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Dining on Rooster Comb at Rolfs Kök, Stockholm

Rolfs Kök, Stockholm

Rolfs Kök, Stockholm, Sweden

It’s 5 pm on a Saturday. The waiter is unlocking the door for us, the first customers of the evening. The décor is utilitarian/country with extra wooden chairs and salt shakers stored on hangers on the wall, seemingly squirreled out of the way for a barn dance to ensue. The pragmatic, no-frills presentation is especially charming given that Rolfs Kök (Rolf’s Kitchen) has been an institution since its opening in 1989. We are lucky to get a same-day reservation even if it is 5 pm, which works out well since we have a Lars Damien concert to attend afterwards.

Bread Rolls, Rolfs Kök, Stockholm

The menu is extensive with a mix of both modern and traditional Swedish fare, and of course a thorough beer list.  Our bread comes out speared on a barb, evoking a sort of viking primitivity. Three little ceramic pots of butter, salt, and fishy sauce come in accompaniment.

Cockerel´s comb with mushroom, soy, browned butter & lemon, Rolfs Kök, Stockholm

Cockerels Comb, Rolfs Kök, Stockholm

Cockerel´s comb with mushroom, soy, browned butter & lemon

To start we split the cockerel’s comb, or cock mohawk as I like to call it. I was unaware that people actually eat this part of a bird. It must be those harsh Swedish winters that breed such creativity and/or desperation. The meat, if that’s what you can even call it, soaks up the soy and brown butter flavors quite nicely so it tastes round and salty but the texture is still odd, reminiscent of the gelatinous consistency of bonemarrow. Tastes great, but feels weird.

Oxtail with truffle mashed potatoes, Rolfs Kök, Stockholm

Red wine braised cheeks of ox with truffle & potato purée

As a main, my date orders the ox cheek which has been braised in a rich red wine rendering the meat moist and flaky with a deep burgundy color. The dish is almost too rich and overpowering though, so only a few bites suffice. A creamy potato purée with truffles sourced from the island of Gotland (Stockholm’s preferred summer playground) is served as a side. We are both shocked at how pungently “truffle-y” the potatoes are. No skimping there! The truffle mash turns out to be the standout dish of the entire meal.

Pata Negra Sausage and Crisped Potatoes, Rolfs Kök, Stockholm

Pork sausage with Pata Negra, creamed vegetables & fried potato

For my main I order a traditional Swedish dish: the pork sausage. This particular sausage is a bit more gussied up than usual as it is made with Pata Negra (Spanish ham) then peppered with crispy onions and drenched in a creamy, soupy sauce of snap peas, broccoli, and cauliflower. The dish is deeply heartwarming, the kind of thing you’d eat on a cold Swedish night cozied up by the fire watching the sun set at oh, I don’t know, 3 pm.

Practical Info:

Rolfs Kök, Tegnérgatan 41, Stockholm. For reservations: +46(0)8 – 10 16 96

Dinner for two 100€. For more info including menu in Swedish and English, visit http://www.rolfskok.se/.

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