Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson have for quite some time now turned Älvsjö into a food destination well worth a trip on its own with Aloë, where they provide one of the cities very best fine dining experiences. How they still lack a Michelin star is beyond my understanding. The venue is deep in suburbia, surrounded by houses and on a street, that gives absolutely no indication whatsoever that these days two of Stockholm’s best restaurants are hiding in the bushes in Älvsjö. But follow the path next to the shop on Svartlösavägen 52 and get allured by the pink neon sign that leads you down to the basement. And there it is, Rinos Bodega.
How they still lack a Michelin star is beyond my understanding
Rinos Bodega is the total opposite of the dining are on the floor above. Where Aloë is sleek, beautifully designed and contemporarily elegant – Rinos Bodega is more of the opposite. The first you see when entering the restaurant are two pinball machines (yes, of course functional so go ahead and give it a go), a large projector screen showing a movie with a couple of leather couches in front of them. A pinkish light is all through the venue, and the odd lucha libre mask is also part of the décor where the tables are quite stripped, but all in all this is still a place you come back to again and again. It is casual, it is relaxed – and the best is still to come, namely the food.
Two pinball machines, a large projector screen and the odd lucha libre mask
In all its simplicity, one could say the same about the menu. You will find sliders, Caesar salad, Toast Skagen, risotto and tacos. If you only read the headlines on the menu you will probably think that “what’s the fuzz about?”. But then you start noticing the small things, the taco is a lobster taco. One slider is with foie grass. The Toast Skagen is served as a canape. The risotto is packed with truffles. And your mind stars understanding that this will probably be more linked to the upstairs than you first think.
The taco is a lobster taco. One slider is with foie grass.
Aloë serves some of the most flavor intense fine dining in Stockholm, not shy on salt or fat or spices for that matter. The same goes for the bodega version downstairs, the flavors are intense, it is salty and rich. And absolutely delicious. The concept is simple, all dishes cost the same and you can eat as many or as few as you want. The dishes are appetizer sized so go for a couple or three. That us of course if you can. It is easy to order a few more as you go along. The chili cheese is just the perfect version of the fast food joints ones, and a great snack to start with together with the Toast Skagen. The sweetbreads are crispy and light and classically paired with remoulade sauce. The risotto is incredibly cheesy, topped off with some crispy onions and a massive amount of truffles making it a perfect ending to a dinner, the only space left after that one is the dessert belly.
The chili cheese is just the perfect version of the fast food joints ones
And speaking of desserts, to find a after eight with pear dish on a menu in 2018 is astonishing. But when it is done per the pallet in 2018 as well it becomes a truly great dish once again. The same goes for the simple fried apple doughnut with vanilla ice-cream. And the cookie crumble with raspberry sherbet is paired with Pop Rocks! Yes, that’s right. Yes, it is that candy that exploded in the mouth and the pieces jumped and continued to explode into smaller pieces. And that is also a great way to sum it up. The guys have tried several things in the cellar, it has been the brunch and casual lunches at Crispy Duck Café, finer dining lunches at Descendit. But somehow Rinos Bodega feels like the concept has landed. This is the perfect complement to the fine dining venue upstairs, and a place you truly want to come back to. Again, and again.