Sunday, April 04, 2010

Restaurant J

To be fair to the Stockholm dining scene, I should write something here on this blog when I do encounter good foods.

With my colleagues, I have an Easter dinner at Restaurant J tonight. Although the Easter menu itself doesn't sound very tantalizing (some of us indeed went for the usual menu instead), the actual dishes are very good.

According to the English menu, the starter is "smoked salmon served with spring salad and egg". This doesn't sound very tempting. But the Swedish menu says a bit more: varmrökt lax på vårsallad med kokt ägg, which means hot-smoked (not cold-smoked) salmon on spring salad with boiled egg (not just egg). The actual dish is even more. The hot-smoked salmon is actually a chunk (rather than slices) of smoked salmon fillet with a pleasant smell of smoke. Some of the leaves in spring salad taste earthy in a good way, making me feel spring (which hasn't come yet in Stockholm). And the creamy greenish dressing sauce (which is not mentioned in the menu at all) is properly done. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Then the main dish is "herb and lemon filled roast lamb served with garlic sauce, vegetables ragout and new potatoes" in the English menu. The Swedish menu says the garlic sauce is actually roasted garlic sauce. This sounds better, because when roasted, garlic tastes different, and raw garlic sauce reminds me of the one on kebab meal at one of the lunch places at my workplace (which is of course pretty bad). And the lamb and vegetables ragout that is actually served is more sophisticated than I expected. In other words, it tastes very good. The lamb is served in a French style rather than in an English style, and the vegetable ragout is not a collection of dices of vegetables (which I don't really like because of the rough texture) but white asparaguses or something (I'm not really sure what it is, but if it tastes fine, it's fine). And new potatoes. Even though I'm fed up with potatoes that always come with the main dish in Sweden, eating new potatoes is a very refreshing experience. I love them.

The dessert is citronfromage in Swedish. Lemon cheese? No, in Swedish, citronfromage means lemon mousse for whatever reason. And, very unusually for even good restaurants in Stockholm, this dessert is great, if not superb. The texture is right. The degree of sourness is right. Not too sweet and the right amount.

I learn one thing. It is essential to learn Swedish words for restaurant menus, because the English version (if available) doesn't precisely translate the original menu, which may make your choice wrong. If I didn't know that the smoked salmon was not the usual smoked salmon or that garlic sauce is actually roasted garlic sauce, I would have gone for other dishes. (Even the Swedish version of the menu of Restaurant J says too little about the dish, though.)

And that's what I have been doing: learning Swedish words often used in the menu. I browse the menu of a good restaurant in Stockholm online and translate each term by using not only (the online Swedish-English dictionary) but also the Swedish wikipedia (and then clicking the link to the English version for the same item) and Google. Google helps me to find out a recipe for a particular dish in Swedish, and then I can translate it with Google Translate to see what kind of dish a particular Swedish term refers to.

The result is this. I'm still learning, but it seems to start paying off.

Oh, the price of the Easter 3 course meal is 360 krona (about 36 euro). It's not cheap, but this is the price to motivate Swedish chefs to cook properly.

1 comment:

Andreas said...


I just came across your article and your great list of Swedish food vocbulary. We recently launched a free Swedish-English Dictionary iPhone app ( with the launch of the Swedish version of our language portal I thought you might like it for your next food adventure trip :) Let me know what you think.

Andreas from