Råkultur, Östermalm, Stockholm, Sweden ****

Q: What is it? A: Let’s face it, there are a lot of very mediocre sushi places in Stockholm. Many of them hopeless. This is not one of them. This is the exception, the shining example, the best.

First serving: Temaki with fried soft shell crab. And yes, you were supposed to eat it like an ice-cream.

First serving: Råkultur’s interpretation of the ice-cream cone: Temaki with fried soft shell crab. No chopsticks necessary.

Second serving: A funky little cup containing poached pullet egg with emulsion of soy and thin laminas of cod.

The 2nd serving: It may not look too interesting, but this funky little cup contains poached pullet egg with emulsion of soy and thin laminas of cod, which in clear writing means ‘damn good!’

The 3rd serving: Beetroot salted halibut, blackened salmon belly and pike-perch with wild garlic from the island of Gotland

The 3rd serving from left to right: Beetroot salted halibut, blackened salmon belly and pike-perch with wild garlic from the island of Gotland. In my book the latter qualifies as one of the most delicious pieces of sushi I ever had. No, I’m certainly not kidding.

The 4th serving – red king crab with Kalix bleak roe on top and silver eel.

The 4th serving: A quite impressive red king crab with Kalix bleak roe on top and a quite perfect silver eel. I just hope that poor eel didn’t belong to one of those endangered species.

The 5th serving – the Gunkan Exclusive – momofuku pork knuckles, raw shrimps from Greenland and grilled chicken hearts.

The 5th serving – Gunkan Exclusive – 軍艦巻 – known as “the warship roll”: Momofuku pork knuckles with plum chili delivers a sting unique for a sushi restaurant; raw shrimps from Greenland with bleak roe on top, and finally grilled chicken hearts.

The 6th serving – where cod and fried cod and a common salmon nigiri saw some competition from the soft shell crab and the piglet glaced with tar.

The 6th serving – cod plus fried cod plus a common salmon nigiri plus a Corean soft shell crab plus the perfect piglet glaced with tar. Everything goes down nicely albeit a little slow at this stage…

The seventh serving. To the left: A cup of coffee. To the right: Rhubarb ice with miso anglaise.

The 7th serving: Rhubarb ice with miso anglaise. Something highly refreshening on top of something quite sweet. Felt like the proper way to carry this meal to the finish line. Perfect.

It’s called a Chef’s Table.
It’s properly named, if a table near the chef should automatically qualify as a chef’s table. I’d say it’s a nice way to enjoy a pre-set sushi menu. Sorry, erase that. It’s a VERY nice way to enjoy Stockholm’s most outstanding sushi restaurant. For all you readers not using the 08-area code: Råkultur is the brainchild of Sayan Isaksson, silver medalist in the unofficial sushi world championships; Seven Sushi Samurai. Although Sayan himself was not on duty, the Råkultur chefs defended their stellar reputation.

It’s outstanding in its category.
It really is. No other sushi restaurant in northern Europe takes you even close. From the opening temaki with the fried soft shell crab to the finish with rhubarb ice on top of a miso anglaise. In order not to use too many words, I will let the pictures do most of the talking in this post.
Notable highlights: The pike-perch with wild garlic from Gotland looked rather nondescript little piece of fish, but was probably the best piece of nigiri I ever had in Scandinavia. Ever. And the momofuku piglet with plum chili was a refreshing departure from the norm, delivering a sting rarely experienced during a sushi meal.

Shouldn’t they receive five?
No they shouldn’t. Not yet. The staff remains as nice as always at Råkultur, but this evening they were sometimes a little out of sync with the kitchen, as the chefs also had to handle takeout orders. Also; in my opinion, a chef’s table should include guests interacting with the kitchen, and preferably some dishes that you can’t find on the regular menu. Today, this doesn’t happen at Råkultur.
With that being said, I’d like to emphasize that Råkultur has the magic touch that competitors would sell their close relatives to possess. And… this so called Chef’s Table is also the only table at Råkultur that can be booked in advance – which is a significant advantage if you don’t live in the area.
Just remember to send a mental thank you to this website while securing your seats, OK?

Råkultur
Kungstensgatan 2
114 25 Stockholm
Sweden

+46-8-696 23 25

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Additional nuggets:
• The nearest hotel in the neighbourhood worth mentioning: Hotel Hellsten, (don’t miss out on their jazz afternoons!), which is a mere 465 meters away.

• Råkultur is located on the ground floor of the Esperanto restaurant, where Sayan Isaksson and his team delivers a cuisine that has so far earned them one Michelin star.

• Beneath Råkultur, in the basement of this building, you’ll find Shibumi – Sayan Isaksson’s updated take on izakaya food. A must if you’re visiting Stockholm, but book early. Seats run out quickly.

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