The second evening of my business trip to Stockholm was spent at Restaurang Volt.
Restaurang Volt was opened in 2010 by a group of three young but experienced restaurateurs: Johan Bengtsson, the sommelier, with Peter Andersson and Fredrik Johnsson heading the kitchen. Their philosophy towards seasonal produce, local, ethical sourcing – the restaurant itself is KRAV certified guaranteeing that over 50% of all ingredients are organic – and their inventive cooking and stripped-down presentation resulted in being awarded a Michelin star in 2015.
Update: It was announced that Restaurang Volt would close down just before Christmas 2019, so visit while you still can!
When I mentioned to Gastrologik’s chef Anton Bjuhr that I would be going to Restaurang Volt the next evening, he chuckled and said that I was in for a treat but assured me that it would be a completely different experience from the one I had that night. He was right!
Also located in Östermalm, the restaurant on the Kommendörsgatan turned out to be even more hard to find in the dark as a result of the high placement of the windows that were filled with animals skeletons. I was there during the Stockholm Design week, so at first, I mistook it for one of the hipster art galleries that you would find that neighborhood. Only a postcard-sized etching on the door gave away the presence of the restaurant.
Once inside, the atmosphere seemed a bit rough around the edges: concrete walls with lots of haphazardly applied plaster, metal vents, soft-toned tubular lighting, and the speakers filling the room with a mix of world music and late 70s – early 80s punk. Nevertheless, it was still quite cozy as it only has room for 30 or so diners. The only minor critique would be that the seats of the tapered wooden chair were slightly too narrow (or my backside is too large…) to be comfortable the entire evening.
I was welcomed and directed to the back of the restaurant to hang my coat myself. This DIY approach was also noticeable in the custom-made wooden table had a side box that contained all cutlery for the evening, the napkin, and the menu card. Therefore, I was already set and just needed to indicate to the waitress whether I would take 4 or 6 courses (SEK 685-885 / €69-89 / $84-109), which is a pretty good value for money for Stockholm standards. Beverage-wise, I would have to choose between the beverage pairing (SEK 585-785 / €59-79 / $72-97), the wine list, or just order from a selection of wines available by the glass. Overall their wine list consisted mostly of bio-dynamic and natural wines from small-scale producers. Finally, there was also a possibility to go for an optional cheese course, Cheese from Almnäs bruk, for SEK 135 / €13.50 / $16.50, which had its own beverage pairing in the form of a Swedish dry cider (SEK 75 / €7.50 / $9.25).
Pondering the abovementioned options was done over a very lovely Saison beer from Brekeriet Beer from Landskrona in the south of Sweden (SEK 70 / €7 / $8.50; it seems to be a thing in Sweden to serve beer in a white wine glass…), a tapas plate of excellent ham that was dried for 18 months and some crunchy lacto-fermented runner beans.
Given the onslaught of the 10-course dinner at Gastrologik, I took it easy and opted for the 4-course menu with the additional cheese course and the beverage pairing (unfortunately I am not able to recall all of the wines by name but can assure you they were all complementing the dishes very well). Besides the bread below, no other frills or nibbles during the menu; just 5 expertly cooked dishes with amazing flavors and textures, clean plating, served by friendly and knowledgable waiters.
3. Mountain Cattle • Cabbage threeways
I concluded this lovely dinner with Infusion and Kaka, a homemade herbal infusion with 2 types of cakes (SEK 60 / €6 / $7.50).
The nice touch was the accompanying booklet with the collection of dried specimens of herbs and flowers and a short description. Indicated with 3 bookmark ribbons, my infusion contained chamomile, birch and fireweed.
The kaka element consisted of a crispy wafer filled with soured cream and blueberries as well as a mini cake sweetened with woodruff. I believe that the table next to me got the same cake for 2, and despite the fact that it was absolutely delicious, I was able to contain myself and only ate half of it.