BJORK // Swedish Brasserie
There are those moments, where you decide something last minute and most of the time these are the best moments. When I arrived in front of Via Panfilo Castaldi 20, I was not sure what to expect cause, for once, I did not over inform myself about the place. Sometimes, reading a lot about a place just before to go, kills the magic of the experience. So when I arrived there, I was immediately seduced by the unsual side of the place: narrow room where the furniture elements have a vertical reading and the warm feeling given by the wood, counter balanced by the cool effect from the fridge with all those nordic fish products.
We were told to go in the back and, after passing a tiny cosy alcove looking like a nest, we arrived to the counter room. Immediately, you feel like in a formal sushi place where people prepare in front of you the food. The counter is the center element, you sit around, theatre style, and you wait for the performance.
The waiters, wearing white chef uniform, had their hair arranged in a “geisha” way, and I don’t know if it was a coincidence but, they applied their eyes makeup in the same way. It gives immediately a serious ceremonial atmosphere.
Though, the walls are covered by colorful prints, Andy Warhol style, and the shelves are full of bottles. The restaurant is the stocking area at the same time. The product becomes part of the decoration, which bring some contrast, contrast participating to put at your ease in this ceremonial environment.
THE ORDERING PROCESS
We sat at the bar and received the menus. The graphics covers were really nice. When I opened the food menu, I immediately got the feeling to be lost and almost panicked in front of those non familiar words as I knew some flavours would be too strong for me. After fighting with all these writing and trying to understand what we should take, we opted for a tris starters and some fish for the main course. I decided to combine it with some typical beer from those countries.
THE FOOD EXPERIENCE for me was surprisingly positive :
- simple ingredients, but nicely arranged in the plate, nothing pretentious,
- some performance show in front of the customer to finalize the dish ( like pouring the cooked oyster sauce on the hallibut),
- the flavours were simple but distinguable, the fish well cooked. I even enjoyed the rein deer tartare.
- Everything had a flavour of frehsness : the dessert was a mix of raw and cooked apple with cinnamon and ice cream. The crunchy part of the raw apple was compensated by the melting cooked apple and the sour of the raw apple counterbalanced by the sweet of the ice cream.
- Last it reminds me a bit france : butter presence, wine based sauce, but in a subtle way, which I love.
I really enjoyed my meal, the environment (even if we had noisy neighbours) and the service.
This is not a cheap place, but the quality of the products, the service and the design makes you happy at the end of the dinner. We even did some shopping at the moment of paying, just to bring back some piece of Sweden home (smart concept to have the shop and the billing part in the same area...)
Tasting menu with 5 dishes : 50€
My confessions :
- I was really lost when reading the menu, is it made on purpose to make you travel and wonder like in a forest ? I would have felt more confortable with someone giving some recommendations about how it works usually or with a menu more Ikea organized style.
- I have a swedish friend and all the diners we were doing at his place were always amazing, he was bringing this snaps tradtion between the dishes. I would of course not advice to add the song he was singing at that time, not in line with the mood set by the restaurant, but I think a snapps could be offered between 2 dishes to educate people on swedish culture.
address: Via Panfilo Castaldi 20, Milano
tel: +39 02 4945 7424