Langoustine from Bohuslän, Matbaren, Stockholm, Sweden

Matbaren, Stockholm, lunch

Menu from an a la carte lunch at Mathias Dahlgren‘s Michelin-starred food bar, Matbaren at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm:

Langoustine from Bohuslän

Grilled cucumber salad with Swedish squid, ginger, lime and coriander

Steamed bun of beef ribs

Bake wild chocolate from Bolivia, toffee ice cream, sour cream and nuts

Petit fours

I stopped in for lunch at Matbaren, Mathias Dahlgren’s Michelin-starred food bar in Stockholm. I booked rather last minute so didn’t manage to get a spot at his two-star restaurant.

It had just been the Bocuse d’Or competition in Europe so there were a couple of young chefs sitting at the bar. Very appropriate given that Dahlgren once said it offered the sort of food that chefs liked to eat at the end of a shift.

I went on my own and picked things off the menu. There’s lots of things that are light bites and you can just keep ordering more things. The cuisine is mixed, and by no means Nordic. The bun, one of the most popular things on the menu, had Asian influences while the langoustines from Bohuslän are decidedly Swedish. The dessert was definitely one for those with a sweet tooth.

There are some nice touches. Like the bread came in a bag and there’s a Mathias Dahlgren beer on the menu.

The lunch was quite expensive actually but it was a fun place to lunch – even if you’re going on your own. It’s not what you expect a fine-dining restaurant to be though.

Qin Xie

Qin Xie is a London based food, wine and travel journalist and trained chef.

When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and CNN.

Her first cookbook, co-authored with YS Peng at Hunan Restaurant, is out March 2014.

According to friends, her watch is always set to UTC -- ready for the next big adventure. In reality, she is happiest at the dinner table or by the sea.

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