Dinner at Tak: Culinary Highs and Lows

The major revamp of Brunkebergstorg, a square that used to be the heart of the city’s shadier manifestations, is off to a great start. This summer, people have making the pilgrimage for a taste of all the newness and a number of restaurants (some more than others) have been experiencing a guest rush that has been hard to manage.

Working hardest to accommodate the many bookings is Tak, the area’s hot ticket. At the neighbouring table we overhear Frida Ronge herself, Tak’s creative leader, crowing about the many bookings they have had and how overwhelming the last few months since the opening have been. Sipping on boozy Tak Martinis (145 kronor) containing vodka, sake and Manzanilla sherry, we look out from the opulent and sexy, 1970’s inspired rooftop restaurant at those marvellous cityscape views from the 13th floor. We reason that a hopping place like this is bound to serve up some amazing grub, right?

Tak’s food philosophy involves both Swedish and Japanese cuisine. We’re told that the kitchen uses Nordic produce and prepares it using Japanese techniques, and the mackerel sashimi (150 kronor) with thin slices of cucumber, kohlrabi and apple, drizzled with a ponzu dressing, is a clear example of this. This marriage of cuisines, techniques and flavours is a happy one. The tempura fried salsify (155 kronor) with Nori, bleak roe and sour cream is bolder and more comfort-oriented, making us want to lick our plate for the last granule of roe.

For the main course, we try the creamy oyster mushrooms with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and black garlic (225 kronor). The plating is a bit of a mess and the dish itself leaves no lasting impression. While the artichoke wasn’t given enough space flavour-wise, the dish also suffered from under-seasoning. This is also true for the Dunburi (245 kronor), described by our server as the star of Tak’s menu. Quite frankly, we are astounded that a bowl of chicken, rice in broth, a baked egg, kimchi, green onion and sesame can taste so underwhelming. While the kimchi does its best to save the dish, the lack of flavour and depth leave us unimpressed.

On a more positive note, both desserts – a crème brulée (115 kronor) and a chocolate cake (125 kronor) in yuzu fudge, topped with roasted rice ice-cream – raise our spirits. As the saying goes, all’s well that ends well. We just wish that a restaurant like Tak could deliver a meal on par with the gorgeous milieu and breathtaking views. If we were Ronge, we’d watch carefully to make sure that our castle in the sky doesn’t come crashing down as soon as its novelty has worn off.

Brunkebergstorg 4

Words: Micha van Dinther