42 Crawford Street
Phone:- 0207 262 6582
As you know from my Self Introduction, I have spent five years in Sweden, and my partner is Swedish. Therefore I have picked up a few of the customs and habits from the Nordic area.
Friday was Walpurgis, the day when Sweden celebrates the coming of spring by lighting bonfires and drinking heavily. In the absence of any suitable bonfires, Eva and I went to the Swedish section of London for a drink and a meal.
We started off with a drink in the Harcourt Arms in Harcourt Street; this is near to the Swedish Embassy, the Swedish church, various other Swedish organisations and Garbo’s. The pub is a very cosy and jolly establishment frequented by Swedes; many of the bar staff are Swedish, and it even has “Swedish Salong” (a small room painted yellow).
However, I digress, the real object of our trip was to try out Garbo’s which is London’s only Swedish restaurant. This has been owned and run by Ake Lindholm for a number of years.
Garbo’s is very cosy inviting Swedish restaurant close to Baker Street.
It had a “bistro like” atmosphere, but the quality and attention to detail of a quality restaurant. It was cosy, cheerful and intimate. The floors were polished wood, the walls were painted white and decorated with a large amount of memorabilia including; pictures of the Swedish royal family, copious prints of Great Garbo and a very large moose’s head (the eyes of which seemed to follow me around the room).
The tables were laid with linen cloths and napkins, with a touch of the IKEA in the condiment display. There was a fresh carnation on every table.
Crisp breads and rolls were placed on the table in a basket, with a good-sized portion of butter on a side plate.
Downstairs the restaurant had a private function room which, at the time of our visit, was hosting the Anglo-Finnish Society.
The menu offers an excellent selection of Swedish and Nordic cuisine including; pea soup, Gravad-lax (cured salmon), Jansson’s Temptation (potatoes and anchovies in a cream and onion sauce), herrings, sole, seabass, meatballs, veal, Kaldolmar (stuffed cabbage and lingonberry sauce) and Pytt I Panna (diced meat, potatoes and onions with a fried egg).
The restaurant also caters for parties, both in the function room and outside.
The menu, explains the contents of each dish; so there is no need to worry about the strange names of some of the dishes.
Our Swedish waitress was very friendly and efficient. I even tried out my rusty and basic Swedish, and was told that I had good pronunciation
I started with the crepe stuffed with chicken and mushrooms. This was very agreeable, it was a good size for a starter; and tasted rich and creamy, without being stodgy and “claggy”. A good way to start the evening.
I chose the Wiener schnitzel with two fried eggs for my main course. This was a good sized piece of meat, tender and succulent. It had been breaded and fried golden brown in butter. The eggs added a richness, and oomph, to the dish. I chose sauté potatoes and mushrooms to accompany it. My compliments to the chef, a good piece of meat well cooked and presented.
Eva started with Skagen Toast; this is a dish of prawns and roe served in a dill mayonnaise sauce on top of butter fried bread. I commend this dish to you, it was presented exquisitely on the plate; the prawns neatly piled on top of the toast, and the roe neatly on top of the prawns. It tasted absolutely perfect.
Eva chose Kalvrullader med Lingon for her main course, this was veal filled with onions and gherkins served in a mustard cream sauce. This dish was very rich and definitely unctuous, superb! She chose rich butter mashed potatoes and broccoli to accompany it. She was absolutely delighted with her choice.
The meal, which included a bottle of Chablis and some Irish coffees, came to £68 before service.
In my view this restaurant is better in terms of food and atmosphere than many in Stockholm. We will most definitely be returning, and commend others to dine there as well.