Vassa Eggen Restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden is a stylish restaurant with a red-hot cocktail menu, and an innovative culinary menu by Chef Fredrik Björlin that when combined, is pure inspiration.
Enter Vassa Eggen where music drifts from the bar, and you feel immediately at home. The restaurant opened in 1999 and had a facelift in the summer of 2007. The designer look is appealing with dark wood floors, gathered fabric covers two walls, and a round tray ceiling changes colors throughout the course of the evening bathing the dining room in alternating hues of soft rose, blue, and green light. Black leather chairs flank wood tables, and an art glass divides the dining room from the kitchen where guests have the opportunity to watch the chefs. Tall, dark, and handsome columns add architectural interest and hold pulley cords from the knitted covered lamps hanging over the tables. Banquettes line one wall, tall plant spears in a large vase add visual appeal, and a glass- enclosed wine cellar divides the dining room from the bar.
Edward F. Nesta and I went to Vassa Eggen Restaurant for dinner in May 2008, and noticing the very imaginative and playful cocktail menu, we began our evening with a Gin and Yang, one of their special cocktails, made with Gin, Elderflower Liqueur, ginger, Crème de Lychee, and lemon and served in a frosty martini glass. Robin, the bartender, expertly finished the cocktail with a generous lemon peel twisted over the glass that was in a word, perfect.
Chef Fredrik Björlin has a very creative tasting menu, which provided us with the opportunity to experience his culinary vision. To start the evening's tasting, he sent an Amuse Bouche of Omelet de Paysan and steak tartar served in a tiny cone that arrived on its own stand for Edward, and for me, a brown eggshell filled with an egg and cheese omelet with potato served in a silver egg cup, and a large metal spoon bearing a very tasty oyster with horseradish foam presented on a bed of crushed ice.
Appetites stimulated, we were ready to begin our culinary odyssey which began with a trip to the kitchen to watch Chef Frederik at work setting up our starters, Terrine på Kyckling och anklever portvin, sultanrussin, grönpeppar (Terrine of chicken and duck liver, port wine, golden raisins, and green peppercorns) for Edward, and for me, Hummer fryst escabeche, avocado (Lobster frozen escabeche and avocado). There is a chef table in the kitchen where guests can dine and converse with the chef, which is a great way to learn a few of the chef's tricks of the trade.
We returned to our table in the dining room where Edward's terrine was beautifully presented as a mille feuille with a port wine soaked cherry as a garnish that when gently pressed with the fork released its rich juice over the foie gras. Accompanied with mixed greens, this course was lovely, and was paired with Domaine Jo Pithon, Coteaux du Layon, Chenin de Botrytis, Les 4 Villages, 2006.
I selected the cold starter of Hummer fryst escabeche, avocado (Lobster frozen escabeche and avocado), which was paired with Pierre Sparr, Alsace Altenbourg Riesling, 2002. The presentation was lobster with paprika roasted chili pepper sorbet with seaweed tempura and curls of avocado. This course was an interesting blend of textures and flavors, and the combination of spicy sorbet, the crispiness of the seaweed, and the succulent lobster with brunoise vegetables, and tiny, diced cucumbers was a winner.
For his warm starter, Edward selected the Kalvbräss vårprimöner, sommartryfiel (calves' sweetbreads, early vegetables, and summer truffle) paired with Leite Weingut, Rüdesheimer, Berg Rosneck, Rheingau, Germany Riesling, 2006. Visually attractive with baby carrots and a row of peas still in its pod, this was another tasty course.
I continued with a stunning warm starter of Vikmusslor Moules frites svartotsbrandade, persilja (Bay scallops, fried mussels, salsify brandade, parsley), paired with Les Grand Monyains, Sancerre, 2006 with smoky, mineral notes and fruit on the palate.
For his main course, Edward selected the Unggris Kammben och Karre Kinesink barbecue silverlökscréme (Pork spareribs and collar, Chinese barbecue, white onion crème) paired with Schloss Reinhartshausen, Pinot Noir, Trocken, Rheingau, 2005. The best words to describe this course are flavorful, spicy, and delectable.
I selected the Gös under pilgrimsmusla rödvin och havskräftsky, rostad vitlök (pike perch under scallop, red wine, and langoustine jus with roasted garlic) which looked like a mosaic on a pool of langoustine jus and red wine reduction sauce, with a demarcation line of lemon marinated fennel and baby vegetables covered with bean puree over a garlic puree. This course was paired with a Sirch Pinot Grigio,
The main courses over, it was time for a little sweet indulgence. Chef Fredrik surprised us with a pre-dessert of a small vanilla sabayon with sea buckthorn puree that had a crackling brûlée top and a rich, creaminess.
Since we dined at the restaurant at the beginning of the rhubarb season, we had to experience the dessert Glace au four, mandel brioche, vanilj, rabarber (Glace au four, almond brioche, vanilla, and rhubarb) that was an almond brioche base with rhubarb sorbet and vanilla ice cream, tiny golden dollops of Italian meringue, and rhubarb jelly. I loved the look and the multiple textures and flavors of this dessert from its crunchy almond base to the little golden meringue buttons, the rhubarb jellies and refreshing sorbet and ice cream. Paired with Schloss Reinharthausen, Erbacher Schlossberg, Riesling, Auslese, Rheingau, 2005, it was a delightful way to end a delicious evening at Vassa Eggen Restaurant.
Vassa Eggen Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
Read other articles on Vassa Eggen Restaurant in the Chefs' Recipes section where Chef Fredrik Björlin shares his recipes for a tantalizing 3-course menu in English and in Swedish.
Vassa Eggen Restaurant
Birger Jarlsgatan 29
10395 Stockholm, Sweden
Telephone: +46 821-6169
Fax: +46 820-3446
Read other articles on Stockholm in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, and Chefs' Recipes sections.
Read other articles on Sweden in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Chefs' Recipes, Travel News, and Gastronomy sections.
For information on Sweden, please visit the website: www.VisitSweden.com. For information on SAS Airlines, please visit the website: www.Flysas.com.
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