My brother is the head chef at Gröna Stugan (The Green Cottage) in Kalmar. It’s one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to and I’m not saying that just because my brother works there. Earlier this year they were given top class grades in the White Guide which is a guide to all restaurants in Sweden. Only those with good enough score are mentioned in the book and this year, Gröna Stugan was named the best restaurant in Kalmar.
I always make sure to go when I’m back in my home town and this time I brought my boyfriend. I thought it would be the best way for him to experience great tastes of Sweden and how much more taste Swedish food has compared to the UK. My brother had come in on his day off to treat us to a 9 course meal and that’s what I call a proper date!!!
We didn’t have to worry about a thing, apart from getting all the food down us. My brother served all courses himself and in between the waitress served us drinks and made sure everything was top notch, and it sure was.
We had three starters and the first came served in two bowls on a wooden tray. Battered oyster served with a BBQ salsa. I would never have thought of this combination myself but it worked really well. I haven’t eaten oyster a lot before and this was the first time I tried it fried instead of raw. I really liked the texture, a bit similar to battered squid done properly.
As a second starter we had scallops with a green pea purée, fried onions and a red sauce which I’ve forgot what it was. Again, lovely tastes coming together but still giving off their own distinct flavour. The green pea purée really tasted of fresh green peas. This could very well have been my favourite of the whole night.
This fish dish was served on a wooden platter covered in a steamy glass to show the smoky finish. Char served with pickled cucumber, potatoes and tiny omelettes with truffles. I absolutely love the truffle taste, it’s so distinct, soft and absolutely gorgeous.
The first main and it had the taste of Swedish forest. Beautifully laid out it looked amazing! Marinated moose, chanterelles, cheese chips made from a famous, strong Swedish cheese (Västerbotten), lingon berries and pine. I’m not a massive fan of lingon berry jam that you get when eating meatballs at Ikea but on their own they’ve got an ok taste, a bit sour. All these flavours combined give the taste of forest, the same taste as the smell of walking through a forest after a rainy day. Definitely the most original dish of the evening!
Time for more fish and this time it was hake which had been marinated in red wine (therefore its brown colour). It was served with melted butter, green beans and a carrot purée. Lovely taste and the fish fell apart beautifully digging in. As my boyfriend nicely put it: “I could eat this all day”.
Some more red meat and red it was. Reindeer, fried onions, red wine gravy and mango chutney purée topped with sunflower seeds. I love red meat and I love it bloody so this was perfect for me! You can never go wrong with a piece of meat, especially not served like this by someone who knows what he’s doing. This is the dish where I started to feel like my stomach had had enough.
The last main was ox which had been left to cook for eight hours. The onions and mushrooms had been cooking for six hours and together they were served with truffle mashed potatoes. Lovely tender meat and again, great taste from the truffle.
Two desserts and the first was pear together with a biscuit flavoured ice cream and a caramel sauce. Lovely dish to take off the fullness after many savoury dishes before hand.
Last course for the evening was yet another dessert. It’s a common Swedish cake and I guess the closest English equivalent would be Forest Gatto. My brother likes to serve dessert a bit differently so instead of serving a cake he prefers to lay out the different ingredients on a plate and whilst eating you combine the taste of the cake yourself. Here we had whipped cream, chocolate mousse, brownie marinated in cherries, fresh cherries, nuts and to top it off: cherry sorbet.
I can only do one thing and that’s to thank my wonderful brother for coming in on his day off to especially serve us this wonderful meal. If I’ve given you the wrong names or ingredients of any of the above I do apologise. We had a lot of nice wine to go with all courses (these are only half of all the glasses of wine we had each) so it was difficult to keep up with all the courses being served.
If you’re ever in Kalmar, make sure to pay Gröna Stugan a visit.