I apologize for the lack of blogging from RealThai as of late. I’m currently in Oregon and haven’t even caught up with all the blogs I’d like to do from Stockholm, which shows you how far behind I am! In addition to this, I already have plans to visit Borneo and Cambodia more or less right after I get back to Bangkok. In the meantime, I’ll try to get my mits on a Mac so I can share a few more of the things I ate in Stockhom and here.
A couple weeks ago Göran Lager and I took lunch at KB, Konstnärs Baren (“Artists’ Bar”), a Stockholm institution. Located in a beautiful building from 1891 that also houses Stockholm’s dramatic theatre, the restaurant is known excellent traditional Swedish fare and for its murals that cover the walls of the upstairs dining area:
But as you can guess, we were mostly interested in the former. The menu (shown in the first pic above) offers a short but very interesting array of traditional Swedish dishes based around indigenous ingredients such as shrimp, herring, salmon, dill and lingonberries. We began with gravade strömming:
marinated herring served on a slice of pumpernickel-like bread and boiled potatoes. Sounds like starch overload, but it really was wonderful, and thankfully, for me at least, the herring lacked the sweet taste found in most Swedish pickled fish. It was easily the best fish dish I had during my stay in Stockholm, and even the potatoes were delicious and perfectly cooked.
This was followed by raggmunkar, Swedish-style potato pancakes:
which were served with knaperstekt fläsk, bacon-like strips of ham, and a side of rårörda lingon, stewed lingonberries:
It was rustic, salty, oily, and hearty, and when topped with the lingonberries, sweet and a bit sour; basically everything I like in a dish. It also had the added benefit, according to Göran, of being an excellent hangover cure (I had been at a wedding the previous night…).
Here’s Göran’s take on the meal (unfortunately only in Swedish), which, as a bonus, includes a recipe for gravade strömming. Despite the utter simplicity of the dishes, this was easily one of the most memorable meals of my trip. I’d encourage any of you who happen to be in Stockholm to stop by.
Smålandsgatan 7 (off Biblioteksgatan, near Stureplan)
08 – 679 60 32
While in Stockholm I went to a couple soccer matches, including a derby between two Stockholm teams, AIK and Hammarby. My friends are hardcore AIK supporters, which gave me the idea to photograph the fan activity at an important match.
Lining up for the game outside Råsunda Stadium. The alcohol-related mess is indicative of the mood of much of the match
At the beginning of the match I stood in “knacken”, the area reserved for the more hardcore AIK supporters.
Ultra-wide view from above
But the point of going was to photograph fans, so after a while I moved down to ground level.
Most interesting was the the fence directly behind the goal that, too my surprise, fans were more or less allowed to climb and stand on.
Rousing the fans
AIK scored first.
and eventually won the match.
Leaving the stadium
While in Stockholm I accompanied my friends to a couple soccer matches. My friends are big fans of AIK, one of three Stockholm teams in the Swedish league, and hold season tickets. One of their pre-game rituals, other than two warm beer to cool their nerves, involves dinner at a kebab restaurant near the stadium in Solna. Having consumed kebab earlier on my trip, I followed my friend Ola’s lead and ordered the “vegetable plate”:
This took the form of various deep-fried veggies: eggplant, cauliflower, onions and falafel, served over a massive heap of saffron rice (or French fries), with sides of hummus and a yogurt sauce. The image above doesn’t do a good job of illustrating the sheer vastness of the plate, and I was only able to eat about 75% of it. It was tasty, but incredibly salty, and at about $10, isn’t exactly a “deal” for fast food, but that’s Sweden.
Here’s Ola devouring his:
He finished it.
During the game the only food option is korv, Swedish-style sausages:
a food I will soon document in detail at the Lonely Planet website.
To see more of the images I took at the game, go over to my newish photoblog, The Old Main Drag.
One of the highlights of my trip to Sweden was a visit to the country’s most acclaimed restaurant, the two-star Edsbacka Krog. Ironically, the restaurant is located a short walk away from where I lived as an exchange student in the town of Sollentuna, although I was blissfully unaware of it at the time (my culinary interests during the period focused mostly around kebab). My dining companion, Göran Lager, who I’ve mentioned here several times previously, is friends with the restaurant’s well-known chef, Christer Lingström, and as I was also working on an article, we were treated very well.
We chose the avsmakningsmeny, the tasting menu, a eight-course extravaganza of taste that began with the following trio of Creamed parsnip with strawberry jelly, fish broth with basil foam, and asparagus soup with crispy pork:
Unusual combinations that worked together very well, as Göran’s expression suggests:
The remaining seven courses included exotic ingredients such as pigeon and sea buckthorn, indigenous ingredients such as ramslök (kind of onion) and gooseberries, and challenging combinations such as marinated hälleflundra (type of fish) with a vanilla-lemon foam. I’m planning on printing some of the photos later, so I’d rather not run any here before they’ve had a chance to run. It was an amazing experience, and by far the best food-wine pairing I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. Highly recommended–if you can afford it!
+46 (0)8-96 33 00
The EEgos are the hottest new band of the moment in Portland, Oregon. Due to the fact that their guitarist, Dave:
is one of my oldest friends, I was granted unprecedented access to photograph an invite-only show a few weeks ago.
It was extremely dark where they were playing, so I was forced to shoot at ISO 1600 and I illuminated the shots with my SB-800 held in my left hand. If you’re not already aware, the D200′s built-in flash can control the SB-800 wirelessly and without the use of an extra slave. I simply changed a few settings on the flash and camera, set the strobe to slow-sync (dialing it down one stop, if I remember correctly) and fired away. I really like this effect, which freezes certain elements of the frame, but also suggests motion and action. And the fact that the light is coming from an angle makes the lighting that much more attractive.
The backstage party, as you can imagine, was totally insane, and I had to use my connections to bail Dave and five underage groupies out from a local jail.