Jul 15th, 2012 by Håkan
Q: What is it? A: A very special night at a very special table located in the kitchen’s dry storage compartment at Sweden’s #1 meat restaurant.
This wasn’t an ordinary meal.
In all honestly, this wasn’t a meal. It was a feast. A brutal, primitive feast, specially designed to please pathologic carnivores like… myself. This happened on a Friday. I swear that I wasn’t back to normal meals until the Tuesday after. A Chef’s Table at Restaurant AG is a bizarre combo of very refined cooking and an almost brutally straightforward philosophy. It’s not for everybody. It goes on for about 4.5 hours (which is minimum – we essentially closed the restaurant together with the staff).
Start the music.
The second appetizer is almost an insult to the first, (those scallops were very fine). Picture a massive bone of ox, sliced in half. You then grill the bone and then a quick visit in the oven, to bake the marrow. Chefs then make use of their gas-burners to create a little caramelization. Tender marrow and salt gremolata on top of a freshly grilled levain bread (a French kind of sourdough). The next serving was about as brutal: Polbo á feira – octopus fair style. That’s the Galician version of a family pizza, (the octopus was, in all fairness, just as big). The fiesta was on and, speaking about music, yours truly was controlling the music in the kitchen by remote control, being a true insurance man for the funk.
The silencing of the lamb…
…didn’t happen for nothing. The lamb ended up being v-e-r-y slowly roasted and glaced before finishing its days on our table. It’s notable how no-nonsense Mr. Jureskog’s philosophy on cooking is. No odd sauces. No weird additives. Also, at this stage, we were about to taste the red wines, (Klas had the instruction to go all in), which added some extra oomph to the heart of ox, which arrived together with beetroot and horseradish. Kind as he is, he showed up with an even more rounded and richly textured vintage of Penfolds Grange than we had agreed upon. Not as generous as some vintages, but more… classy.
Festival of the Meats.
Now, we were approaching the climax. The bloody, meaty festival of meats. The good people at Fällmans Kött, the main supplier of meat to Restaurang AG, supplied the table with a few Swedish pieces of awesomeness. There were also a powerful piece of Finnish beef alongside a Black Angus from Scotland. This was a happy time for all of us, as we made good use of the much-hyped 2005 Maybach ”Materium” Cabernet Sauvignon. Not as complex as I thought it would be but amazing considered its young age, (it is however a bit over-priced). Nevertheless, it was a good time to drink it and Klas thought that only about a dozen bottles of it had found its way to Sweden.
Epilogue: Fine dining – and at the same time very raw.
We were almost unconscious. We were dizzy. When Klas opened a bottle of sweet Moscato d’Asti of Sarocco, (2010 vintage) it was like going on a bike-ride into a car wash. Soft, smooth and elegant, with a light fizz. Since it was the boys who had gathered, we closed the show with a fine malt of Islay and then another one, while I disconnected my phone from the speaker system. The kitchen wasn’t vibrating with Philly soul anymore, but we left the restaurant happy, convinced that we that night had witnessed and experienced the peak of non-metrosexual cooking. Now, nearly a month later, I still think we did. Five stars in my book. Period.
S-112 33 Stockholm, Sweden
+46-8-410 681 00
Open: Monday-Saturday 5.00 pm to midnight, Sunday closed.
Additional note: The Chef’s Table can not be booked via the internet. Call the restaurant for info.