Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Food Orgasm in Salt & Brygga

It's been quite some time since I have experienced a meal like last night's triumph in Salt & Brygga.  Winner of numerous awards since it opened, this restaurant is a little bit special.  Most ingredients are local and organic, coffee is fair trade, organic and utterly delicious.  All of the waste produced by the restaurant is seperated for recycling and, get this, organic waste is ground down with compost mills, decomposing it and turning it into biogas.  You might expect the result of all this 'do-gooding' to be a bit earnest and um...dull, but it's not.  It's incredible.

We visited early on a Monday night, so the atmosphere was a little bit on the quiet side.  I was, admittedly, nervous about this, as I thought it had the potential to ruin the evening.  In the end I was so blown away by the food I don't think I would have noticed if there was a wild party going on around me.  

So, what did we have? Mountain Man and I both went for a set menu option, which started with 'Smoked wild duck from Skåne with sea buckthorn and pickled onions'. That description does not do this dish justice.  The duck was sublime, delicately smoked and tender.  The orangey blob in the middle of the plate is sea buckthorn sorbet.  Oh my God.  Somehow the chef managed to achieve a creamy sorbet that held together without melting all over the plate.  Wow.  Pickled onion slivers were a treat, but so too were the nasturtium leaves and delicate radish slices. 

Our main course was even better, if that is possible; 'Venison with lingonberries, preserved chanterelles and cider sauce'.  The smell seduced me all on it's own, as it wafted it's way to the table.  The menu didn't mention the incredible smoked turnip mash or the gorgeous edible nasturtium flower.  I savoured every bite of the perfectly cooked venison (not easy to achieve, I've tried and failed a few times at home, turning it rubbery and nasty) and our incredibly friendly and knowledgeable waitress recommended a dark, locally brewed beer 'South Plains' APA to complement the dish, which was perfect - rich, mellow and...6%

Dessert was the most unusual dish I think I have ever had.  For a 'modern style Skåne apple cake with apple sorbet'  I was expecting a slice of tart or cake, with a scoop of ice-cream or sorbet on the side.  How wrong!  Instead this little piece of heaven arrived at the table. I'm not sure how to describe this, but I'll try.  Close your eyes and imagine this...a collection of apple desserts - another non melting apple puree like sorbet, chunks of apple bread, apple ice cream, crunchy caramelised pieces of appley meringue and sugar and...I'm not sure how to describe the final element - a frothy dry appley foam that disintegrated in the mouth.  Oh my God...heaven.

The aforementioned fair-trade, organic and delicious coffee finished off the meal with a final whiskey for himself and a Baileys for me.  The only moment of disappointment was when we realised that while spirits are priced per 1cl on the menu, unless you specify otherwise, 4cl are served.  So, we thought we were getting an amazing bargain for our after dinner drinks and...we didn't.  They were about the same price as you would expect anywhere else.  Once we understood the system we were pretty impressed.  Imagine being able to order a quarter of the usual bar measure?  Clever.  As we headed outside to unlock our bikes and cycle home, we were already planning a return trip.

In fact, I think this place is more than a little bit special.  It is sublime.

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