Last year we were lucky enough to go to Noma in Denmark, which according to San Pellegrino is the best restaurant in the world. And it was. However, now is not the time to get me gushing about Noma.
When the San Pellegrino top 50 list was published last year, an up an coming restaurant caught my husband's eye... Frantzen/Lindeberg in Sweden. Two young chefs following their dream of creating outstanding food made with home grown organically produced vegetables. I was particularly excited by the fact that Daniel Lindeberg is a pastry chef...
Click here to watch a video about their ethos - it explains it all. The restaurant has only been open a little over three years, and already has two Michelin stars and sits at number 57 on the San Pellegrino World's Best list (with 'The One to Watch' award to boot...)
Their mantra is "A gastronomic journey led by the needs of each ingredient and with the freedom for our creativity"Today is my 30th birthday. Those of you who know me will understand that the prospect of this milestone has haunted me for some time. My gift from my husband was a trip to Franzen/Lindeberg. I was over the chuffing moon. We went earlier this week.
There is a lot of food involved here, and I will try not to go into too much detail, so I will let the pictures explain...
When we arrived at the restaurant, Roland the doorman greeted my husband with 'good evening Patrick!'... nice touch! It gets better. When we got inside, our waiter greeted me as Dolly, and advised we had chatted on Twitter. I was tickled half to death! The dining room is really intimate, and you can watch the food being prepared in the open kitchen. On our table, our bread was proving, and we were swiftly given a glass of champagne and a warm 'happy birthday!'. Red cheeks.
3 - Potato & creme fraiche: crispy potato strips wrapped around cream cheese. I could eat my own body weight in these.
4 & 5 - Oven baked Jeruselem artichokes, roasted hazelnuts, preserved mushrooms from last Autumn, chicken skin.
6 - Raw langoustine from Ingemar J. pig's tail, saffron and salted lumpfish roe.
7 - Oyster, frozen apple, cream and juniper.
8 - 12 days old halibut 'sashimi' and egg creme and raw shrimps.
9 & 10 - Our waitress Helene arrives with a piece of reindeer meat, some coal and a blow-torch. She proceeds to char the outside and explains it will be back later as tartar...
11 - The blood from the mountain reindeer and duck heart. Bleak roe, potato and dried tallow.
12 to 14 - Coal flamed mountain reindeer tartar, tallow from 11 years old milk cow (Stina), smoked eel, Iranian caviar. Pleas note the pink dust in picture 14. Quote of the day... 'And the pink dust is ground reindeer penis'. Honestly.
15 - This basket of vegetables and eggs is brought to the table before the Satio Tempestas arrives. It is explained that it all comes from the restaurant gardens and changes daily.
16 - Satio Tempestas. I need to explain this one. It is served on a platter to feed two. It is without doubt one of the tastiest things I have ever eaten. It is drizzled with all sorts of goodies like herb infused butter and dried fish scales (just trust me...).
17 & 18 - A waiter came to the table with some clotted cream (which they hand make... it takes 3 days...) which he starts to churn with a wooden paddle. Within a couple of minutes it has turned to butter! Hey presto!
19 - A little earlier on, the risen bread was whipped away from the table. It comes back still warm form the oven.
20 & 21 - Yellow onion and almond and liquorice.
22 to 25 - Diver scollops. Truffle puree and bouillon.
26 - Frozen rowanberries and winter apple
27 - Monkfish baked for four hours. Algues and raw mushrooms. Butter flavoured with roasted chicken juice and soya.
28 - Six months old milk fed veal first marinated in whey for 2 days then roasted and finally oven 'Delta" baked.
29 - You know it's good when you are given three spoons for dessert...
30 - Cauliflower, toasted bread, hazelnut ice-cream, hay.
31 - Beer, yeast and yolk from the first egg the hen warps (first egg the chicken ever lays).
32 - Frozen sea buckthorn, Oolong tea, seaweed.
33 & 35- This is the amazing birthday cake that Daniel Lindeberg made for me. It was a tour de force! Layers of chocolate with mouse and sea buckthorn. Bravo!!!
34 - Tea
36 - this is Jim, the Sous Chef. He came over for a chat at the end of our meal. A thoroughly lovely chap. I just couldn't help but notice that he strikes an uncanny resemblance to Lincoln Potter from Sons of Anarchy...
We had the most wonderful time at Frantzen/Lindeberg, and yes, it was worth travelling all the way to Stockholm for! The staff were warm and friendly and the food was out of this world. It was totally unique. If you want to compare it to the Nomas and Fat Ducks of this world, don't. You won't find anything else like it.
Let's hope that they get the recognition they deserve in the next San Pellegrino World's Best list... This year's list is published on 30th April, so keep your eyes peeled for this little gem...
Disclaimer: Frantzen/Lindeberg knew I was coming because I had tweeted them like an excitable fool. However, they did not know that I would be reviewing the restaurant afterwards. The main aim of our visit was purely for pleasure.
Read more about Frantzen/Lindeberg.
Follow them on Twitter: @Restaurant_FL