Swedish Food, Part Two: my quest for a meatball

First, a waterborne Smörgåsbord on the Steamship Stockholm.

Invited to the city of Stockholm for a birthday celebration, we were instructed by our generous hosts to be ready to board ship at 11.30 on Sunday for a prompt departure at midday.

The captain, they told us, would not wait for latecomers.



The good ship Stockholm


The round trip of the archipelago would take precisely three hours.


Checking the temperature on deck


It was bitterly cold on deck, so that allowed plenty of time to explore the brunch buffet.


Waiting for brunch on the restaurant deck


Gravlax – TICK.

Herring – TICK.

Akvavit (and singing) – TICK.



Akvavit. Obligatory with herring.



The pickled herrings were perfect pieces of fillet, cured in a variety of dressings.

There was also a rather disturbingly named dish: “Kycklinggryta med Svamp och Dragon”, which turned out to be a chicken stew with mushrooms, flavoured with tarragon.


Three hours later we sailed back into harbour, already planning to return in summer for an evening cruise (and dinner).




The Swedish Flag




S/S Stockolm, Quay 16, Nybroviken.




“Later that evening, back on shore”


Finally, at Sturehof in central Stockholm, came the opportunity to tick off Skagen salad, followed by meatballs.



Colour coordinated crustacean, Sturehof


Sturehof is a civilised seafood brasserie and bar.

The staff wear jackets with gold epaulettes; black in the bar, white in the restaurant, and the busboys (and girls) sport a rather fetching shade of red, perhaps best described as “Boiled Lobster”.



Skagen Salad



Skagen is a simple salad of baby shrimp mixed with mayonnaise and dill. Chef and author Magnus Nilsson advises against adding any kind of onion, it makes it smell “like standing in a dirty second-hand clothes store”.

Here it was properly simple, served with fried bread and a wedge of lemon.



Swedish Meatballs


The menu is not exclusively seafood.

There were Meatballs, which came with mashed potato, a thick gravy, pickled cucumber and lingonberries.


Lingonberries & pickled cucumber



Lingonberries are slightly sour fruit (similar to cranberries) which provide a welcome tartness to rich dishes, and a hit of Vitamin C in the Nordic winter.



Dining at Sturehof’s well-stocked bar




2 Stureplein, Östermalm, 114 35 Stockhom. https://www.sturehof.com/

0046 (0)8 440 5730

Open 365 days a year until 2am

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