Mistral, Frantzén and now Kagges. The venue comes with a history and some expectations. But Kagges is far from the fine dining establishments that have previously occupied the venue on Lilla Nygatan 21. Kalle Lindborg and Douglas ”Dogge” Tjärnhammar-Alm wanted to create a own version of Le Chateaubriand in Paris, but in a Swedish way. Casual, fun, relaxed and a bit messy – and good food. Simply put, a damn lovely atmosphere with damn good food. Kalle Lindborg has previously worked at Restaurang Djuret and Dogge at Omakase Köttslöjd and Fäviken Magasinet, guaranteeing the level in the kitchen.
A damn lovely atmosphere with damn good food
The dishes are well-composed, not overworked, and made primarily out of local produce. The style is sort of in the overused word new Nordic style, without being boxed into that category and it is primarily simple dishes that are very well executed. The food is divided into three categories, vegetables, fish and meat – where the vegetable part and the meat part are the brightest shining stars. The menu is quite short, about ten courses in total where everything is served as mid-sized dishes, and the recommendation is to go for 3-4 per person. The chefs choice is to start with a simple drink. Eau de Vie, an orange clove and Trocadero (referring to a classic Swedish soft drink, caffeinated apple- and orange flavored and not the area in Paris) plus giant ice cubes. Simple and playful, and bringing back the childhood drink of Trocadero.
Well-composed dishes, not overworked, and made primarily out of local produce
To go with the drink there are a couple of snacks like crudité of radishes and carrots served with dill dip as well as a small selection of charcuteries. And already here you can notice the attention to details, the quality of these simple produce is great. But the best is still to come, before the dinner starts there is a bread serving which is nothing sheer of spectacular, and well worth a visit on its own. It is a soft potato bread, traditionally made in the small city of Leksand, to dip in a big heap of delicious soft smoked homemade butter. It is truly amazing. Follow that with the smoked cabbage with browned butter, sour cream and trout roe, and you´re in for a real treat. The wine list is however extremely short, on the verge to nonexistent and is served in carafes. But they are well selected and chosen, but don’t expect the long wine list here.
Dip in a big heap of delicious soft smoked homemade butter
The venue has undergone some renovations, and to support that the duo served what they called a “construction workers lunch” during the renovations. Simple classic Swedish dishes that gave a hint of what was to come. Thankfully, the interior was largely preserved from Frantzén’s time, and if you visited the old version of restaurant Frantzén you will recognize yourself when walking into Kagges with the long bar with the high chairs facing the open kitchen. But otherwise the venue is a lot more casually decorated, and the furnishings are exchanged for wooden tables and wooden stools. And the ambiance is far more relaxed. The open kitchen provides a close contact between the chefs and the guest, and that is a key thing to enjoy the experience here for both parties. Both Kalle and Dogge are talkative and social, playful in everything from the dishes to the service and that connection is what makes Kagges something special in Stockholm right now. Kagges is all about the lovely atmosphere. And it is really fun to go and have dinner here.