The Cube – with Johan Jureskog – Norrmalm, Stockholm, Sweden ****

Q: What is it? A: The Johan Jureskog interpretation of how to please 18 guests in that funky, futuristic pop-up restaurant thing perched on the rooftop of the Royal Opera in central Stockholm.

Tartar with Kalix roe, perceves and liver with chanterelle

First a beef tartar with Kalix bleak roe; then perceves, the delicious outcome of a genetic experiment to merge the taste of a clam with the shape of a cheese doodle and finally smooth little cockscombs with chanterelles.

Six hundred kilograms of table is being lowered from the ceiling.

It weighs about 600 kilograms. It is being lowered down from the ceiling at dinner-time, when the show starts. It is made from Corian®. It’s a table. Please, note the alternative to plates for the first serving.

My bone weighs a ton. And it's filled with marrow and gremolata.

A “plate” of marrow of ox with gremolata. As neanderthal as cooking will ever get in Twinkle City.

Polbo á feira – the traditional Galician dish tweaked for a Swedish palate.

It’s the Jureskog way of serving Polbo á feira – “fair style octopus” the size of a family pizza. It should be cooked al dente. It was cooked al dente. Guests shared the joy of cutting it up themselves.

Jureskog presenting the dish with the words "Pooh is pissed. Piglet is dead."

Presentation time: This is what happens when a 6-month old piglet meets a 36 year old smiling chef, (chef to the left).

Here's Piglet when he has arrived on the plate.

Little Piglet ended up on our plates. And he was cut with a classic Mora knife, (Sweden’s most traditional cutting tool), which – for the record – was not the cause of his death.

Where's the beef? Here it is. From Scotland, Finland and Sweden.

High-quality meat, displayed by Mr. Jureskog for your viewing pleasure, cured for 30 days on bone.

The beef that was on display a little earlier... this is what they looked like afterwards.

Here’s the beef! Johan’s restaurant was dubbed “Meat Restaurant of the Year”. Well deserved? Yes.

This is not a joke – somebody actually did set fire to the pudding.

The not-so-subtle dessert by Mr. Jureskog: Improved hi-octane vanilla pudding with peaches, (just like a vanilla pudding, only better).

A nice view of Stockholm was provided. Didn't think about it during the meal, which is probably a very good sign.

A message from the Swedish Tourist Board: In June a sunny evening may turn into a bright summer night. This is not an exclusive option for visitors to The Cube, but the location sure adds to it.

It’s dinner-time at The Cube.
Good beginning: Sunny skies, + 21°C in the air and Mr. Johan Jureskog is just one noisy elevator ride away. On the rooftop it begins with a glass of the bubbly stuff plus a beef tartar topped with Kalix bleak roe. It’s mild. It’s also quite rustic and straight-up, as most of Mr. Jureskog’s cooking. People are chatty and anticipation is all over the place. And then… perceves. Little sea creatures, shaped like turtle-penises and sometimes referred to as Goose Barnacles, (Lat. Pollicipes pollicipes). They are rare and expensive and salty and delicious. Johan shows me how to squeeze and twist the little tube to enjoy them. “I suppose I’m the only one bringing these in”, he says. I hope they will make it to the menu of AG. Rounding up the first round were some very smooth cockscombs with chanterelles [insert happy expression of choice here…].

Marrow and polbo.
Much of Johan Jureskog’s menu at The Cube revolves around what has been successful at Restaurang AG:s Chef’s Table. When towels were laid out on the huge communal table, it was quite obvious that there would soon be a lot of big bones around. Oh, yes. Marrow of ox with gremolata. This is as neanderthal as cooking will ever get in Stockholm! The trick works, partly because it’s delicious. Wives of stock brokers, photographers and old ladies all join the feast with enthusiasm. The next dish, polbo á feira – “fair style octopus” – where you cut the poor pizza-sized mollusc yourself, is another AG classic.

Beef and piglet.
When Johan is displaying three different kinds of meat, it’s almost a re-run of what went down at AG a few weeks earlier. At this moment, Johan’s obsession with top-quality meat really shines: Highland Cattle, entrecôte from Finland and entrecôte Grand Cru will soon be served alongside a fresh salad and a highly potent béarnaise, (to which Johan adds some of the extra fat that he uses in his burger and in most of his cooking). Deceptively simple.
Before the beef festival, we are confronted with Piglet. “Pooh is pissed!”, Johan announces “…because Piglet is dead!” Piglet met his maker at the tender age of 6 months. Piglet sure looks like a little pig. The next time we see him, he’s divided into handy little pieces and served straight up with some vegetables. Notable is that for a few of the dishes, a classic Swedish Mora knife, was provided. Yes, that’s the general-purpose tool that your typical, sexy Swedish handy man is likely to use.

And finally, a little bit of pudding.
I honestly have a hard time recalling all the sensory signals from the little calorie bomb I had for dessert. It was visually striking, though; flambeed english vanilla pudding with peaches. We enjoy it with a Bluestone, a tawny port from Penfolds. Around that time, I realized how little talking had been about the location and the view. In fact, most of the time, during this 3.5-hour long meal, topics around the communal table revolved around food, meat and cooking. Johan was more than happy to join the conversation, which was also refreshing. And while we attacked our puddings, the sun had just set over lake Mälaren in the west. A great dinner and a great propaganda day for Stockholm, the odd city I call my home, [insert cheesy soundtrack over credits here].

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Additional note: This was the first ‘open’ dinner for guests at The Cube, but there’s honestly not that much room for improvement. And I can’t really avoid thinking that if I hadn’t enjoyed the Chef’s Table at AG only two weeks earlier, that fifth star would probably have been added.

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Johan Jureskog is in control of The Cube during the following dates:
• June 25-28
• August 10-19
• September 14-27

For reservations, call +46-70-938 48 63

4 comments

  1. I love Johan’s way of presenting and cooking.
    It is always well prepared and tasty, but not always so modern!

    Reply
  2. Låter som en fantastisk kväll!
    Jag ska dit i nästa vecka, men hittar ingen info om vem som “kockar” just då. Inte Johan i alla fall, tyvärr. Men de andra går ju inte av för hackor de heller. Har du någon koll på var man kan hitta en lsta på vem som är aktuell för de olika datumen?

    M v h
    Frida

    Reply
    • Hi Frida, this is what I know about the chef rooster:

      July 2-22 – Klas Lindberg, Swedish Chef of the Year 2012
      August 10-19 – Johan Jureskog of Restaurant AG
      August 20-26 – Mathias Dahlgren of, well… you know
      September 27 – August 4 – Stefano Catenacci of Operakällaren
      September 5-7 – Magnus Ek of Oaxen
      September 8 – Stefano Catenacci
      September 9-13 – Magnus Ek
      September 14-27 – Johan Jureskog
      September 28 sept – October 17 – Magnus Ek

      We should also expect a few guest appearances by chefs from abroad, (or so I have
      been told). I booked my seats by calling +46-70-938-4863.
      For all other readers of this blog – there are only 18 seats per lunch/dinner,
      so there might not be too many of them left.

      :: h ::

      Reply
  3. I tried to book by email for September 13 – but was told that the reservation book for September is not open yet. Robyn

    Reply

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