Just outside Stockholm city in Älvsjö you will find one of the most interesting restaurants in town right now. Aloë. The first time you go here it is not really easy to see where the restaurant is located; you might end up on the street wandering if this really is the right place. All you will see you is gardens and houses, and depending on the time of your arrival a closed shop.
You sense the ambition level in everything from the staff to the interior design
A hint is to go behind that shop, on a side road to the left and you will see a nicely lit, warm and welcoming house. That’s where the restaurant is. And that sort of sets the bar; this will be a quite intimate evening. Aloë holds about 35 seats, where set-menus and fine dining is the name of the game. The décor is really nice, and you sense the ambition level in everything from the staff to the interior design. They are aiming for a star. And even though they did not get one in 2017, I bet that Chef Daniel Höglander and Chef Niclas Jönsson will be awarded one in 2018.
The food is influenced by a lot of different flavors, but predominately from Japan with traces from all across South East Asia. The menu is divided into five parts, a couple of snacks and hors d’oeuvres to start off with, followed by a couple of fish dishes, then the same for meat before ending of with first savory dessert and then sweet desserts. And with that set-up, it is as you can imagine not a quick dinner. This is set out to be a dining experience. And it really delivers.
The dishes will showcases great innovative thinking in both execution and technique
The level of technique is high in the dishes, and many of them leave you lingering for more. This is a true experience and throughout the night the dishes will showcases great innovative thinking in both execution and technique. The dishes are refined, nicely presented, and although very well balanced the menu is a bit geared towards salt, smoky and fat. But in an Asian way, so it is not heavy – it is still light. And the odds of having sauces served at the table are low, and you would hardly get your money back if you placed a bet on that.
All through the menu the flavors are rich and deep, like a turbot custard with browned butter and chives topped with a kerupuk with caviar. Salty and rich, but so utterly delicious in every sense of the word. Belon oysters are followed by monkfish, Wagyu beef and pigeon. And just from that list of produce you know where this restaurant is aiming. The monkfish might be the leanest and tastiest monkfish ever, and although the play with Asian flavors in Nordic cooking in itself is no news, it still fits so well into the dishes.
The flavors are rich and deep
All in all, this is cooking at a very high level. But the fun thing is the curveballs that they throw at you as well, like a dessert called chocolate pudding with banana which is in essence a refined version of the childhood banana split, but just a hell of a lot nicer. And we haven´t even touched the topic of wine yet, where the wine pairing is one of the very best in Stockholm.
Älvsjö might not be the most accessible place, but it is well worth the trip if you are able to score one of the highly sought after tables. The rumors have spread through the city about the great food that can be found at Aloë so it is not so easy anymore. All I can say is that it is worth both the wait and the trip, it is an excellent dining experience in every sense of the word.