Tunnbrod with Smoked Herring, Shoots, Herbs
Ice Mustard Leaf with Rakfisk, Ramson / Chicken Liver with Apple, Meringue
Algae Tart with Rockweed Buds / Spring Garlic with Smoked Cod’s Roe, Sorrel
Warbrokvarn Spelt Knackerbrod with Raw Pea Shoot Margarine
Matjes Herring with Karintorp Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Pine Shoot Oil
Raw Shrimp from Smogen with Jerusalem Artichoke, Horseradish
Beetroot with Rye, Kalix, Cultured Cream
Soured Vegetables with Daikon, Blue Mussels, Oysters
Warbrokvarn Spelt Sourdough Bread with Hand Churned Butter from Kittelberget
Diver Scallop with Turnips from Skilleby, Spruce Shoot
Zander’s Cheek with Peaso, White Asparagus Porridge
Green Asparagus from Lilla Laback with Dried Yogurt, Grilled Butter
Corn Fed Duck from Munka-Ljungby with Rhubarb, Ramson
Sweet Ground Elder with Frozen Rhubarb
Frozen Sorrel with Cream, Parsley
Sandkaka with Currant Leaves, Early Summer’s Blossoms
White Asparagus Tart with Honey /Kalvdans and Colostrum
Grownup’s Beehive Candy with Vodka
Awarded one star in the most recent Michelin Guide but felt by many to be well on its way to two it was for dinner on night one in Stockholm that two guests sat down at Gastrologik, the next three and a half hours a rollicking exploration of Sweden’s early Spring as sunlight continued to glow through curtains until past 23h00.
Owned and operated by Chefs Anton Bjuhr and Jacob Holmströmm, the duo’s skills honed at the elbow of French masters including the likes of Pierre Gagnaire and Pascal Barbot before returning home to launch a Restaurant of their own in 2012, Gastrologik promises “techniques and inspiration from around the world, but using only local ingredients” and with no menu presented until the end of the evening diners are asked to place themselves at the whim of an open kitchen, some twenty courses arriving with lengthy descriptions by a staff fluent in both Swedish and English.
Eschewing linens and ornate decoration in favor of an aesthetic matching Gastrologik’s New Nordic sensibilities, allergies and aversions confirmed before launching into a series of small bites, it was with Drinks poured that dinner began first with traditional smoked Fish beneath a blanket of foraged Herbs, the delicate Toast gone as quickly as it arrived and followed by a pungent bite of Ice Mustard Leaf with Wild Garlic plus a Meringue Shell filled with frozen and shaved Chicken Liver atop Apple gel.
Showing evidence of both Chefs’ pedigrees with progressing flavors, the use of dissimilar ingredients often reinterpreting local Produce to make it stand out rather than act as a garnish, it was after a few additional nibbles that Gastrologik’s Spelt Sourdough started on day one of the Restaurant was offered in the form of Crisps with an intensely vegetal Pea Spread, the same Dough later featured as a Loaf next to hand-churned Butter from a farm up the road.
Growing into more fully composed plates after the first hour, both Anton and Jacob presenting dishes alongside their staff, it was following a refreshing bowl of local Tomatoes matched to Herring in Pine Oil that raw Shrimp were served to one guest with ground Beets and Fish Roe for the other, the substitution actually a far better dish as the tiny Crustaceans were entirely lost amidst a flavor reminiscent of gasoline.
Happy to move past a plate that seemed not only oddly placed but the sort capable of tarnishing a whole meal it was thankfully in a return to form that “Raviolis” made of Radish dazzled amidst Mussels and Oysters, a follow-up of seared Scallops faring equally well in textural juxtaposition to buttery Turnips.
Next presenting a grilled Fish Head tableside, its Cheek soon carved out and placed atop Asparagus Custard and local Foliage, it was again working with Asparagus that a Green spear was presented half-dipped in Yogurt, each end offering an entirely different taste whether consumed alone or after being dragged through blackened Butter.
Rounding out savories with a rosy piece of roasted Duck in its own Juice next to a tangle of sour Rhubarb, the seasonal Vegetable featured on almost every Swedish Menu at this time off year repeated in a palate-cleansing Granita with Elderflower, it was taking another play from the “New Nordic” handbook that first Dessert served Sorrel beneath Sweet Cream, the Potato Flour Cake to follow also borrowing from the Manifesto by dressing up in Flowers but decidedly delicious nonetheless while bites of Asparagus atop Honey and Colostrum Tarts topped in dehydrated crumbles of the same were equally unique yet excellent in the context of Gastrologik’s concept.
Finishing the evening with “Grownup’s Beehive Candy,” a rather unpleasant bite made overwhelmingly bitter with Vodka, it was wishing that the first Cow’s Milk would have remained a lasting memory of dinner that the menu and a book discussing purveyors and the space’s architect was provided, a nice touch giving further insight to a Restaurant that could very well achieve the next level with a bit more editing