A glimpse into paradise: Frantzén

The ingredients on display

A three-starred restaurant is said to be worth a trip for it’s own. So why not go to Stockholm, just to have dinner at Frantzén?  After reopening in 2017, the restaurant was immediately awarded with 3 Michelin stars. So starting with a restaurant booking I ended up organising a trip to Stockholm and spent a wonderful, sunny spring weekend in Stockholm. And ended up having one of the bist dinners in my life.

Frantzén is located in a backstreet near the train station.

Frantzén outside
Frantzén outside

After ringing the bell a very friendly girl opened the door and welcomed me with „you must be Timon“ – what a perfect reception. The evening started in a small lobby. We were offered some water and spent some minutes, just arriving in this whole different world and having a look at the impressive dry ageing fridge, showcasing wonderful meats.

When we were ready, we went through a dimmed corridor to the dark elevator. Going up the light slightly got brighter and a rock song prepped us for entering a whole different world.

The path to happiness (or the elevator)
The path to happiness (or the elevator)

We were brought to the lounge, where our waiter brought a cart with an impressive selection of champagne, explaining the differences and special traits of the grand crus. We went for a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée, a wonderfully crisp and full bodied champagne. Fitting for this relaxed and generous setting the glass was refilled several times during the start – just getting in to the flow of the evening.

The bar in the attic
The bar in the attic

While sitting in this wonderful bar and sipping champagne the first bites were served:

beer-cooked king crab: trout roe washed in sake, crown dill, aspic
beer-cooked king crab: trout roe washed in sake, crown dill, aspic
macaron: pumpkin, foie gras, orange, sea buckthorn and toasted oats
macaron: pumpkin, foie gras, orange, sea buckthorn and toasted oats

At some point we were asked to step to the bar, where a display showcasing the different ingredients of the evening opened up. A cook explained to us the background of the wonderful foods and answered our questions…still sipping champagne.

The ingredients on display
The ingredients on display

At the bar, we were served some additional appetizers.

yuba: pickled cucumber, cauliflower and glazed eel
yuba: pickled cucumber, cauliflower and glazed eel
"räraka" with vendace roe from kalix
„räraka“ with vendace roe from kalix
artichoke, preserved truffle, aged cheese
artichoke, preserved truffle, aged cheese

It was noteable how relaxed this evening began – it was like being at friend’s place. No rush, no hurries – just a good drink, dimmed light and soft music and an impressive batterie of snacks. After this great start into the evening we went downstairs to the restaurant. Most seats are around a bar that goes around the open kitchen area:

The kitchen
The kitchen

There is a set menu (3000 SEK). For the menu we went with a juice pairing (900 SEK). Then the menu began:

crudo: blue fin tuna "otoro", purple radish, myoga, horseradish and salted tomato vinaigrette
crudo: blue fin tuna „otoro“, purple radish, myoga, horseradish and salted tomato vinaigrette

Tuna belly of ranched tuna was topped with crunchy horse raddish, connected by a vinaigrette that brought some bright fruity acidity. Myoga (japanese ginger) gave the dish some depth and an asian twist. A great and fresh start.

deep fried langoustine: crispy rice (koshihikari), dried green onions, emulsion of clarified butter infused with ginger
deep fried langoustine: crispy rice (koshihikari), dried green onions, emulsion of clarified butter infused with ginger

A-MA-ZING: The bottom this huge langoustine tail was topped with crispy rice and then it was deep fried for some seconds. It was shere perfect – crunchy, juicy and full of savory sweetness. For sure the best langoustine, I’ve ever had and a perfect example that frying is actually an art-form. There was also a dip 🙂

roasted scallop, sea urchin "hot sauce", finger lime, chrysanthemum and spruce shoots
roasted scallop, sea urchin „hot sauce“, finger lime, chrysanthemum and spruce shoots

The scallop was perfectly roasted and so having a more „meaty“ character, with a subtle smoky aroma that had it’s counterpart in a fruity, finger-licking good sea-urchin-chili-sauce (XO-style). The finger lime added some citric freshness.

chawanmushi, frantzén "prestige oscietra caviar", aged pork broth
chawanmushi, frantzén „prestige oscietra caviar“, aged pork broth

PERFECTION again: A humble chawanmushi in the most perfect, silky execution was topped with a generous portion of excellent caviar. The aged broth added an endless depth to the dish.

bitter and pickled greens "homage satio tempestas", crunchy fish scales, warm infusino, whipped butter milk with mortar herbs
bitter and pickled greens „homage satio tempestas“, crunchy fish scales, warm infusion whipped butter milk with mortar herbs

One of the most interesting salads, I’ve ever had and a great citation of Japanese culinary art. And a citation of Frantzén’s own history – the dish has been cooked since 2013 with up to 50 different ingredients. In this one „only“ 20-25 have been used. The greens were partly smoked and grilled, partly raw. The fish scales gave a salty, crunchy kick to this very complex dish that connected bitterness, freshness, green notes with a refreshing butter milk spread. Along with it went a immensely light, warm infusion.

french toast (grand tradition 2008) with vacca rossa, truffle and 100-year old vinegar
french toast (grand tradition 2008) with vacca rossa, truffle and 100-year old vinegar

BREATHTAKING: Brioche, fried in butter, topped with a cream of aged parmesan, a generous amount of 100-year old vinegar and a lot of truffle. The warm richness of the brioche, together with the cheesy greatness of the cream, the fruity deepness of the vinegar and the earthy truffle made this one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten.

spring lamb, jus clarifié, ramson, matsutake aioli
spring lamb, jus clarifié, ramson, matsutake aioli

A very elegant and light meat course with lamb of extraordinary quality. The light juice, together with the herbs and greens made this dish just perfect.

barbecue of quail, pear, endive, sauce périgueux
barbecue of quail, pear, endive, sauce périgueux

A most delicous barbecue. The wild, metallic notes of the quail were perfectly countered by grilled pear (fruit), endive (bitterness) and the sauce périgueux (sourness). And of course truffle 🙂 A truly satisfying, perfectly prepared barbecue.

tea of fermented mushrooms and grilled quail with red seaweed and silken tofu
tea of fermented mushrooms and grilled quail with red seaweed and silken tofu

Humble greatness: This tea brought the very essence of the quail before into a mug. Together with fermented mushrooms this broth was incredibly silky, deep and yet elegant and well balanced. Like a taste of a rainy spring night in the woods. Amazing.

salt baked chewy beetroot, whipped liquorice, griottes cherries and aged violet vinegar
salt baked chewy beetroot, whipped liquorice, griottes cherries and aged violet vinegar

A real feelgood dessert between salty and sweet, with a wonderful and complex red fruityness. After this last course in the restaurant we went up to the attic again, where a shere unbelievable sequence of desserts followed:

duck liver crème caramel, salted nuts, oxalis and raisin syrup
duck liver crème caramel, salted nuts, oxalis and raisin syrup

PURE SATISFACTION: The idea of a duck liver crème caramel is out of this world. For real. This was the most savory, great, deep, sweet-salty dessert I’ve ever had.

pumpkin sorbet with chili with cream
pumpkin sorbet with chili with cream

Another great one: A wonderful milky cream, topped with a creamy habanero-pumpkin sorbet.

fruit: gariguette strawberry with camomile and tellicherry pepper
fruit: gariguette strawberry with camomile and tellicherry pepper

SIMPLICITY: I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the strawberries on display in the beginning. They looked so perfectly, so fresh and ripe.And honestly: I’ve never ever tasted such perfect strawberries. Shape, color, smell, texture, sweetness – this was pure paradise. The fruit was perfectly completed with floral notes of camomille and aromatic pepper.

Confection: fermented garlic fudge | arctic bramble jelly | green apple, camomile and lemon verbena marmalade | black tea and chestnut honey marshmallow | brown cheese fudge
Confection: fermented garlic fudge | arctic bramble jelly | green apple, camomile and lemon verbena marmalade | black tea and chestnut honey marshmallow | brown cheese fudge – Chocolates: 45% with caramelized hazelnut and cep | 32% with tarragon and grapefruit | Macaron: miso, hoshigaki and pistachio

Then a trolley with confection was presented, an impressive selection of pralinés – one better than the other. I especially liked the fermented garlic fudge.

In the end we got a small bowl with freshly made madeleines. Being almost too much they were a wonderful treat to end this evening.

This evening at Frantzén set new standards for me. In terms of product quality, preparation and taste there was no downer all through the menu. In addition all the dishes were pleasing in the best sense of the word – approachable but never simple, with a clear focus on excellent products. It also set standards in terms of gastronomy – I seldom enjoyed an evening at a restaurant that much. Fading in and out of the meal in the wonderful attic bar really takes out the stress and just let’s you spend a wonderful time, feeling like you have been there ever since. And it is the kind of place when you leave through the door that you will come again.

Visit: May 2018
Michelin stars at time of visit: ***
Budget: 450€/person (including champagne and alcohol free pairing)
Location: 10/10
Service: 9/10
Food: 10/10