Saori Ichihara is the head chef who has teamed up with brothers Jesper and Kim Kvarnefält of Barobao to offer a new kind of dining experience on Södermalm. Saori Ichihara has previously worked at Shibumi, Esperanto and Oaxen Krog which gives an indication of the ambition level of the restaurant. The menu is seasonal and the cuisine is based on Japanese flavors with Nordic elements.
A new kind of dining experience on Södermalm
They serve a set-menu consisting of five course which is called yushoku (Japanese word for dinner). The food is elegant, balanced and technically well executed although the flavors sometimes goes into the understated. The same goes for the venue, it is one of the most stylish dining areas in town dominated by green marble and dark wood, but at the same time very low key and elegant. It is easy to miss the restaurant from the street, since the windows are covered by curtains from ceiling to floor, which makes it very easy to miss the restaurant when walking by.
The food is elegant, balanced and technically well executed
To the set menu one can add a small selection of snacks for SEK100. A little wooden box then ends up on the table and serves as a snack box. The box is decorated with seashells, white moss, rocks and dried autumn leaves, and the style is typical for what you would find at Michelin starred venues like Frantzén, Fäviken or at Esperanto. The same attention to details runs through the entire service, and the handmade plates and cutlery are possibly the nicest in town. Spectacular quality.
The box is decorated with seashells, white moss, rocks and dried autumn leaves
Tea and algae are used in the cooking as well as in the glasses, bringing the Japanese flavors to Södermalm. The cooking is elegant with high technical skill and execution, which goes for the visually very appealing plating as well. Blackened cabbage with small pieces of Swedish octopus and kale gives a hint of the style of cooking, and simple produce are continued to be used throughout the dinner. The small celeriac tartlet comes with a celeriac broth that is so rich and deep in flavor that one would like to have more than just the tiny bowl it is served in. The bread serving comes in the middle and is spectacular, made from a sour dough that has been in the Kvarnefält family since 1991. Wine, sake and beer all make it into the beverage pairing, and they all match the food very nicely.
a celeriac broth that is so rich and deep in flavor
The service really does the venue justice. It is friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. And a bit elegant, which makes it into a perfect combination for the venue and the food. But even if the Kvarnefält brothers have been quite clear in interviews that the main target is to impress the common man with an ambitious menu and cooking, this tasting menu will surely be considered great value for money and impress people who are not used to fine dining. If the ambition is to get a Michelin star as our servant told us, then there are still a couple of places in town that are closer to reach that target. But as a more ambitious dining experience on Södermalm this will for sure be a winning concept.