Mathias Dahlgren has two restaurants in Stockholm, both located in the same building as Grand Hotel. Mathias Dahlgren – Matbaren is his more casual and less pretentious food bar, but it has still been awarded one Michelin star by the French guide. Mathias Dahlgren – Matsalen has two-Michelin-stars and is a more classic fine dining restaurant, where you typically get a full tasting menu. In the food bar, however, there’s only an à la carte-menu.
This was the first stop on our latest trip to make A Foodie’s Guide to Stockholm. We came directly from the airport and barely made it in time for our reservation. Luckily they took great care of us when we arrived. The menu awaited us as we sat down, printed on a large sheet of paper placed inside a wooden tray on the table. Shortly after taking a seat, we get a brown paper bag from our table host filled with housemade flatbreads that were served with delicious salted butter. There’s no doubt the pace is quick here, which seems to be a trademark of Mathias Dahlgren – Matbaren. You order one dish at a time, and they bring it out freshly made within minutes.
Although this is a budget alternative to dining in Matsalen, the prices are still quite steep. In a time when it seems to be a trend even for fine dining restaurants to lower their à la carte prices, the food bar of Mathias Dahlgren is lagging behind. Most dishes cost closer to SEK 300 than SEK 200, and that’s not even any main courses. You’ll need at least two, maybe even three of the medium-sized dishes to have a complete meal, and preferably a dessert as well. That being said: You’re in for a real treat of flavors and top quality ingredients!
We picked their signature dish steam bun, as well as two options from the vegetable section. The white asparagus was a decent dish, but the real delicacy was the Jerusalem artichoke with salted lemon and browned butter. Mouthwatering and perfectly balanced. Crispy and soft, salty, sweet, bitter, and full of umami at the same time.
The desserts were reason alone to return to Mathias Dahlgren – Matbaren again. I had a hard time picking a favorite among the two. Raspberry and liquorice ice cream with a lid of meringue, kind of like a Baked Alaska, and vanilla & spelt ice cream with seasonal rhubarbs and lemon verbena. Both so refreshing and tasty.
Have you tried both Matbaren, Matsalen, or both? Please share which one is your favorite in the comments.