Normally I do not publish a restaurant review after just eating two dishes because it is not enough in order to evaluate a kitchen. Today I will make an exception to that ”rule”. My lunch today at Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren was so good that I would like to share it despite I had just two courses. Considering my post only covers a main course and a dessert I would not call it a review but simply a short report. I have written about Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren a couple of times before so I will not do that today. Matbaren is as you most likely know the more casual of Mathias Dahlgren´s two restaurants in Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel. The restaurant holds one Michelin star since 2009. Since I had not planned to go to Matbaren today I didn’t have my camera with me. The pictures are therefore not very good.
Swedish coarsely ground entrecôte
A very fine piece entrecôte had been coarsely ground and then very quickly seared. It was almost completely red. The meat, which had a very pleasant flavor and texture, rested on a Gruyère flavored emulsion which added nice complexity to the dish. Also on the plate were some watercress, thin slices of onion (I cannot find the English word for silverlök) and fried potato juliennes. The latter adding a nice crunch to the soft texture of the meat. This may not look special. In a way you could say that it basically was a burger with fries. But it was so much more and so much better. The dish did not feel heavy like a burger yet there was a real depth of flavor. It was simply the kind of dish I could eat every day for the rest of my life. Absolutely fantastic.
Cherries and tonka
From top till bottom; cherry sorbet, two very thin crackers made of oat, buttermilk sorbet and tonka cream. Scattered over the tonka cream were some caramel powder and what must have been freeze dried cherries (I did not notice that until I looked at the picture). A couple of years ago I had a very similar dessert at Matbaren made of cherries, tonka and goat milk. In that dish everything had the same texture; in principle it was just three different ”creams”. This years version was much better even though this one also was composed mostly of different ”creams”. But the caramel powder balanced the creamy texture of the other ingredients (a bit like tannins in a wine) and added a slight bitterness. In short, super delicious!
The selection of mignardises have not changed sine my last visit; Madeleines and peanut fudge. I find them overly sweet, especially the last one. There is room for improvement.
I have been to Matbaren about 15 times. Some dishes have been excellent while some have been a bit disappointing. Since my last visit, which was about two years ago, I have heard some negative opinions about Matbaren. I have therefore been a little hesitant to return. After this lunch my reluctance is gone. Now I feel like I have to go back very soon.