We were seriously spoilt for choice when it came to choosing where to eat in Stockholm, from fine dining and Michelin star restaurants to gorgeous bistros and brasseries and cute cafes. As you know I always put a lot of research into choosing restaurants for a trip and this time I had something else to factor in…my pregnancy! I choose different restaurants to the ones I might have normally gone for as many of the Michelin-starred restaurants had tasting menus, often not show on their website. Though I was told they were flexible and cater for me, I didn’t really want to venture too much into the unknown or miss out on the classic tasting menu due to avoiding raw fish, undercooked meat and blue cheese. Also as I’m struggling to eat a lot I felt the tasting menus maybe too much food for me.
Instead I chose places where I could see the menu online and that had plenty of options that would suit my pregnancy diet and aversions but were still highly-rated with good reviews.
The Flying Elk
Restaurant Frantzén in Klara norra kyrkogata is many people the top restaurant in Stockholm, the only one that has three Michelin stars. As mentioned above, I chose to avoid the very high end restaurants and instead opted to try chef Björn Frantzén’s more casual Gastropub style restaurant, The Flying Elk. After a glowing recommendation from Sima, it seemed like a great option to try the chef’s food without being overwhelmed by anything too fancy. I actually think trying a chef’s more casual restaurant is a great idea pregnant or not as it often an easier menu that is gentler on the wallet whilst still a guarantee of great food.
The Flying Elk really is a pub, and as such it is very casual, usually I’m looking for something a little jazzier on holiday but as most of my clothes don’t fit me and I wanted something chilled and simple, it was perfect. For some looking for a more fancy dinner option, you may want to choose The Flying Elk for lunch instead. The Gastro pub is in the Old Town of Stockholm and the name comes from tales on the forest of Jämtland who have been looking for an elk a shoulder height higher than ever seen before, and a crown adorned with countless tags since the 1600s.
Food-wise we really kept it very simple, Mr S started on spicy chicken wings with melted butter, bleu de Laqueuille and fried parsley. My confit chicken salad with tarragon and dijon, Pickled Piccadilly tomatoes, enoki mushrooms, haricots verts, cornichons and crumbled Gouda looked quite simple but was a total delight. I think it’s alway very impressive when a chef can make something simple like a chicken salad taste amazing.
For main course Mr S opted for one of his staples Veal Schnitzel Björn Frantzén with anchovy butter, grilled lemon, confit potatoes with red wine jûs and pea salad. The Flying Elk really is a place that lives up to the philosophy of serving simple things done well using great ingredients. I ordered roasted corn-fed chicken (yes chicken has become somewhat of a theme for me with so many other things off the table). The chicken was utterly delicious and came with deep fried Hasselback potato and cabbage salad. There was a “yuzunette”, toasted cashew nuts, miso beurre blanc and shiitake mushroom sauce with was exquisite but I was glad that I requested for it to be on the side as it was very rich.
When I was researching restaurants, Oaxen quickly went on to my list of definites…
Located on the island of Djurgården in central Stockholm and very conveniently close to the ABBA museum which we went to afterward – Oaxen is divided in the ‘Slip’, a casual Swedish bistro option, and ‘Krog,’ a fine dining restaurant with two Michelin stars. As you may have guessed based on my spiel above, I chose the more casual Oaxen Slip for lunch. The restaurant itself is beautifully light and airy (perfect for Instagram ahem…) and is actually a refurbished shed at a boatyard with interiors inspired by boating – note the hanging boats on the ceiling.
Our starter was baked jerusalem artichokes with whey, bleak roe, bread crumbs and chive (I asked for the roe on the side as I didn’t think I could eat it). The artichokes were soft and melt in the mouth with a buttery sauce that wasn’t overly rich for me.
I thought I was being a bit boring ordering salmon, eggs and potatoes but actually the dish was different to how I expected it to be and was the perfect light but filling fish option.
Mr S was a big fan of his brisket of lamb grilled on skewers with tarragon and garlic served with chips. The owners of Oaxen emphasise sustainability and use of organic ingredients and where possible ingredients are local – they even have their own farm.
Personally, Oaxen was a must visit for me whether you choose Oaxen Slip or Krog.
Finally, and sticking to my theme, Matbaren is the more casual bistro restaurant of renowned Swedish chef Mathias Dahlgren. Both Matbaren and the Chef’s eponymous two Michelin-starred restaurant can be found at The Grand Hotel in Stockholm on the waterfront overlooking the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan. But Matbaren is so much more than a bistro, in possession of a Michelin-star itself and a very firm favourite on the Stockholm restaurant scene. It’s actually a firm favourite of the owners of Ett Hem, and it was after seeing the gorgeous design of Matbaren the owner Jeanette Mix hired designer Ilse Crawford to create her hotel concept.
The concept of Matbaren is small plates and you can order as you go along… great for a pregnant lady who’s not sure how quickly she’ll get full. And the menu is divided into snacks, meat, fish and veggie. With this being the most fine dining option that we went for, there were a few dishes off the table for me but still plenty that I could have.
A selection of fish croquettes.
Deer sausage in a bun – this was tiny but fabulous!
Dry aged sirloin with beetroot, walnuts and smoked smetana – just for Mr S as it was quite rare.
Cod and deep fried brussel sprouts with chilli, soy and butter hollandaise.
Deep fried cod in a steamed bun with langoustine emulsion and coriander (again just Mr S).
Egg and truffles with Jerusalem artichoke and black trumpet.
Dessert was a small and light rhubarb crumble with ice cream.
I was really pleased with all these choices and we had all good experiences! Have you ever been to Stockholm? Where did you eat?
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