[Sweden: Stockholm] A Most Disappointing Meal at 3* Frantzen

Rating: 3/5

After Copenhagen, we stopped by Stockholm to dine at Frantzen by Bjorn Frantzen - the only restaurant in Sweden to be awarded 3 Michelin Stars. It also topped OAD's Top European Restaurants in 2019 and 2020, and is #25 on this year’s World's 50 Best Restaurants. Set over 3 floors, guests start off in the lounge where the day’s ingredients are explained in detail over aperitifs and amuse bouche. The cuisine can be described as Nordic with Japanese influence.

Naturally we came in with high expectations given the accolades and high price tag (4200 SEK per person), but unfortunately we left disappointed. The food wasn’t bad per se but it wasn’t particularly impressive either. We had some good dishes but also some rather weak ones as well. It was particularly disappointing coming here right after Geranium which was a superb meal in every way and served as a stark contrast. What a shame since I heard so many rave reviews before coming here, so perhaps it was an off-day.

Our meal started in the lounge on the top floor of the building. With a fireplace, comfy chairs, slanted roof and big windows, the space gave off a homely vibe as if we were eating at someone’s house instead of a restaurant.

At the lounge, we enjoyed 5 amuse bouche before moving to the main dining room. They were mostly fine but none really stood out to us.

Choux de Bourgogne with 3 different types of cheese

Celeriac Tart with langoustine claw, fennel & vanilla dressing

“Gunkan" with whipped Foie Gras cream, brioche, apple & sakura - an European interpretation on the Japanese gunkan sushi.

“Raraka” with crispy potato, sour cream, lemon zest, vendace roe, pickled red onion & chives. A signature at Frantzen, this is the chef's take on the classic Swedish dish and requires 2 days to make due to the complex potato cylinder.

At this point, we were invited to the bar counter where a staff introduced us to the ingredients we will have having for the day. The presentation was certainly beautiful but they went into so much detail into how each ingredient will be used in the coming dishes, I just question its necessity because no one will remember the details at all and each dish will be explained again during the meal anyways.

We ended up having the last amuse bouche at the counter - Veal Tartare with croustade, boquerones, melon & lovage.

After the amuse bouche, we moved downstairs to the main dining room where we sat at the counter with a full view of the kitchen.

Hamachi Tartare aged for 5 days and covered with salted radishes, rhubarb vinaigrette & toasted seaweed oil - a very pretty dish but the flavor of the hamachi was overwhelmed by the other ingredients.

One of the best dishes was this Langoustine coated with crunchy nishiki rice on the bottom, and served with a “choron” & butter emulsion on the side.

Chawanmushi with teardrop peas, ikura & fermented white asparagus - this was sadly a watery mess. The custard itself lacked flavor and a waste of the teardrop peas which just got lost in the dish.

Cod with “Frantzen selection” caviar, razor clams & spring ragù - this was fine but I found my cod to be heated unevenly. The sensation of eating a partly warm and partly cold cod was too jarring not to be noticed.

"Crabe aux Morilles" - barbecued king crab legs brushed with escargot butter, and served with a morel mushroom filled with farce of nduja sausage. Topped with a Vin Jaune sauce, and mixture of king crab jus, escargot butter and galangal oil.

Then we had the iconic signature Caramelized Onion Soup with liquorice cream and almond ‘cappuccino’ foam. A simple and yet amazing combination - just wished we had more dishes like this throughout the meal.

Another highlight was the Lamb with spring onion sabayonne, ramson and grilled roses. The lamb was cooked just right where the delicate flavor of the meat just shone through. A side observation on the inconsistency of the service though - other guests were presented with the entirety of the cooked lamb piece on a bed of flowers before the actual dish but they forgot to do so for us.

Interestingly, bread and butter were served at the end of the savory dishes. We actually got two servings of the bread because we found the portions of our meal to be rather small and we were still hungry at this point.

The first dessert was a Frozen Lime Marshmallow with sake, young coconut and matcha.

The last dessert was a Poached Rhubarb with tomato water, pumpkin seeds, sabayon, creme crue ice cream & wild strawberries.

Finally we wrapped up our meal back upstairs in the lounge where we had started with mini madeleines and petit fours.

The petit fours were served in beautiful wooden boxes:

- Arctic Raspberry with pepper & marshmallows
- Montelimar Nougat with pistachio, almond & chestnuts
- Fudge with fermented garlic
- Chewy Beet with aged violet vinegar & salt licorice
- White Chocolate with blueberry & yuzu
- Milk Chocolate with cep mushroom & walnut
- Gooseberry Marmalade with wasanbon & lemongrass

Unfortunately the Montelimar nougat reminded us of our laundry detergent at home and not in a good way.
Klara Norra kyrkogata 26, 111 22 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: +46 8 20 85 80

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