Esperanto is the one Michelin starred restaurant of chef Sayan Isaksson. According to White guide, the leading Swedish restaurant guide, Esperanto is the best restaurant in Sweden. For the second consecutive year, Esperanto will open up a summer salon called Salon d’été from 28 June 28 to 8 August. Last year the name was Esperanto Sommarsalongen. The day before opening night I was invited to try a couple of dishes from this years menu.
In the Salon d’été, which takes place in the room adjacent to Esperanto’s dining room, Sayan Isaksson serves food that is a little bit less advanced than the food in the regular dining room. However being Sayan Isaksson I would not describe the food as simple. It is still Michelin star level food. Unlike the rest of the year there is no tasting menu in the Salon d’été. Instead there is an à la carte menu with seven courses where you choose as many dishes as you want. All dishes cost between 165 and 225 SEK. Diners all share one big communal table which is very nice as it gives you an opportunity to chat with other guests.
Veal tartar, vendace roe from Kalix and dollops of browned onion cream were served on a cracker made of first boiled and then dried potatoes. The green powder on the bread was made of leek. This was an absolutely stunning dish that would without doubt fit in a Michelin three starred restaurant.
Fish and crisp
A fine dining version of fish and chips. Three or four absolutely perfectly fried whole vendaces. The batter on the fish was very delicate and crispy. The fish were served with crackers, lightly pickled cucumber and an emulsion of lightly smoked oysters. In a little spray bottle were some katsuvinegar. Normally I am a bit sceptic to gimmicks like spray bottles but here it made perfect sense as it helped the crackers stay crispy. A simple yet brilliant dish. I have never had such a delicate take on fish and chips.
Smoked tofu and summer truffles
Smoked and then fried cubes of tofu with poached quail eggs, green asparagus, yubas, and a meaty soya. This dish received mixed opinions. My girlfriend liked it but I found the dish unbalanced since it was a bit too salty and smokey, probably because of the soya. I should say that I am not a big fan of soya which probably affected my opinion. Sayan Isaksson said after the dinner that he would reduce the salt and make the dish lighter. The truffle from Provence was very good. I can actually not remember when I had truffles of such high quality in the summer. Most summer truffles totally lack flavour and are therefore pointless. The yubas added nice crispiness.
Strawberries, licorice soil and sour cream
Semi dried strawberries with licorice soil (fine crumbles) and lightly sour cream. On the side in a separate bowl was a very nice strawberry and sake sorbet. A simple yet delicious dish.
Esperanto Salon d’été is highly recommended if you want to have some seriously good food and drink good wine in a relaxed yet elegant environment.