Sunday, 22 January 2017

Gothia Towers and Heaven 23 - home to best views over Gothenburg and probably world's best shrimp sandwich

Gothenburg's Gothia Towers impresses with its setting, best views in the city and their shrimp sandwich - probably the best one in the world. 

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Due to the delays in the day's itinerary, we arrive at Gothenburg's Gothia Towers to be met with the worst possible after work- rush hour. 

Without a reservation. 

And looking every bit as dishevelled as you'd expect for a pair that's just spent their day eating and drinking their way through the city - flustered and with mustard all over the front of our shirts. 

As we observe the depressingly stylish crowds with their Chapagne glasses, we're crippled by the sort of crushing sense of inferiority that only Finns know how. For a while we toy with the idea of just quietly exiting. 

Luckily, persistance, another wonder Finnish trait, prevails and we don't back down. We have a mission. And we intend to see it through. 

No man, or as is the case here, no shrimp left behind.

Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Gothia Towers
Photo courtesy of Gothia Towers

Comprising of 3 towers of varying heights, Gothia Towers is one of most impressing landmarks of Gothenburg. It is also a hotel featuring a whopping 1200 rooms and several restaurants. The complex is actually one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.

Tower 3 is the tallest one, housing 29 floors above ground. Our destination is Tower 1 and its 23rd floor: Heaven 23.

Andalusian auringossa_Gothia Towers_Heaven 23_Liseberg

Gothia Towers' locaton right next to Liseberg, Gothenburg's amusement park, guarantees stunning views over the city.

Reason for scepticism #1: Reputation of restaurants which boast views like this, rides solely on the scenery and they never need to work on the quality of the restaurant itself. 

Andalusian auringossa_Gothia Towers_Heaven 23_Liseberg

Judging by the settings, we realize this is not going to be a very cheap treat, either. 

Reason for scepticism #2: We're bound to be in for condescending service from a snooty staff.

Andalusian auringossa_Gothia Towers_Heaven 23_Liseberg

It's not even 6pm yet and the place is already packed with people whose shimmer and glimmer would make Liberace weep with envy. This is clearly a place where people come to see and to be seen. 

Reason for scepticism #3: With crowd like this flocking here to make an appearance, there's no way this place is going to offer value for the money.

Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Gothia Towers_Heaven 23

Oh, how wrong we were.

We were cheerfully welcomed by a girl who, upon learning we don't have a reservation, comforts how "that's ok -we'll sort something out for you guys alright!"

Then we're shown to our table by another disarmingly friendly customer service professional, only to be served by a third disarmingly welcoming individual. 

There goes theory #2.

Oh, and the reason why we just had to squeeze in time for this visit, too? You're looking at it: Heaven 23's legendary shrimp sandwich.

Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Gothia Towers_Heaven 23_katkarapuleipä

This classic first saw the light of day back in 1984. The original recipe hails from America, where bigger is always deemed better.

King Size Shripm Sandwich's big breakthrough came in 2002, when Heaven 23 was opened. By March 2009 they'd sold more than million of them and there's no end in sight. 17 of them are sold each hour, every day of the year. There's a separate line that prepares this bestseller and annually this means they go through an impressive 35 tons of coldwater shrimps. 

Each sandwich consists of salad, mayo, hard-boiled eggs, at least 200 grams of peeled shrimps and marinated red onion. King Size Deluxe is even topped off with a dollop of vendace roe. 

And the price? 255 SEK; roughly €26. Value for money? Oh yes. 

So long, theory #3.

Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Gothia Towers_Heaven 23_King Size Deluxe räkmacka

And sinceI can't seem to say no to a good Steak Tartare either, I just had to sample their take on it was well. Rather excellent, that, too. (165 SEK / 245 SEK = €17/ €25). 

Good bye, theory #1. 

Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Gothia Towers_Heaven 23_tartar

Total tally for the whole meal with a beer (from a local brewery just down the road, we we're kindly informed) and a glass of very fine Austrian rosé was about €60. With these views, atmosphere, food and service not bad at all. Proving an incurable pessimist such as yours truly is always a welcome bonus. 

Would I go again? Oh, yeah.

And you know what else I'd do? I'd go to Michelin-starred Upper House Restaurant in Tower 2, too. And I'd definitely jump at the chance of jumping into their rooftop pool. 

Oh, yeah. 

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Heaven 23
Gothia Towers, Tower 1
Mässans gata 10
tel. +47 31 750 8805

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Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Poseidon     


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