Fäviken Fare

 

I’m often asked if I visited Sweden just to go to Fäviken. And it’s a fair question, for Fäviken Magasinet is a unique, intimate restaurant in Järpen, about 700 kilometres north of Stockholm, happily sitting in the middle of nowhere. Led by young chef Magnus Nilsson, with his commitment to real food (read: local, seasonal and foraged ingredients), it is justly counted as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. But the trip to Fäviken is not an easy one, requiring a fl􏰀ight, dri􏰁ve and hotel check􏰂 in. Only then, being mindful of time, do you set out for the restaurant, located in a converted grain store within a 24,000-acre hunting estate.

faviiken

 

Upon entering the restaurant I am greeted by what appears to be almost every member of the Fäviken team, including the head chef. Feeling immediately welcome I manage to chat with Nilsson without looking too much like the chef-groupie I am. I think. The room is as rustic as the location is remote, featuring simple wooden tables and chairs, a hanging full length wolf fur coat (Nilsson’s winter foraging wear) and small vases of local greenery, all bathed in the soft 􏰀flick􏰂ering light of candles and spotlights. Very cosy indeed.

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To the clapping of hands (the signal that announces each dish and also how Swedish children know to stop talk􏰂ing􏰃, the first appetiser arrives – linseed and vinegar crisps with mussel dip􏰄. T􏰅he cris􏰄ps are as fine and delicate as you can imagine, a thin layer of linseeds suspended in an invisible crisp cracker, and the creamy dip complements it perfectly. Tick.

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24 more ‘courses’ follow; a journey through amazing produce and interesting ideas. The huge scallop from Norway cooked over burning juniper branches is a highlight – soft, succulent, pearly meat served on the shell in its own cooking juice. Similarly memorable is the porridge of grains and seeds 􏰆finished w􏰇ith a big lump of salty butter, fermented carrot and w􏰇ild lea􏰁ves, beef broth filtered through moss’. With a complex te􏰈xture and flavour it is truly div􏰁ine. 􏰅The bow􏰇l is definitely too small and we want more. Tick, tick.

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The brown cheese pie is possibly my favourite dessert (but it is hard to decide) – dark, caramely, smooth custard, complete with a spooned in smiley face, sitting on top of sweet, cake-like pastry. The sweets continue with some strange creations (like sugar-coated, pickled, semi-dried root vegetables) but it is the tiny, teaspoon-sized ‘bon-bon’ of pure ras􏰄berry ice that I􏰉 find 􏰄perfectly simple and fabulous. Only my husband is brave enough to stick a bit of snus (like snuff) in his mouth to finish the meal. c􏰊ow􏰇ards, the rest of us!

􏰋So back􏰂 to that first 􏰌question. 􏰉I always wanted to visit Sweden, the 􏰍􏰎􏰁Fäviken reservation just confirmed that this was the time to do so.Thus the answer is, sort of. Fäviken is a magical dining experience, a must-do if you’re going to be almost nearby.

Words by Lisa Goldberg – Taken from issue 5, the Sweden magazine. 

fäviken chef magnus nilsson
fäviken
chef magnus nilsson

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