Koka is a small intimate restaurant with experienced staff who will offer an interactive dialogue with their guests to make it a learning and savoury experience. The focus is on modern Swedish gastronomy with what the west coast has to offer. It is not an open kitchen, but the chefs are present and will often come out and serve and explain the dishes. The restaurant is situated in the centre of Gothenburg, which is a small city yet with an interesting selection of fine dining places.
Koka opened up in 2014, but it has a longer history than that. It started already in 2000 by Björn Persson under the name of Kock & Vin. After 14 years the team at Koka decided to refine the concept of the restaurant to better reflect the dedication to contemporary western Sweden dining.
The focus of the restaurant is on modern Swedish gastronomy, and the aim is to work with local ingredients. Being situated on the Swedish west coast gives Koka a great access to the sea, farming areas and forest. It is a regional pantry just waiting to be discovered. So you will find local ingredients such as lamb from Bitterna and regional fish like mackerel. Even the music played in the restaurant is only local. Being local often means being sustainable and here Koka has its energy supplied by wind power and is also working with environmental certification.
The restaurant has a three, five or seven course tasting menu which is changed on a continuous basis according to season. The five and seven course menus are longer taste menus, while the three courses are for those who also plan to do something else that evening. The dishes are light and the focus is on key ingredients harmonising together where vegetables play an important role. So the scallop might be matched with carrot, elderflower and roasted buckwheat seed and in a dessert the chervil ice cream and rhubarb with zucchini.
Koka works predominantly with wines from Europe and in the wine list there are some vin nature, but it is mostly a classical wine list. The staff at Koka have a long history and experience of pairing food and wine so expect to find some good matches. There are some non-alcoholic beverages, but from a contemporary restaurant maybe you could expect a complete matching non-alcoholic beverage menu?
The interior is a mix of light wood with contrasting purple panels and the relaxed atmosphere is underlined with cutlery already in a wooden box on the table. Innovative and flexible are the loose table tops which make it possible to play around with the size of the tables and you can adjust the lamps to your own liking in height and light intensity.
Often neglected at restaurants is the selection of tea and coffee after the meal. At Koka the restaurant has a good selection of both tea and coffee. An excellent finish after a journey through some of the best stuff you will find in this part of Sweden.
Written by Joakim & Suzanne