The west coast of Sweden has access to some of the freshest seafood in the world, and what better place to savour it than at Sjömagasinet, Sweden’s most famous seafood restaurant? The restaurant is beautifully placed just by the waterfront with a view of the harbour inlet of Gothenburg. The historic building from 1775 used to be a warehouse of the Swedish East India Company, and still retains its historic charm with rustic beams and timbered environment.
Even though the restaurant can seat almost 300 people it still has ambitions. The former owner and Head Chef Leif Mannerström, a Swedish legend in cooking, sold it to Ulf Wagner. But no worries, Ulf Wagner is an icon himself; he has already had two top rated restaurants. Furthermore, Gustav Trägårdh, his business partner and Head Chef, was the winner of the prestigious Swedish Chef competition in 2010.
Together Ulf Wagner and Gustav Trägårdh aim at preserving and improving Sjömagasinet as THE place for seafood. Only the freshest seafood is served, and the focus of the menu is on local fish and produce in season. The menu contains some meat alternatives but the interesting dishes center around seafood. There are two contrasting four course menus. The first one is the more classical and is the choice of Ulf Wagner, who is both a trained chef and renowned sommelier while Gustav Trägårdh’s menu is more innovative. Altogether Sjömagasinet’s food style is more classical than innovative with a focus on the ingredients and accompanying tastes. The menus change every other month.
The starters are focused around lobster, roe, crayfish, shrimp and other shellfish, and with an elegant and natural taste, no molecular cooking here. The main course is about choosing your type of fish; be it cod, turbot, hake, anglerfish or whatever is best in season. The fish is the centrepiece and is complemented by matching tasty condiments.
The wine cellar has an extensive collection of 900 selections. Head Sommelier Benjamin Hill’s main focus is on Burgundy and France which is complemented with selected wines from both the old and new world.
It is also possible to eat lunch, as usually lunch is a bit more relaxed in Sweden, and there is less emphasis on fine dining, but prices are lower so you can have a very good value meal. The lunch menu is changed daily and you can have a three course lunch or just a main dish, but it will not be the same as the evening menu. In December they serve a traditional Swedish Christmas smorgasbord while in the summer there is a large outdoor terrace extending out from the restaurant above water, a great setting a warm evening.
Written by Joakim