Navigating Gothenburg’s culinary scene
If you would rather eat meat over seafood, locals nod in consensus whenever Familjen (The Family) is mentioned. Warm red and green minimalist Scandinavian-style decor welcomes diners to this fixture just off Gothenburg’s popular boulevard, Avenyn. Under restaurateur Björn Persson’s watchful eye, classic dishes are given modern facelifts, such as Pytt i panna, a quintessentially Nordic potato and meat hash which is transformed into an exquisite lamb-and-roasted-root-vegetable dish with pickled summer beets, caramelised onions and anchovy butter. A quick scan through other items on Familjen’s menu – wild boar, homemade lamb sausage with caramelised cabbage, beef tartare with bleak roe cream, fried bone marrow – are served alongside other with traditional and seasonal Swedish ingredients like almonds, chanterelles and rosehips.
Navigating Gothenburg’s culinary scene would be incomplete without a nod to native son-turned-celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster fame in New York City’s Harlem neighbourhood, who is now one of the creative forces behind Norda Bar and Grill, housed in Gothenburg’s old post office building in the Drottningtorget neighbourhood. Norda combines the bold flavours of America’s East Coast cooking with local ingredients from Western Sweden across the Hav (“sea” for seafood) and Land (meat) sections on its stylized menu, which reflects how the city’s proximity to the ocean and its surrounding forests permeates its culinary culture. Shrimp used in the open-faced sandwiches are hand-peeled and topped with bleak roe, its steak tartare is served with oysters while the hand-cut fries are served with truffle-flavoured mayonnaise.