casual dining experience but with Stureplan-like class. My waiter is a very charming South African dude that kindly and patiently waits for me to place my order. But hey, I’m still waiting for Sa Bine…
Since the intention of this meet up was to eat and blog together, we decided to move outside where the lighting was better and the air fresher. I know what you are thinking. No, we are not ridiculous for conditioning our experience to settings that will allow us to take better photos. Well, maybe we are a bit. Who cares, take a look at the photos!
Sitting now outside and waiting for our waiter, I take a peek at the crazy menu that would take me an entire post to describe. Although I think, before hand, that it is too big, this actually represents one of the strengths of the restaurant: its diversity of products and cuisine influences. Ranging from raw treats such as oysters and sashimi, one can travel the world through their menu and choose Spanish gigantic prawns, vitello tonnato or a killer lobster sandwich.
As every great steakhouse they hang their own meat (all Swedish) for approximately 30 days or more. This allows the meat to develop those profound flavors and buttery texture that we all go crazy for. They offer several options such as flat iron, chuck roll, flank and flap steak and even Wagyu rib eye. I wish I could try them all, but my wallet and my stomach wouldn’t allow me so.
I “settle” on 2 apps, the Carabineros Gigante (Spanish Prawns: 225 sek, rouille, gremolata, salsa fresca) and the Asparagus AAA (220 sek. Bleak roe, egg yolk, herb cream, browned butter).
For main course, we shared a medium flat iron steak (295 sek) served with bernaise sauce, red wine sauce and truffle butter.
The carabineros were 2 expensive and delicious grilled shrimps full of flavor and freshness. I do not actually know if they are fresh or were frozen before, but I actually do not mind because they were amazing. The charcoal grill (another strength of the restaurant) elevates the shrimp to food heaven. I have only eaten shrimp this tasty in the shores of my beloved Peru. Sucking on the head of the shrimps and extracting all of the juices was a sublime experience.
The asparagus were a more thought and elaborate dish, equally delicious but more in a fine dining execution. A classic Swedish and seasonal dish that pairs ingredients perfectly, so unexpected for me. I would never put roe on anything, I just don’t like it. But on this dish, that sort of creamy and ocean-y flavor matches so successfully with the baked egg yolk and herb creams on top of the almost virgin asparagus, gems of this season’s harvest.
Already surprised by the chefs and salivating and all covered in shrimp juice, I just couldn’t wait any longer to try my meat. A big-ass grilled medallion with a crispy cape of caramelized fat pretty much speaks for itself. Delicious!
Tender met (although not buttery in texture) and amazing flavor and perfect seasoning. No complaints, just pure enjoyment.
And as if this wasn’t enough, we rounded off a great blogging dinner with desserts. Sa Bine is very conservative so she went for a classic and perfectly executed creme brulee (95 sek). I, of course, went for the most innovative yet also classic (in concept) of the desserts: french toast with vanilla ice cream, white nectarine, pistachio, raspberry and blueberry cream and roasted almonds. It was delicious! Perfect balance between fattiness, freshness and creaminess. The toast served as a great textural base for all the elements to come together. Everything was on point and made with a great technique.
If there is one thing we were not thrilled about was the service. Sa Bine said it was very Swedish, with all due respect. I asked what she meant but our waiters confirmed it. Plain, almost smile-free and a bit boring. No engagement with the customer and a clear lack of knowledge on their own menu (I asked a couple of questions about it and they had to go to the kitchen and ask). I must say that our waiters were from the bar area, and not the South African dude that seemed very nice. No big deal, but still, I expect the best at restaurants like Vassa Eggen, and also with that price range and location.
Anyway, it was a great experience and we left very happy and satisfied. I really hope I can come back and try more food. The chefs clearly deliver and amaze their customers and that is something that will keep us coming back.
Thank you very much for a great meal, see you all soon!