Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Foodie's Gothenburg - street food and Michelin-stars

Street food and seafood, cafés and pubs, husmanskost and gourmet - Gothenburg has something for everyone!


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Gothenburg is such a treat for a foodie traveller - even British papers has been raving about this city as a serious up-and-coming foodie destination. 







Kungsportsavenyn (known by the locals as just Avenyn) is a lively hotspot for nightlife and full of restaurants, where at weekends you won't get in without queues. My first rule for navigating this city though is this: avoid Avenyn. 

Avoid it like a plague. 



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg


As can be expected, the restaurants here have mostly made their name on their central location. One of them is Brasserie Lipp, where we found ourself brunching thanks to a misguided recommendation. 

The best thing about the experience was a box of crayons (located at every table), that the guests can keep themselves entertained with (drawing on the table cloth?) as they keep waiting for the order that the staff has forgotten... again. 



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg


Instead of Avenyn you should head over to Tredje Långgatan or Magasingatan - both vibrant restaurant streets.

One thing worth remembering is that more and more restaurants in Gothenburg now operate on cash-free basis meaning you can only pay with cards, so do check this separately with each establishment. 



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg


From the market and to a picnic


On a beautiful summer's day, skip the restaurants altogether. Instead make your way to the Kungstorgsplats Market hall, pick up all your favourites and head over to  Slottskogen Gothenburg's huge park to enjoy your feast.

You'll find a tour of all of the Gothenburg's market halls (and all my favourite vendors!) on the blog over here.



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_kauppahallit


Fika - coffee and cakes for everybody


Gothenburgers love their coffee breaks - the city is known as the fika capital of Sweden for a reason. 

They're particularly fond of their cinnamon buns. The ones at Cafe Husaren are widely considered if not the best then at least the biggest.

Don't go alone though as there's no way you'll be able to finish the whole thing by yourself!



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Cafe Husaren


While I do like Husaren, too, it's Cafe Kringlan's cakes, generous stuffed sandwiches and cosy ambiance that has a special hold of my heart.



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Cafe Kringlan
Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Cafe Kringlan


Haga, where both of these places are located, is known for its abundance of adorable cafés and decidely hipsterish vibe. Telegraph has actually named it as one of the most hipster neighbourhoods in the whole world. 

Gothenburger's love of coffee and cake ensures that there's no shortage of cafés elsewhere in the city, either. Another one of my favourites, Le Pain Francais, is a café and patisserie the atmosphere of which immediately transports one to Paris. Several locations across the city (ok, admittedly one of them is on the Avenyn...).




Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Le Pain Francais


Street food and seafood


Another things Gothenburgers can't get enough of is seafood. Räksallad (shrimp mayo) is something they put in just about everything - including their eponymous burger Göteborgare.

For more information on food trucks in Gothenburg, just see here


Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_katuryoka_göteborgare


A great place for going overboard is Restaurant Kajutan, located in Feskekôrka, a market hall dedicated to fish and seafood. 


Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Feskekorkan_Kajutan


Go all Scandinavian and feast on their herring platter, featuring 4 different kind of herrings accompanied by the usual suspects (€16)...



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Feskekorkan_Kajutan_sillilautanen


...or go all out and order one of their three seafood platters (prices start €60). They also stock locally sourced oysters!



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Feskekorkan_Kajutan_äyriäisvati


And while at it, you should definitely make some time for Heaven 23's legendary King Size Deluxe shrimp sandwich - more on this magnificent monstrosity on the blog over here.


Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Heaven 23_katkarapuleipä


Husmankost- home cooking at its best


Husmanskost is an culinary institution loved by Swedes everywhere. The name refers to home-cooked classics (think meatballs and mash), just like the ones mamma used to make, and is so popular that practically all the restaurants feature at least one husmanskost option on their menus. 

You can't really go wrong with this -I don't think I've ever had bad experience. 

One good (and cheap) place for this is Ölstugan, where the menu changes weekly and all the dishes only cost about €10. With 7 locations around Gothenburg, they're worth thumbs up for their beer selection as well. 



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_husmanskost


Smaka, located on Vasagatan, is another firm favourite of mine, which serves well-prepared husmanskost in slightly trendier atmosphere. Reservation highly recommended.



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_husmanskost_Smaka


Menu changes often and is such a delight. In addition to classics such as those meatballs and wallenbergare, it has some surprises in store too: how about some oysters to start with? Mains €16-€20.



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_husmanskost_Smaka


After work - the best reason to work


Gothenburg boasts a vibrant restaurant scene which has managed to sell itself to the public, too. During the day people gather for reasonably priced lunches, weekends are reserved for leisurely brunches and early evenings (especially Fridays!) many places feature very attractively priced after work-specials. 



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_afterwork


Gourmand's Gotheburg


As a culinry destination Gothenburg is more than equipped to take on its arch rival Stockholm. They have for instance 7 one-Michelin-starred restaurants, which is the same as capital Stockholm, more than twice the size.

So, even hard-core gourmands are in good hands here.

One of our first stops was located (ever so conveniently) literally just around the corner from our hotel. Somm Restaurant & Wine Bar, proud holder of Bib Gourmand, wonderfully attentive service and lovely ambiance: just the right amount of intimacy and not-too-polished.



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Somm


... then there are all the interesting wines...


Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Somm


... and food, equally interesting and vivacious. 

In addition to the compact menu (starters, mains and desserts feature 3 choices each) there are reasonably priced tasting menus (either 3, 5 or 8 courses) which offer serious value for money (€45/ €66/ €87). 


Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Somm
Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Somm


In case you fancy sampling Michelin-standard food but aren't quite that hungry, my recommendation is kicking the evening off in the wine bar at 28+ (small dishes on the wine bar menu range from €5 to €15).



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Somm



Another tip for Michelin feast on a smaller budget is lunch at Sjömagasinet, quite possibly the most legendary restaurant in the whole of Gothenburg. 

3-course fixed lunch costs €63 (there is a menu as well, with starters around €20 and mains for €20-€40), but you want to secure a table well in advance as without one getting here is hopeless. 

(For the sake of comparison: at dinner 4-course tasting menu costs €95.)



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Somm


An excellent choice for a Michelin tourist is SK Mat & Människor, ranked by White Guide Nordic as #5 restaurant in the city. 

You'll find full report of our tragicomic dinner there on the blog over here.



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor
Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


Gothenburg for beer lovers


Out of Långgatans Andra Långgatan is a busy bar street, which especially during weekends fills to the brim with revellers. Selection ranges from pseudo-English pubs to pseudo-French wine bars.

One of the best addresses for a beer aficionado is Haket Pub on Första Långgatan. While the atmpshere is.... well, down to earth, the 350+ beer selection is guaranteed to satisfy even the fussiest of drinkers. 



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Andra Långgatan


Kungstorgets Brygghus is a good address for those looking for a watering hole in the city centre. Right next to Kungstorget's market hall it features an interesting selection of Swedish craft beers.

One of my favourites is Tail of a Whale, a pale wheat ale from Stockholm's Brutal Brewing. 



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Kungstorgets Brygghus


Viktoriagatan is home to lots more pubs. Prices here are slightly lower than in the immediate city centre, which is why the area, much like Andra Långgatan, attracts so many students from the nearby university.

My favourite here is atmospheric Noba, where you can sample their selection for instance with 0,5-metre-long tasting board. Or the full metre-long, should you be feeling particularly adventurous. Being a lover of wheat beers myself, I was particularly smitten with Belgian-style Wit from Poppels Brewery in Jonsered.

The place specializes in Nordic beers, so there's a nice selection of brews from other Nordic countries, too.



Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristin Göteborg_Noba


How have you liked your tour of Gothenburg so far? What kind of food would be most up your street?


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Below you'll find the rest of the stops in this West Coast genm:

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Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor      



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Saturday, 28 January 2017

SK Mat och Människor - Michelin-starred restaurant gem in Gothenburg


Michelin-starred SK Mat & Människor is one of Gotenburg's restaurant gems and spoils foodie's every sense.

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My absolute favourite restaurant find during themost recent trip to Gothenburg was SK Mat & Människor, a restaurant applauded by both White Guide Nordic and tyreman's tour guide (one star).

We managed to squeeze in a reservation for the last night of my stay and the meal was easily one of the highlights of the whole trip. 

That is a high praise indeed - especially considering that things between Gothenburger and me went so sour that the whole dinner was spent in awkward silence.




Now, while a optimally succesful dining experience requires that everything in the restaurant itself comes together (the atmosphere, food and floor staff all deliver), guests themselves need to be in the right headspace. That was most definitely not the case tonight, but restaurant handled their part of the deal so remarkably that the result was definitely a dinner to remember. 

SK Mat & Människor is particularly great destination for a culinary crusader because of its open plan kitchen, located in the middle of its intimate dining room which only seats 42 and from where you have the ringside seats to watch where the magic happens. The food is being prepared in front of you and occasionally even served by the chefs themselves. 

And in case you want to get in on the action, you can. Chef's Table- dinners allow pre-booked groups of up to 12 people prepare their dinner together with the chefs. At the end of the night you go home well-fed, with restaurant's apron, diploma... and the recipes for all of the dishes. 

I'm so in!


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


As can be expected, they've gone out of their way to pay attention to every detail. 

Everything is stylish and thought through, yet there's none of that pompous rigidness that tends to deter people from giving restaurants this quality a chance.



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


The emphasis of the menu is on seasonal thinking and Swedish produce: there's locally sourced octopus, pheasant from Skåne and vendace roe from Brothers Persson of Piteå.

In addition to the menu, consisting of 11 choices, there are also three tasting menus: either 4, 6 or 8 courses (€62/ €75/€89). 

Since we're both grateful carnivores, we had no issues with it, but the menu is rather heavy on meat. Even the current one only boasts one vegetarian dish (in addition to the cheese selection) so I don't know if they might be able to accommodate vegetarians with something from outside the list.

Wine list's focus is on the Old World, many of which are organic. Each tasting menu is paired to go with a wine package, which come in regular and premium - the latter one featuring wines that would normally only be available by the bottle (prices €41/ €62, €62/€92 and €84/€116).


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor



Seeing how tasting menus are only served for the whole table the date had to give in and opt for one, too. We had already settled on the 4-course menu...

...until I discovered the squid dish on the 6-course menu. We weren't allowed to make any changes on the set menu, so we ended up adding an extra course into ours, bringing the feast to 5 courses. 

First up was cured and seared beef tenderloin with tarragon mayo, radish, Swedish apple, crunchy fried onion and bread crumb crisp. 

Dear me. What a gorgeous kick-off!



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


The next dish continued with meat: it was chuck of beef with lingonberries, crisp golden beets, cream cheese and pickled mushrooms. 

Excellent. Utterly comforting. By now all even all the tears had vanished. 



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


Then the squid was carried over, accompanied by black garlic, grilled tomatos, fennel, ginger and seafood foam. Beautifully cooked squid and loads of flavours balanced nicely with the richness of the foam. 

Awwwwwww. At this point it was impossible not to feel the smile steadily climb back on my face. Even my gaze started to make its way to my date. Well, his plate anyway; just to see if I might be able to finish his, too. 



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


The fish dish (fried and smoked brill with creamed leeks, spicy roasted carrot and just with lemon and browned butter) was... intriguing. 

It created a peculiar Alice in Wonderland effect: eyes said one thing, brain another and taste buds something else entirely. 

For one I found it difficult to believe the carrot was actually carrot. It's texture and the spicy notes lent it a decidedly meaty finish. 

I am also almost 100% sure the waiter told the jus was oxtail comsommé, which would seem a bit... well, intriguing. But the dark umami-richness did taste like it too. 

Combined with fish and especially its smokiness the result was puzzling: though my eyes were convinced I was consuming fish, the taste experience was so deeply carnal I didn't know which one to believe anymore. 



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


Like everything else up until now, the dessert was pure food porn; a blissful celebration of contrasts and textures.

Sea buckthorn, poached apple, canilla ice cream, browned butter (!!!), meringue crumbs and warm caramel sauce. 

God, yes. 



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor


Together with a beer, 3 glasses of wine (Italian Pinot Nero that carried nicely through the meal) the total came to about €200. Worth it? Abso-freaking-lutely.

(Even if six weeks on we're still struggling to talk to each other...)


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor_keittiö


* * * 

SK Mat & Människor
Johannesbergsgatan 24
41255 Göteborg

+46 31 81 25 80
mail@skmat.se

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Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_huone_Superior Sleep      


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Thursday, 26 January 2017

Scandic Rubinen - chain hotel's perks in boutique hotel ambiance

Scandic Rubinen in Gothenburg is a hotel where chain hotel's perks meet boutique hotel ambiance. Cosy hotel with excellent location - perfect for exploring Gothenburg!


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During my latest trip to Gothenburg I stayed at Scandic Rubinen - a hotel choice familiar from previous stays, too. The hotel didn't let me down this time either, so I whole-heartedly recommend this place as perfect base for exploring Gothenburg.

The location seriously couldn't be better. Smack in the middle of leafy boulevard of Kungsportsavenyn, one of Gothenburg's main streets, this hotel is within short walking distance from absolutely everything

Haga, for instance, is less than 15 minutes away and there are several great restaurant mere minutes away. And in case you feel like exploring Gothenburg futher afield, the tram stop is located right in front of the hotel. Even airport shuttle's bus stop (Kungsportsplatsen), too, is only about 5-minute-walk away. Full points for convenience!

The exterior doesn't make one's heart sing, I'll give you that. Concrete box so depressigly reminiscent of 70's (and Soviet's) archtecture is a bit of an eyesore in Kungsportsavenyn's plush scenery, but luckily there's a whole new world waiting on the inside. 

Completely revamped in 2013, this hotel charms with its eclectic decor pampering one's eyes with endless intriguing details. 

Rubinen (that's ruby in Swedish) truly is a gem. There's decadent velour, bold prints, vibrant colours, gold galore and creative contrasts - all brought together in a way that manages to be both fun and fiercely stylish. 

I loooooove hotels and especially hotels with this kind of sense of aesthetics are so totally up my alley... as you might have noticed already.

Remember Pariisin Ville in Porvoo? Or Metropole Semarah in Riga? See?


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen



As you walk in you'll notice the absence of the generic carbon-copy look that usually characterizes chain hotels. 

The ambiance; a funky fusion of playfulness and opulence creates a boutique hotel-like atmosphere. This hotel combines all the perks of a chain hotel with those more personal touches of boutique hotels. Best of the both worlds!



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_reception


The eclectic vibe and abundant details continue through rest of the public space, too. The casually cool bar deserves a special nod, too, and has become a very popular after work- hangout among the locals as well. 



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_bar



One of my favourite places would have to be the rooftop bar Rubinen, though. Balmy summer evenings, your skin still glowing from the sun, glass of chilled rosé, setting as understatedly stylish as this and views over the city... can you think of a better way to kick off an evening?


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_kattobaari
Kuvat: Scandic Rubinen

Superior rooms located in 7th floor (roughly €130-€170 per night, depending on the day of the week) also offer a way to enjoy the fantastic views over Kungsportsavenyn: each room has a door leading to the shared full facade-length terrace. 

Earlier we've stayed in Superior room named after Edith Piaf, which even had a bath tub (which, as you know, I just can't get enough of!)

This time, through collaboration, the hotel had booked us in Superior Sleep- room (prices vary between €150-€200) where we were greeted by own private terrace facing the quieter courtyard side of the building. 


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_Supersior Sleep_terassi
Kuva: Scandic Rubinen

Though blessed with serious size (I've had flats that were smaller!), for some reason the bath room in this room cathegory don't come with a bath tub. 

While that is a shame, the bathrooms throughout get points for their toiletries; courtesy of Face of Stockholm. Not only are they good quality but I also applaud the use of ecologically more sound and user-friendly larger containers. 

They stock everything you could want: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap and body lotion. 

As any woman flying in this post 9/11 era of pesky liquid quotas I thoroughly appreciate finding everything I need in the hotel and not having to even try and squeeze everything into that minuscule zip lock that never quite manages to accommodate all the necessities.

One thing I particularly appreciate is that body lotion: for some reason it is the one thing hotel bathroom's miniature bottle arsenall usually lack, even though sunny days in the summer, cold days in the winter and the dryness of air conditioning all make sure it is the one thing at least I have probably the most use for. 


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_kylpyhuone


The room welcomed us with refreshments and a fruit platter (nice touch - you all know how bad I am at eating fuit and veg  on my own...)...


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_hedelmälautanen


...and selection of international glossies and more treats from Face of Stockholm. 


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_lehdet



Room's decor continues that eccentric Alice in Wonderland- vibe.

It wasn't actually until I was already back home, editing the photos, that I realized why I felt so relaxed and at home here: both the bold choice of colours and furnitures reflect the style of my own home, too!


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_huone_Superior Sleep


Our room also had a separate bedroom the peace of which I loved retiring to at the end of each day. Soothingly serene atmosphere, motorized bed  (!) and the arms of the person I love the most. Now that's bliss.

The wing where this room was located was being renovated during our stay and judging by the "Staff only" sign forgotten on the sliding door separating the bedroom from the living room area, we were probably among the first guests to stay there.


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_makuuhuone_Superior Sleep



For three days this chaisse-longue served as my home office and I would have happily taken it home with me.Seeing it still makes me sigh.

 I've got to get me one of those! 

Anybody have ay tips as to where to look for one?


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_divaani



Breakfast didn't leave any room for improvement, either. The selection is extensive (perks of that chain hotel) but with stylish attention to small things (as you'd expect from a boutique hotel). Bacon and scrambled eggs for instance were served out of Le Creuset's enamel pots which matched the hotels colour scheme nicely as opposed to those horrendous stainless steel vats that always make me think of hospitals. 


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_aamiainen


There's also a good selection of gluten-free choices: several types of bread for instance and all laid our separately to avoid cross-contamination. 



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_aamiainen 2



And the absolutely most important thing? Yes, bacon was good and crunchy.



Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_aamiainen 3



Location, bathroom's equipment and breakfast - those are my main concerns when staying in a hotel . How about you guys? What are the things that either make or break a hotel for you?


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_do not disturb


* In collaboration with Scandic Hotels Rubinen Gothenburg


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Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_kauppahalli_Feskekorka   Pariisin Ville 2      


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