Lunch at Adam & Albin Matstudio
Since opening in 2012, young guns Adam Dahlberg and Albin Wessman have surprised patrons with elaborate thematic tasting menus at their ‘food studio’ on Rådmansgatan 16. For a long time, these monthly gatherings took place slightly under the radar – and were, for the most part, frequented by people in the know. But then, all of a sudden, the greatly-anticipated dinners are completely booked solid. Why? Because people have been getting a taste of what Dahlberg and Wessman are all about when they decided to start serving lunch a while back.
It is a dreary Friday just past noon, as I try to avoid the large drops of rain falling from the dark winter sky. The large storefront of Adam & Albin’s Matstudio glows with a welcoming light and stepping into the open plan dining room and bar is a bit like coming home. Perfectly-groomed and blow-dried Östermalm women who lunch are seated next to small, all-male groups with their woollen beenies carefully angled to only cover part of one ear. The communal tables are decorated with colourful bouquets of flowers, coffee-table books and curious decorative knick-knacks here and there.
The menu consists of four mains (aside from the vegetarian options, which are available on request), all revolving around one single notion – the noodle. Dahlberg and Wessman’s idea is to Swedify the concept of the Japanese noodle bar by using typical Nordic techniques when preparing the ingredients. And when it comes to a quick lunch, whether it is eat-in or to go, there is just no beating noodles. Having placed my order with a chirpy woman at the counter, I decide to stick around and grab one of the few remaining seats available in the homely space.
I’m thrilled to see Dahlberg himself serve up my first order, soba noodles in a full-bodied broth (135 kronor). The slippery suckers are topped with a generous amount of garnishings – and this is where the Swedish touch becomes clear. Smoked pork, white turnips, wild mushrooms, parsley and crisp pork rind elevate the noodles to new culinary heights. The only drawback is that one perhaps shouldn’t bring a potential business partner or date here, as the event of finishing the large bowl is a messy one. The soba noodle with grilled chicken, sesame and ginger (145 kronor) is considerably more date-friendly. It is a deeply gratifying dish, with large pieces of juicy chicken, spinach and chilli, completed with a nice, rich helping of smoked mayonnaise. A stunning comfort meal on a grey day like this.
This being Friday, no lunch is complete without a little something sweet. The pancake, prepared using sourdough and beer (85 kronor) is probably one of the strongest desserts I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. The American-style pancake (thicker than the Swedish version) comes soaked in brown butter and maple syrup and is sprinkled with small jimmies of rye. A silky-smooth dollop of milk ice cream is served on the side. Slowly consuming the combination of sweet and salt, along with the fluffy, silky and crunchy textures takes me to heaven – and a few hours later, to Friday afternoon food coma hell.
08 411 55 35