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Bu Pun Su

Restaurant Frantzen - the future 3 star restaurant from the Scandinavia region?

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Stockholm was another city (besides Copenhagen) in the Scandinavian region that my parents and I visited last March. The most common culinary destination in the Swedish capital would probably be Restaurant Frantzen. I was glad to be able to dine here since during our short stay in Stockholm, Thursday evening was the only time we had and we managed to secure the table (it was an Easter weekend holiday, thus the restaurant was also closed on Friday and weekend).

 

Frantzen turned out to be our favorite restaurant cooking Nordic cuisine. The Far East/Japanese influence in Bjorn Frantzen’s cuisine was suitable to my parents’ palate. Moreover, the non-strict dress code and casual atmosphere made my parents at ease throughout the evening (sometimes they still feel intimidated by French-style formal service). There was only one tasting menu offered and guests were welcome to discuss their dietary concern. Some of our favorite dishes were:

 

-Live Norwegian scallop was lightly seared on one side. The scallop was superb & sweet; it’s also perfectly cooked and accompanied by pine olive and aromatic spruce tips. After that the staff poured a clean and tasty Japanese dashi. An exquisite dish

-“Langoustine sushi”. The fresh big prawn was deep fried for several seconds resulting in delicious langoustine with the right texture. For the rice, chef Frantzen used crispy dried rice to contrast the tender seafood. Lastly, the dipping sauce was a very flavorful butter mayonnaise mixed with dried herbs

-My favorite dish was a small piece of French toast with onion, parmesan cream and strong Modena vinegar. Then the main star was: lots of Umbria truffle, pretty much covering the whole bread. The truffle had the pungent smell and distinct earthy mushroom taste, simply ethereal!

-Satio tempestas is the restaurant’s signature dish. Essentially, it was a vegetable dish consisting of more than 30 different ingredients prepared separately and cooked in different ways (a few was raw). It generated beautiful interplay of color, textures, flavor and temperatures. Every byte was unique and it’s tasty. A well deserving iconic dish

There were a few more delicious dishes; I will let you read them in my more comprehensive review (see the link below)      

 

For fairness - If I had to pick some items that’re less spectacular (by no means poor) compared to the above dishes …

-Golden caviar with fermented split peas, rendered bacon and Smetana. It was surprising since I hardly criticize a dish with caviar – the quality was good with its briny flavor. But the ‘issue’ was that the other ingredients were a bit too intense that instead of complementing the caviar, they dominated it

-The desserts were beautifully prepared, but the first one: the smoked ice cream with tar syrup and fudge was slightly too sweet for my taste. Despite a mixture of ingredients, the flavor was somewhat one dimensional and I though it lacked some bitter flavor from a chocolate   

 

Overall, it was an excellent meal. Bjorn Frantzen may not have any prestigious title such as Bocuse d’or, but I find his cooking was more delicious than, with all due respect, Rasmus Kofoed’s creations. As a matter of fact, for my case it’s also applicable for French cuisine. For instance, in Paris, I love the 3-star restaurants of Passard, Pacaud and Gagnaire but not so much of the top places ran by MOFs such as Pre Catelan and Epicure. Perhaps, it’s merely a matter of taste. In my notes, my meal at Frantzen was even (unexpectedly) better than my last meal at Astrance & Guy Savoy.

 

The service standard was very high. Staffs took pride in what they're doing and they all seemed to be happy serving the customers; they generally were very knowledgeable and professional. Our main lady maitre d' could not be friendlier and more helpful during the whole evening. She's unpretentious and able to address all of our questions and concerns as well as adapted her style to make sure we're very comfortable and had a great time. Since there have been numerous guests visiting Frantzen from around the globe, the restaurant took pride of it and worked hard to satisfy every guest.

 

Something I noticed here (except for the chef-patron Frantzen wearing white shirt with brown/beige apron): every staffs were dressed in the same way. Frantzen wanted the waiters, sommelier and chefs to blend smoothly and part of one team. The open kitchen (no boundary to the dining room) made this concept possible. This meant chefs often had to serve and answer diners’ questions too and Chef Frantzen, along with his team, can directly monitor guests’ meal and their pace to ensure everything is fine. Bravo Frantzen and good luck at the new place next year; I can expect a better dining place, more experimental cuisine/new dishes and of course delightful food.   

Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/sets/72157670404704931

 

Comprehensive review: http://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogspot.co.id/2016/07/restaurant-frantzen-stockholm.html

 

 

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