Like many other Stockholm boroughs, Gamla Enskede has come alive in recent years, growing into a thriving community with an infrastructure of shops, restaurants, cafés and other small businesses. But for many of us who don’t frequent the area, these enclaves remain unexplored. On a cold Saturday morning, my companion and I decided to change that and took the green line to Sandsborg to visit Matateljén, a neighbourhood restaurant located in the centre of an area sometimes referred to as “the garden city”.
It is here, in this former worker’s area just a stone’s throw from the subway, that two couples, Henrik Sauer and Anna Klyvare (both known from Svartsö Krog) and Jacob Holst (interior architect) and Ellen Dixdotter (marketing director at Filippa K), have created a relaxed hangout to pop into for a quick fika, a nice meal or to pick up a few deli goodies on your way home.
We became instantly smitten with the airy, well-designed space, which features several tables, a fridge for deli items and an open kitchen with seating around the kitchen counter. Every single item on the blackboard menu piqued our interest, and our server tells us that the menu changes weekly, sometimes daily, based on the chef’s whims and access to good produce.
As most items on the menu are mid-sized and served as they are prepared in the kitchen, we order continuously throughout our lunch. The tasty small scallops (15 kronor each) are quickly sautéed and served in their shell, and the Spanish anchovy comes in a tin with a couple of slices of toasted sourdough bread and a slice of lemon on the side. But what may look simple is, in fact, very well thought out, carefully selected and wonderfully effortless. These anchovies are not your average supermarket canned goods – they are Anchoas Solano Arriola, imported from the Cantabrian Atlantic coast, and you need to try them at least once in your lifetime.
The beef patty (155 kronor) is the only cooked dish out of the lot, and feels very reasonably priced. Here, the chef displays excellent instincts by pairing the meat with point cabbage, apple, capers and a wonderful cheese crème. We finish the meal by sharing a cheese platter and pairings (175 kronor), featuring among others a creamy Tomme d’Ayding and a new favourite, the Sörmlands Ädel blue cheese from nearby Jürss Mejeri.
We see Matateljén becoming a popular foodie destination for locals and out-of-boroughers alike. There’s a sensitivity, sensibility and curiosity to the place that feels very fresh and unusual. Paired with great value for money, this spot is a must-visit.
Stora Gungans Väg 7, Enskede
Words: Micha van Dinther