There’s a whole host of gastronomic musts when visiting Stockholm, and one such is dining at Ekstedt. But there’s the pesky matter of reservations being hard to come by, considering Chef Niklas Ekstedt’s fame and the restaurant’s well-deserved Michelin stars. But with the opening of Restaurant Niklas, the chef’s newest enterprise, you have a much better chance of sampling his superlative cooking. While the cuisine at Ekstedt is an homage to the chef’s Nordic heritage, the food at Restaurant Niklas is a celebration of his travels around the world.
The menu here is studded with dishes that evoke far-flung places, while staying true to Swedish ingredients and ideas. Take the Swedish Pulled Pork, for example, which uses high-quality pork from Rocklunda and gives it a Thai-twist with mango and green papaya, cashews, and black rice vinegar. Or the Parisian-style Grilled Swedish Entrecôte, which is served with bone marrow butter, smoked tomatoes, baked onions and pommes château. Bone marrow, incidentally, makes a delicious appearance in the Blackened Swedish Beef starter, and is smoked at Ekstedt.
The restaurant itself is that most elusive of spaces, somewhere that manages to feel both elegant and cosy. From the well-trodden area rugs under the tables to the soft illumination of the industrial drop lights, the gleaming white tiles to the mismatched wooden and metal chairs, it’s a colourful, cheerful restaurant. And one which, as an added bonus, has a hidden annex; Kåken. Accessed through a door at the back of Restaurant Niklas, Kåken is a bar with a clubhouse feel, all velvet, leather and moody lighting, truly potent drinks and a devoted following from Stockholm’s creative set.