There are restaurants that serve food that’s no better (or even worse) than you could cook at home. Then there are those that serve food that’s much better than even those with better-than-average culinary skills could rustle up. And then, there are those that conjure up platefuls of dishes you couldn’t even have dreamed of. Adam & Albin Matstudio belongs to the last category.
Adam Dahlberg and Albin Wessman run a small food studio on Östermalm, focussing mainly on catering and cooking courses. But now and then – about once a month – they open up for the public and organize restaurant evenings.
On this Friday evening, the food studio is full. People sit at large tables on high bar stools or at smaller, lower ones scattered around one large, open space, and the atmosphere is loud and happily chatty. The interior, with quirky details such as brown paper table clothes and a vintage Revox reel-to-reel tape recorder playing The Beatles, is suitably cool yet cosy.
Every restaurant event features special menus created by Dahlberg, who is Sweden’s representative at the 2013 Bocuse D’Or cooking contest. This time, the menu consists of nine mains and three desserts, and the waiter encourages us to share to get to taste as many dishes as possible. Before our choices start arriving, the kitchen sends out small, crunchy cheese balls and small breads filled with something lovely and buttery.
After that, it’s time for scallops and prawns in “tiger’s milk” (295 kronor), stewed Autumn mushrooms with baked chicken eggs, Gotland truffle and salvia (195 kronor) and tender lamb steak with raw tomatoes, white beans and goat’s cheese (285 kronor). Every bite is full of taste and the combinations, while perhaps sounding ordinary, manage to convince and surprise. Perhaps the best dish of them all is the most modest one – mushrooms and eggs. Who knew mushrooms could taste so lovely, and so richly mushroomy?
From the dessert list, we pick newly-fried donuts with dulce de leche (65 kronor) and lemon sorbet with lemon cream, meringue and juniper (95 kronor). The donuts, covered in cinnamon and sugar and dipped in the creamy, sweet sauce, are perhaps the only dish of the evening that isn’t quite as good as it sounds, but the lemon sorbet – a scoop of white, fresh sorbet covered in deliciously yellow cream and decorated with wafer-thin meringues – puts a smile back on our faces.
To find out when Adam & Albin’s Matstudio opens their restaurant, simply check their homepage and call a good while in advance. And we recommend that you do so, as getting a table here means you’re in for a rare treat: enjoying food that’s on the same level as the best restaurants in town, but reasonably priced, comforting and fuss-free.