Matbaren, Stockholm – May 7, 2012, lunch a la carte
Matbaren is the bistro of Mathias Dahlgren. Two are next door to each other. The formal dining room Matsalen was rated with two Michelin stars and Matbaren with one Michelin star.
We had lunch at Matbaren. Matbaren didn’t have the tasting menu. We were seated at the only table with the ultra-high back chair. The rest of the tables were all with lower backs.
Each place setting had a wooden tray lined with a light brown paper menu. On top of that was a brown paper bag filled with a flax and caraway crisp bread. Next to each setting was a piece of slate topped with soft Swedish butter and a wooden knife. The menu was a la carte. It was divided into five sections: From Our Country, From Other Countries, From the Plant World, From the Pastry and Dairy Products and Cold Cuts. Two-thirds of the menu were beer, wine and distilled choices.
The waitress attended us was the same who attended us at the Matsalen on May 4. My daughter had “Grilled Cucumber Salad – Swedish Squid, Ginger, Lime, Coriander” as the appetizer followed by “Baked Cauliflower Crème – Truffles, Gruyere, Hazelnuts.” Salad was unbelievably delicious. It was fresh and crispy, grilled squid was tender and tasty, dressing was tasty. Baked cauliflower was another master piece. Cauliflower was raw, cut into small pieces and served in the creamy sauce with truffles.
Definitely, food at Matbaren was outstanding. I had read quite a few comments on Matsalen and Matbaren. Most of them consider price at Matsalen was too expensive. However, when you did comparisons you have to make them apple to apple or orange to orange. The type of serving at Matsalen was different from what made at Mabaren. Matsalen only served tasting menu with its Michelin star oriented style, quantity and quality. While at Mabaren, it was a la carte style, a more casual dining setting. If you order enough quantity at Mabaren, you might find out the bill cost you almost as much as what a formal dining at Masalen would cost. I personally liked them both, but I would not say it was cheaper at Mabaren.